A healthy and balanced diet is an excellent ally of the immune system. Find out here which foods to consume to strengthen the body's defenses against the attack of viruses and other pathogens present in the environment
These days there is a lot of talk about Covid-19 coronavirus with tones that oscillate between justified alarms and alarmisms that create panic and confusion. From a food point of view, here is a list of correct behaviors to always keep at the table, beyond the current situation.
The immune system, in fact, plays a crucial role in the defense of our body from pathogens, including any viruses present in the environment. One of the most effective ways to strengthen the immune system is to pay attention to nutrition. «The first rule to have a strong immune system is to follow a healthy, balanced and complete daily diet. The daily menus should never be without vegetables and seasonal fruit. This allows to provide the body with minerals, antioxidants, vitamins useful for its correct functioning ", says the nutritionist Valentina Schirò, specializing in food science. «There are several micronutrients that play a crucial role for our immune system. The lack or lack of these substances in the daily diet can be responsible for the altered functioning of the body's defense mechanisms. As a result, it can predispose you to a greater possibility of attack by pathogens and a greater risk of encountering infections ", explains the expert who explains here which foods to prefer at the table to strengthen the immune system.
Meat, eggs and fish
"Zinc is one of the micronutrients directly involved in the development and activation of the immune system. It has an antioxidant action. It also plays a central role in the growth and differentiation of immune cells. It helps maintain the integrity of the skin and mucous membranes which are real defense barriers against pathogens ", explains Valentina Schirò. Excellent sources are «beef, eggs, milk and its derivatives. This mineral is also present in fish, seafood and whole grains .
Sardines and milk
They ensure vitamin D. "This vitamin stimulates the proliferation of immune cells. Helps protect against infections caused by pathogens. It is also found in salmon, cod liver oil and egg yolk. To fill up on this vitamin, you must then go to the sun for at least half an hour a day, "advises the expert.
Seasonal fruit and vegetables
Orange vegetables and fruits are a mine of vitamin A. "This vitamin helps maintain the structural and functional integrity of the cells of the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract. This vitamin is also essential for the normal functioning of immune cells, "says nutritionist Schirò. The liver and eggs are good sources too. Vitamin B6 is also an excellent ally of our body's defenses. "It has an important role in the proliferation, differentiation and maturation of lymphocytes, the cells of the immune system as well as in the production of antibodies. It is found in legumes, potatoes, yeast and flour and whole grains, meat, fish and fruit, with the exception of citrus fruits .
Seeds and dried fruit
They are both good sources of copper. «This mineral has antimicrobial action in the proliferation of T cells and in the production of antibodies. Another good source of this mineral is fish. " An excellent ally for the proper functioning of the immune system is iron. «It is a component of the structure of enzymes essential for the functioning of immune cells. It is found in meat, legumes, whole grains and nuts. Some dark green varieties of leafy vegetables such as kale are also good sources, "concludes nutritionist Valentina Schirò.
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