exp. Dr. Gulnara Heydarova explained ways to strengthen immunity against Kovid-19, which also affects children. Dr. Heydarova said, “It is very important to keep the immune system strong in the fight against the Kovid-19 epidemic, which affects the whole world. The immune system is a flawless defense mechanism that protects the body against diseases. The immune system consists of a network of cells, proteins and organs that defend the body against viruses, germs and bacteria. It is known that the stronger the immune system of our children, the less infectious diseases they can pass through,” he said.
YOU SHOULD CONTINUE BREAST MILK UP TO 2 YEARS OF AGE.
Pointing out that the physiological immune system is not fully mature in the newborn period, Heydarova said, “Therefore, care should be taken to feed with breast milk in this process. Continuing breast milk until the age of 2 has the most important role in strengthening the immune system. Especially the breast milk that comes for 5 days after birth is called colostrum milk and has high antibodies (protective defense cells). Therefore, breastfeeding until every drop of colostrum milk in the first days is the most important support in laying the foundation of the immune system.
SLEEP ROUTINE AND ORGANIZATION ARE GREAT IMPORTANT
Stating that sleep is also very effective on the immune system, Heydarova said, “Quality sleep, especially in infants and children, is very important for their development and strengthening their immunity. Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone and is secreted in the brain. Melatonin, an antioxidant that fights bacteria and toxins in the body, is formed in the dark and at night. Certain immune cells are also activated during sleep. This increases the body’s recovery speed during sleep. Therefore, sleep routine and order are very important for immunity in infants,” he said.
VITAMIN, ZINC, SELENIUM AND IRON MUST BE TAKEN
Pointing out that it is necessary to take care of adequate intake of vitamins A, C, D, E, iron, zinc and selenium, which are called antioxidants in children, Heydarova used the following statements:
“Vitamin A is present in yellow and dark green vegetables and fruits, while vitamin C is one of the most protective vitamins against diseases. Fruits such as strawberries, kiwis, melons, oranges and tangerines are very rich in vitamin C. Vitamin E is found in nuts, olives, olive oil and some green vegetables. The sun is the most important source of vitamin D, rather than food. Vitamin D strengthens healthy bone structure and immune system, helps prevent depression and insulin resistance, may have anti-cancer properties. For this reason, it is necessary not to neglect to benefit from fresh air and sun. Zinc plays an important role in the immune system. Zinc can be taken both as medicine and from foods such as meat and chickpeas. While selenium is also taken as a supplement, beef-lamb liver, salmon and tuna are also important sources. Iron deficiency is one of the reasons that most affect the immune system. Therefore, the presence of iron deficiency should be checked intermittently and treatment should be arranged accordingly.
OMEGA 3 AND OMEGA 6 MUST HAVE
Emphasizing the importance of benefiting from Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, Heydarova said, “Dried fruits such as walnuts, hazelnuts, dark green leafy vegetables and especially fish should be consumed regularly during the winter. Omega-3 in the content of these foods is an important nutrient that protects our immunity, prevents the infection from progressing much further, and even ensures its regression.