Foods that help our defenses to avoid falling ill

We are in a time when it is very easy to catch a good cold or, more likely perhaps even as a result of the increase in infections, to develop symptoms compatible with the coronavirus. That is why we must strengthen our immune system to serve the body as a defense against possible bacteria or viruses. There are many options; what is clear is that you must adopt a comprehensive approach that includes a regular exercise routine and a healthy and balanced diet.

And it is precisely through food one of the most effective and common ways to strengthen defenses. Thanks to the vitamins and minerals that certain products contain, especially vegetables and fruits, the body will improve its ability to cope with viral threats. Today we collect the five nutritional tips so that your immune system does not suffer from Nicole Avena, an expert dietitian and author of the book 'Why Diets Fail', compiled by 'Eat This Not That!' magazine.

Increase your intake of vitamin C

We all know that vitamin C is an excellent ally to reduce the chances of catching a cold, among many other viruses, but it has also been found to have antioxidant properties that protect white blood cells from oxidative damage so they can function optimally. "Basically," explains the expert, "antioxidants build a barrier around these cells so that environmental pathogens and pollutants do not weaken or destroy them. "

"Vitamin C and zinc work together to strengthen white blood cells, which serves to shorten the duration of a common cold."

Oatmeal advises consuming between 1 and 2 grams of vitamin C a day, the amount contained more or less in 2 to 3 oranges. Another fruit that contains more vitamin C and is also delicious is kiwi, with an intense and tropical flavor. Remember: consume this type of fruit both for breakfast and for a snack. If hunger strikes you throughout the day, they will be your best allies to deal with infectious agents.

And more vitamin D

It is the chemical compound that we obtain from exposure to sunlight, vital in strengthening the body's immune defenses. Now, that we are in winter and obviously we do not receive as much light from our star as in spring or summer, it is convenient that if you are a person at risk you take some type of supplement that contains this vitamin in order to overcome the possible viruses and bacteria that can infect you . Similarly, Fish such as salmon also naturally contain a large amount of this chemical. In any case, the best thing you can do is try to obtain it thanks to the sun, so you should take advantage of the daylight hours to be able to go for a walk, walk or play sports.

A hit of zinc

"Vitamin C and zinc are associated to help your immune system work more efficiently," he says. Brittany busse, doctor and nutritionist. "The vitamin and the mineral work together to support the cells that defend the body, which could serve to shorten the duration of a common cold." For its part, Avena maintains that the white blood cells that "They attack pathogens need zinc to function at their full capacity."

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Where can we find this mineral? Is present in pumpkin seeds, crabmeat or oysters. In case of not being able to consume these foods, there are also multiple supplements that will help you obtain the necessary and adjusted amount.

Don't forget the omega-3

This polyunsaturated fat that the body cannot produce on its own is mainly found in olive oil or canned sardines. In addition to reinforcing the body's immune system, it also helps cell membranes have good protection. In the same way, reduce the cholesterol and they have an antioxidant effect, like zinc.

And a fair amount of magnesium

According to the expert nutritionists of 'Eat This Not That', you should get at least 300 milligrams every day of this mineral associated with cognitive function. "There is great evidence that magnesium supports mental function, regulates sleep, and also regulates mood," explains Avena. "The mineral contains soothing properties and at the same time stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, being able to be found naturally in green leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains or in milk ".