What should we eat to strengthen our defenses and recover from lack of confinement?

Has our way of eating changed due to the coronavirus? What is evident is that during confinement many have sinned from excesses, others from defects, but we have all had some vitamin deficiency, such as D. Now, with de-escalation, we must manage to eat in a healthy way so that our body Recover from these 'weird' weeks when it comes to food. Vitamins, foods that strengthen our immune system, anti-inflammatory ingredients, What should we eat to strengthen our defenses and recover from lack of confinement? The answer to this and more questions related to nutrition is given by our expert, Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, professor at the University of Navarra and professor at Harvard, in the guide 'The day after'.

What should the feeding be like after finishing the confinement? Is there a diet that strengthens the defenses?

We do not have a definitive epidemiological test, but it should be deduced that diets that have a greater anti-inflammatory power may contribute to counteracting the storm of inflammatory cytokines, which is what most complicates the clinical course of Covid-19 infection. And one of the diets that has the best well-proven anti-inflammatory effects is the traditional Mediterranean diet, the one that our grandparents followed, but which is not the one followed today in Mediterranean countries.

What type of diet is the healthiest and most effective to remove the extra kilos accumulated during confinement?

In the PREDIMEDPlus study we have designed a Mediterranean diet to lose weight. It has 17 points and they are specified as follows:

1. Exclusive culinary use of virgin olive oil (exclusively of the extra virgin variety) for cooking, dressing salads and for spreading.

2. Fruit consumption: equal to or greater than three pieces per day.

3. Vegetables and vegetables: equal or more than two servings a day (at least one of them in the form of a salad).

4. White bread: equal to or less than one serving (75 g) per day.

5. Whole grain cereals and pasta: equal to or greater than five times a week.

6. Red meat, hamburgers or meat products (ham, sausages …): less than or equal to one serving per week.

7. Butter or cream: less than one serving (12 g) per week.

8. Less than one sugary drink or fruit juice with added sugar per week.

9. Pulses: consumption equal to or greater than three servings per week (1 serving = 150 g).

10. Fish or seafood: equal to or more than three servings per week (1 serving = between 100 and 150 g of fish, or 4-5 units or 200 g of seafood).

11. Sweets (cakes, cookies, biscuits, custard …): less than three units a week.

12. Nuts (including peanuts): equal to or more than three servings per week (1 serving = 30 g).

13. Consume chicken, turkey or rabbit meat, instead of beef, pork, hamburgers or sausages.

14. Sofrito (made with tomato and onion, leek or garlic, over low heat, with olive oil): equal to or more than twice a week.

15. Do not add sugar to drinks (coffee, tea) and replace it with non-caloric artificial sweeteners.

16. Reduce the consumption of pasta or rice to less than three servings per week (unless they are whole products).

17. Wine: maximum of two to three glasses (200 ml) a day for men and one to two glasses for women, but only if it is already consumed.

Is there any essential food or group of foods in the diet and whose consumption helps to strengthen the immune system?

Especially fruits and vegetables, in the amounts mentioned in the point above.

Will it be necessary to take vitamin and mineral supplements after confinement?

Perhaps you have to worry about vitamin D and supplementing with it won't hurt now. But the main thing is to have a good eating pattern, like the one mentioned above, because it is the one that ensures a good supply of all the vitamins and minerals that we need.

Is the consumption of probiotics useful to strengthen the defenses?

Possibly, following a Mediterranean diet in itself affects positively the intestinal microbiota. This is a good hypothesis, probably true, but large, long-term studies are lacking to demonstrate this convincingly. Until we know it, we can take yogurt, a probiotic food that is part of the Mediterranean diet as long as it does not contain sugar and if we do not use it as a dessert of the main meals so that it does not take away its place from fresh fruit. Yogurt should be taken at breakfast.

What is the best way to cook to strengthen health?

With extra virgin olive oil and plenty of salads. And abandon the teaspoon desserts, replacing them with fresh fruit. At the end of the meals there is a desire for sweetness and we can get that sweetness with fruit that we must consume whole to take advantage of the fiber. And snack between meals, nuts.

Is it necessary to continue to maintain special care with food or food due to the coronavirus when the alertness is over (disinfection, caution when buying …)?

Coronavirus is not transmitted through food, but it is transmitted through contact with infected surfaces or containers. For this reason, the use of gloves to pick up fresh produce from the supermarket and to handle the containers is still highly recommended.

Little by little, our body will adapt to this 'new normal' and thanks to the expert's advice we will have a balanced diet not only for de-escalation, but for life. If you want to know the opinion of other experts in different subjects on how to face this postcoronavirus era, download the free guide 'The day after' with all the answers to your questions.