When your child is sneezing from allergies or wheezing from asthma, he or she is experiencing the excessive response of their immune system to common stimuli, which is the root cause of inflammation. Inflammation is a good thing in moderation, as your body’s first response to injury, stress, or infection. But if inflammation is part of your child’s everyday life, whether due to hay fever, asthma, excessive weight, or an autoimmune disease, the irritation can make your child feel sluggish, anemic, and achy as well as do damage to cells.
If you’re looking for a natural way to keep inflammation under control, check out these inflammation-busting snacks for kids.
Almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, and peanuts contain high levels of vitamin E which has antioxidant properties that remove compounds known as free radicals from the body, thus reducing some of the stimuli that kick up inflammation.
Best of all, nuts are a quick and easy snack to prepare and serve. They can also be sprinkled over salad, added to yogurt, or baked into delicious delicacies.
Variety is the spice of life, so use the good spices liberally.
Ginger, traditionally used to soothe stomach upset, has also been shown in scientific studies to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Consider making homemade gingersnaps or buying low sugar ones to have at hand.
Turmeric has anti-oxidant properties, and it’s very common in Indian cuisine. Check in your local organic food store for gluten-free turmeric rice chips, or organic lentil and turmeric crackers.
Antioxidant foods have anti-inflammatory properties, so let your kids gorge on fresh blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. When they’re out of season, hand them some sweet dried cranberries. If they get bored of the fresh fruit on demand, you can always bake snack-sized blueberry muffins or cranberry and walnut cookies.
Avocados are full of natural goodness, including magnesium and potassium and cancer-fighting compounds. They’re also full of fiber and healthy oils that are good for the brain. And as of 2011, a study showed that a natural sugar from avocados reduced inflammatory responses in a test group. So whip up the guacamole! For a double-dosage, serve it up with broccoli and cauliflower, which also have anti-inflammatory properties, to dip.
Eating healthy anti-inflammatory foods is always a good idea, but avoiding a diet that stimulates inflammation is just as important. Pair up your inflammation-aware diet with one that reduces your child’s exposure to refined “white” carbohydrates, sugar, shortening, lard, and red meat.