FIGHTING SEASONAL INFLUENCES
What are the most suitable foods that help prevent seasonal diseases?
With the arrival of winter, our body has to cope with low temperatures. It is therefore good that the cold seasons are well prepared. Just as we need to stock up on wool sweaters, scarves and coats to protect ourselves from wind and cold, so too our diet must vary to strengthen the immune system.
Children and the elderly they are often the most affected because their bodies may be more sensitive to changes in temperature and the attack of viruses and bacteria. In addition, the effects of colds, flu and bronchitis can be more powerful, last longer and greatly debilitate the body, risking other relapses. At all ages, but in particular for the youngest, the oldest and for those suffering from chronic diseases, prevention is important to better overcome the cold months.
Vitamins and minerals to protect our body
A correct and balanced diet in macro and micronutrients can help fight seasonal influences
On the other hand, prevention is better than cure. For this reason, the diet should be enriched with foods that contain good doses of antioxidants, such as some minerals and vitamins that increase the body's defenses and also help maintain good bowel function.
Vitamin A, E and especially C are excellent antioxidants ; the latter also has an anti-inflammatory action, increases the body's defenses and protects it from infections caused by viruses and bacteria. Small amounts of vitamin C (60 milligrams per day) are enough to strengthen the immune system. If you smoke, remember that each cigarette takes away a lot of it, so the quantity must increase. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, the need for vitamin C increases up to 90-100 mg. This vitamin also promotes the absorption of iron, especially that contained in vegetables.
Iron and Zinc they are two essential minerals for the body and for the proper functioning of the immune defenses. Zinc, for example, is an essential nutrient because it stimulates the production of antibodies, which is also linked to the intake of iron.
Even the Selenium it has an important antioxidant function and helps to increase the immune defenses by improving the production of antibodies. Its action is enhanced in association with vitamin E.
Prepare for winter in advance
A correct and complete diet, as such, must be followed regularly, every day.
It must be an established habit. Knowing the foods and consuming more those that can strengthen our defenses can be a good measure only if done in the right time. Attention to the intake of the vitamins and minerals mentioned above must therefore be paid in advance and obviously also throughout the year: prevention with food must begin just before autumn, as early as September. In fact, vitamin C, for example, cannot have any effect if we have already caught the flu or bronchitis while it can be valuable if it is taken daily before the cold arrives.
What to eat
So what to do to prevent flu and counteract the onset of respiratory tract diseases and get all the benefits from the foods we find in winter?
These are simple moves that can give us health and well-being.
First of all, you need to take care of your diet to ensure the right amount of vitamins and minerals. It is recommended to consume at least 5 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables per day , especially citrus fruits, kiwis, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage and savoy cabbage.
Also seasonings and spices with which we flavor foods can reserve many benefits: garlic and onion used in the preparation of dishes, as well as being rich in vitamins and mineral salts, have antiseptic properties, fluidify and help eliminate phlegm. Spices, such as curry, paprika and chilli, are sources of acetylsalicylic acid, an important anti-inflammatory active ingredient. In addition, spices have a vasodilating action that promotes sweating and stabilization of body temperature.
Another good habit is to use lemon to season dishes as it facilitates the absorption of iron present in food, which in turn strengthens the natural defenses against colds, sore throats and coughs.
The importance of liquids . In addition to water, hot drinks can be taken, such as infusions and herbal teas rich in vitamins and flavonoids. Even broth or soups, if hot enough, create vasodilation and benefit the irritated upper airways, with a fluidifying effect.
We also recommend the use of probiotics is prebiotics which, by balancing the intestinal bacterial flora, improve the functionality of the body and strengthen the immune defenses. They are present in yogurt and vegetables (e.g. garlic, onion, tomato, carrot, chicory, barley, rye, oats, etc.).
There Vitamin E you can find it especially in olive oil and other vegetable oils (peanuts, soy, corn, sunflower, etc.), wheat germ, walnuts.
They are rich in substances antioxidants also milk and dairy products in particular zinc, selenium and vitamin A.
However, do not forget that, regardless of the intake of the aforementioned foods, a balanced and varied diet still favors well-being, because it allows us to nourish all the organs of our body and promotes the protection of cells, therefore making it more resistant and less exposed to important disorders such as cardiovascular ones that can weaken the body and make you more sensitive to winter diseases.