COVID-19: Foods to strengthen the immune system. Foods to strengthen the immune system. Experts explain what we should eat and also what we should eliminate from the menu on a daily basis to strengthen our defenses. Magic and fast formulas do not exist in the field of nutrition. And that is something that is always made clear to us by each of the professionals we consult to find out what foods can help us strengthen the immune system and protect us against viruses.
Foods To Strengthen The Immune System-COVID-19
– How to avoid snacking at all times during quarantine
These are some of the foods that help strengthen the immune system
.In fact, most agree in assuring that “what is done well” is as important as what “must stop doing wrong”, that is, it is good news that we increase the consumption of vegetables and fruits, as well like whole grains, legumes, healthy fats, probiotic foods, and lean proteins, but that, to be effective, must be accompanied by the reduction (or even elimination) of products that not only do not take care of health, but that also attack the cardiovascular system.
don’t take heavy breakfast
We are talking about ultra-processed foods, excess added sugars, products with saturated fats and foods with excess salt. In other words. It is no use having breakfast with oatmeal with raspberries or avocado slices on a slice of whole wheat bread (good) if throughout the day you swell up with chips, pastries, pre-made pizza, industrial sausages, industrial juices, and sugary soft drinks, for example.But it is true that when we read articles like this what we are looking for is to tell us the list of what we can eat to protect ourselves against the disease. In some way, we seek to be told about “magic foods.” But no, magic foods do not exist and neither do healing foods.
Individual healing capacity of food.
In fact, although popular belief attributes beneficial properties against some respiratory diseases to orange, tangerine, lemon, garlic, ginger, honey or chicken soup, the truth is that none of them, for by itself, protects the body from disease. It is not that they are bad, it is not that they do harm and it is not that they do not provide health benefits (of course they do), but what we are saying is that currently there is no scientific evidence to demonstrate individual healing capacity of food.
The key: healthy lifestyle habits.
That said, what we can do to relate food to the immune system ( and we should always do it, not only now that we are threatened by the coronavirus) is what Dr. Laura I. Arranz, a professor in the Department, clarifies. of Nutrition, Food Sciences and Gastronomy of the University of Barcelona. What can really help prevent these diseases is to follow healthy lifestyle habits. These habits include following a balanced diet with a high presence of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains and proteins of high biological value.
Take the full quantity of vitamin c
“Both nutrient C, as the remainder of the nutrients, minerals, for example, zinc, cancer prevention agents, for example, polyphenols or beta-carotene, fats, for example, Omega-3 and fiber (particularly dissolvable sort) are basic elements in a health cocktail », He assures. But that is not enough because it is also necessary to reduce or eliminate excess sugars, saturated fats, and ultra-processed foods.
The expert warns of the fact that many people are now giving up taking care of their shopping carts, and this can lead to eating unhealthily every day. “The boredom or anxiety that comes with isolation (alarm state) causes some people to snack at all times on sweets, chips and other options that can make our microbiota suffer and with it the immune system,” he says.
In recent days we have witnessed the barrage of shopping in supermarkets, but Dr. Arranz says that the empty shelves are often, curiously, that of ultra-processed foods and not those of vegetables and fruits. Leaving unhealthy foods aside is now more important than ever because, as the expert says, what we need is to lower the total daily energy intake and not the opposite.
Our body works with watches
But in addition, this balanced diet must be accompanied by other healthy habits such as sufficient hydration, rest (adequate sleep hours), stress control, healthy weight, regular sports activity and elimination of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Dr. Arranz affirms that in the current context it is relevant to maintain routines and schedules, both sleep and food. «Our body works with watches.
Imbalances in the body.
and needs stability to function well. With the current situation we run the risk of staying up late at night watching television or a series and thus causing imbalances in the body. We must sleep the necessary hours and we must also avoid snacking between meals, both to protect the metabolism and to regulate body weight, “he clarifies.
Daily physical activity,
Another of his advice is to assess whether, with less daily physical activity, it is appropriate to reduce daily intakes. Thus, he proposes to make three or four meals a day, instead of the five that are usually recommended. “This will depend, however, on the schedules and routines that each person follows, but the guidelines that work well continue to be eating between one and two in the afternoon and having dinner equally early, before eight thirty,” he adds.
Nutrients that help
According to a recent review on “Nutrients and immunity” of the Nutritional Support Unit of the Vall d’Hebrón University Hospital in Barcelona, nutrition is a determining component in the development and maintenance of the immune response.The report points out, on the one hand, that water-soluble vitamins (vitamin B, folic acid, B12 and vitamin C) like fat-soluble vitamins (A, D and E) play an important role for the immune system. The former regulate the body’s immune response against possible external attacks.
“Nutrients and immunity”
The fat-soluble ones also play an important role since they help the correct differentiation of epithelial tissue or stimulate the production of cells essential for the proper functioning of the immune system As for minerals, the study “Nutrients and immunity” shows that “trace elements” such as iron, copper, selenium and zinc have a direct impact on the proliferation of different types of antibodies and, together with vitamins Fat-soluble and water-soluble enhance proper development and maintenance of the immune system.
Care for cardiovascular, visual and brain health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also important, both to strengthen the immune system and to care for cardiovascular, visual and brain health. “To take care of the defenses, we must increase, on the one hand, the intake of nuts (especially walnuts and almonds) to achieve a daily intake of 2 grams of alpha-linolenic acid and, on the other, the intake of blue fish, so that we can get 200 milligrams of docosahexaenoic acid (fatty acid polOmega-3 fatty acids are also important, both to strengthen the immune system and to care for cardiovascular, visual and brain health.
To Yogurt or salads.
“To take care of the defenses, we must increase, on the one hand, the intake of nuts (especially walnuts and almonds) to achieve a daily intake of 2 grams of alpha-linolenic acid and, on the other, the intake of blue fish, so that we can get 200 milligrams of docosahexaenoic acid (omega-3 fatty polyunsaturated acid), ”says Dr. Laura I. Arranz. The expert also stresses the fact that now that it may be more difficult for us to consume fresh fish daily, we can prioritize the consumption of nuts and seeds, which we can add, for example, to yogurt or salads.
Fiber is another component that helps the well-being of beneficial bacteria that reside in the intestine and that plays an important role in the immune system. “The dietary fiber that is useful for this comes from plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds,” says Dr. Arranz.Probiotics are equally good allies of the immune system since both yogurts, for example, and kefir, are fermented foods that bring good bacteria to the microbiota. But we can also have in the pantry, according to Dr. Arranz, other canned ferments that are equally probiotics, such as sauerkraut.
Neither by excess nor by default
As explained by Dr. Carlos R. Jiménez, specialist in Endocrinology and Nutrition of Sanitas, given the complexity of the immune system, which constitutes the protection or defense against diseases, it is very difficult to assess the effects of diet on this system. However, Dr. Rodríguez Jiménez highlights that the results of various investigations have allowed the identification of some dietary factors that affect the body’s immune response.
Avoid unhealthy miracle diets.
Thus, a poorly balanced diet has a negative influence on immune activity because, as Dr. Jiménez explains, maintaining the immune system requires a constant consumption of all the necessary vitamins and minerals. good reason to avoid unhealthy “miracle diets.” .Although also an excessive supply of energy can affect the ability of the immune system to fight infections. The expert affirms in this sense that obesity is linked to a higher incidence of infectious diseases. And not only that, because the obese are more likely to develop coronary heart disease, which is related to impaired immune function.