Covid-19 requires a strong immune system to deal with it and one of the best ways to do this is through diet. Here we propose 10 foods that improve your defenses. “May your food be your medicine, and may your medicine be your food.” Hippocrates, the father of medicine, already said it 25 centuries ago, and the most modern scientific discoveries continue to prove him right. There is more and more evidence that a healthy, varied and balanced diet can keep our body strong and healthy . But also, did you know that there is a long list of foods that can help us strengthen our immune system to fight against external aggressions and, in this particular case, against Covid-19? Take note.
What it is: Source of vitamin C. What it gives us: increases the production of white blood cells , which are key to fighting infections . How to take it: almost all citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, so it is easy to integrate it into meals or take it in juices. The recommended daily allowance for most adults is 75mg for women and 90mg for men, the equivalent of one kiwi or two oranges.
What it is: A superfood packed with vitamins and minerals . What it gives us: vitamins A, C and E, as well as fiber and many other antioxidants. In addition to strengthening the immune system, it detoxifies the body . How to eat it: It’s one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate, and the key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible . Or better yet, don’t cook it at all.
What it is: A star seasoning in almost every kitchen around the world. What it gives us: the first civilizations already recognized its value in the fight against infections due to its high concentration of sulfur-rich compounds such as allicin. It can also slow hardening of the arteries and help lower blood pressure. How to take it: once the garlic is cut, let it rest for 10 minutes to generate a large amount of allicin. Never do it in the microwave if you do not want to lose its properties.
What it is: An all-purpose ingredient . What it gives us: it can help reduce inflammation, sore throats, and inflammatory diseases . And being rich in nutrients such as potassium, niacin, phosphorus and vitamin C, it is also an ally of our immune system . How to take it: although it is widely used in the preparation of sweet desserts, you can also take it as a delicious tea or to dress soups, fish or salads. Take an infusion of ginger with lemon on an empty stomach every morning and your defenses will be in perfect magazine condition!
What it is: Another superfood staple. What it gives us: Not only are they rich in vitamin C, but they are also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta-carotene , increasing our immune system’s ability to fight infection. How to take it: as with broccoli, spinach is healthier when it is cooked as little as possible because it maintains its properties better.
What it is: One of the healthiest nuts for its vitamins and good fats. What it does for us: When it comes to preventing and fighting infections, vitamin E tends to take second place to vitamin C. However, this powerful antioxidant is key to a healthy immune system, and almonds have it in spades. How to take it: Adults only need about 15 mg of vitamin E per day. A half-cup serving of shelled almonds provides virtually the entire recommended daily allowance.
- Green tea
What it is: source of flavonoids. What it gives us: acts as a powerful antioxidant and strengthens our immune system well above black tea. It is steamed and not fermented, so it retains its properties. How to take it: make your first cup on an empty stomach and a second one about 20 minutes after eating to promote digestion, absorb nutrients and purify fats .
What it is: flow of vitamin C and minerals. What it gives us: not only does it increase the production of white blood cells , but it also has considerable amounts of potassium, magnesium and folic acid, all of which are beneficial for health. How to take it: a piece of papaya a day is enough to achieve positive effects on our immune system.
What it is: A shot of vitamin B6. What it gives us: Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, are high in vitamin B6 , an important player in many of the chemical reactions that occur in the body. It is also vital for the formation of new, healthy red blood cells . How to take it: grilled or as a broth . Contains gelatin, chondroitin and other useful nutrients for improving intestinal transit and immunity. A warm chicken broth always encourages colds, right?
What it is: a luxury for our defenses .What it gives us: A good number of shellfish are full of zinc, necessary for our immune cells to function as expected. How to take it: The best choices for their high zinc content are oysters, crabs, lobsters, and mussels . But don’t gorge yourself. The recommended dietary allowance for zinc is 11 mg for adult men and 8 mg for women. Remember: too much zinc can suppress the function of the immune system. To give you an idea, a serving of mussels has 2.3mg of zinc, but 100g of oysters have between 16 and 182mg of zinc.