What is better to eat to improve immunity during the flu season and colds?
It’s no secret that the annual cold and flu season is coming. In addition to vaccination, to protect your body from colds and flu you can simply care for your own health. There are a lot of preventive measures how not to be sick during the winter time, among which the most effective is to eat the right foods that can strengthen immunity.
Choose a healthy diet, give up harmful habits, such as smoking and drinking. This will help strengthen the immune system, which can easily resist the pathogens of diseases. First and foremost, you must choose a healthy diet that excludes surrogate foods that weaken immunity. So the excess fat in the diet reduces the activity of the immune system. Sugar prevents the ability of leukocytes to resist viruses and bacteria. You are offered to learn more about the foods that must be in your daily diet, in order to protect the body from cold and flu.
- Product number 1: Yogurt
- Product number 2: Oats, barley and other whole grains
- Product number 3: Water with lemon
- Product number 4: Tea
- Product number 5: Chicken bouillon
- Product number 6: Garlic and onion
- Product number 7: Pumpkin and sweet potato
- Product number 8: Mushrooms
- Product number 9: Fish and seafood
- Product number 10: Meet
Live active cultures contained in yogurt (probiotics) are useful bacteria that protect the gastrointestinal tract of an organism from pathogenic bacteria.
- Studies of the University of Vienna in Austria have shown that daily consumption of about 200 grams of yogurt is much more useful for immunity than food additives containing probiotics.
- Another study in Sweden showed that patients who consumed products containing lactobacillus reuteri, specific probiotics, stimulating leukocytes, fell ill 33% less frequently than those who were given placebo. Regardless of the manufacturer, to strengthen the protective properties of the body, it is sufficient to take yogurt with live bacteria every day.
Even if you still catch the flu or cold, yogurt will help to avoid complications from the work of the gastrointestinal tract.
Advice: To accustom children to eat this product, pamper them in the morning with yoghurt parfait, for this mix the chocolate Greek yogurt with ¼ cup oat flakes that are extremely rich in fiber.
What can we attribute to the category of whole grains? First of all, these are food products in which all parts of the grain are contained in the same form in which it grew and matured.
Grain in its structure consists of several layers:
- The first such layer, the innermost layer, will be the bulk of the grain, which contains useful and nutrients such as proteins and carbohydrates. It is these elements that make the grain so valuable to the body.
- The second part of the grain is its germ, from which a new spikelet can sprout over time.
These two layers are under the protection of the grain shell – the third component of the grain. The more famous name is bran.
It’s not a secret that products made from whole grains improve the work of the intestines and stomach, help to get rid of constipation, and saturate the body with fiber. Fiber is not only useful for the heart and digestive organs, it is also effective in fighting bacteria and viruses. Beta-glucan, a component of fiber (in particular oats and barley), is able to activate white blood cells macrophages and neutrophils, which help the immune system protect the body from harmful bacteria. Nutrients can also contribute to the rapid healing of wounds and the more effective action of antibiotics.
Advice: The daily rate of fiber should be 25 grams. However, most people receive hardly 11 grams – primarily because of the use of refined flour products and a lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet.
Drink as much water as possible in winter. Our body needs water to keep moisture in the mucous membranes of the body, which prevents small cracks. These cracks are dangerous because pathogenic microorganisms can penetrate through them. Regular use of water with lemon will allow to restore or maintain the vitally important systems of our body in an excellent condition, and also will have a beneficial effect on metabolic processes.
- The use of water with lemon for immunity is known to almost everyone. Reproduction of immune cells occurs with the active participation of vitamin C, which in the lemon is huge.
- Using lemon water, you stimulate the strengthening of immunity, and protect body from viruses and bacteria.
- In addition, good immunity is simply necessary in stressful situations. So, it turns out that regularly use of lemon water also strengthens the nervous system.
Water with lemon also improves the work of the heart. Citric acid also contains potassium in large quantities. This element is necessary for the normal operation of the cardiovascular system. Using this valuable drink, you can significantly reduce the risk of certain heart diseases.
Advice: Drink pure water with lemon if you want to cleanse the body of toxins.
Some people do not like to drink plain water, in this case it is necessary to replenish the moisture reserves in the body with tea. As a result of one study, it was found that in the blood of people who drank 5 cups of black tea a day for 2 weeks, the content of antiviral interferons was 10 times higher than in the blood of those who drank hot drinks.
- The amino acid responsible for the activation of immunity (L-Tianin) is found in both black and green tea – even in their caffeine-free versions.
- Another substance that is contained in all teas, alkylamine, is able to keep the immune system T cells in a state of readiness to fight bacteria and allergens.
Advice: If you have fallen ill, drink hot drinks as they open the stuffed nasal canals.
Chicken boullion is able to prevent the movement of inflammation cells. This is important, because the symptoms of a cold are a reaction to the accumulation of cells in the bronchi.
- The amino acid cysteine, which is released from the chicken during cooking, resembles the drug acetylcysteine, which helps to withdraw phlegm from the bronchi.
- Add salt to the broth, even if you usually try to use this product less often. Salt can also be useful for colds, it reduces sputum no worse than any cough remedy.
Advice: Put vegetables and spices into bouillon and you will get an excellent immunostimulating agent.
Onions and garlic for colds and flu are the simplest but very effective remedy. It will not cure you the next day, but it will help the immune system in the fight against the disease.
- The fact is that these two relatives from the onion family contain phytoncides – biologically active substances that destroy pathogenic microbes in the body. And not only in the mouth, but also in the intestines, stopping dysbiosis.
- In addition, onions and garlic for colds help because they contain vitamin C, which works as a barrier against viruses, protecting the mucous membranes. Onion will be able to restore the weakened immunity using selenium. This microelement is a powerful antioxidant. A lack of selenium in the body can lead to catarrhal complications, such as pneumonia.
Be sure to eat garlic and onions from the cold, as they have in their composition a sufficient amount of selenium extracted from the ground. Garlic contains the active substance alicin, which fights against infections and bacteria. During the study, patients were given garlic extract for 12 weeks. As a result, only 2/3 of people fallen ill during the season of colds.
Advice: The most common way to cook garlic for colds is to rub it together with bacon. This can be done with a mincer or grater, selecting the amount of each of the two ingredients to your liking. The resulting paste can be spread on bread or added to soups.
Orange vegetables are rich in antioxidants, pumpkin and sweet potato contain beta-carotene, which helps fight harmful bacteria. Beta-carotene is the starting substance of vitamin A, which keeps the skin healthy, forming the first barrier against pathogens and viruses. Other fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene are:
- large-squash pumpkin
- and cantaloupe.
If you do not want to remove the pulp from the melon, take the usual pumpkin puree, it has the same properties.
Advice: Try adding a tablespoon of puree to Greek yogurt – you will get a double immunostimulant.
Mushrooms help to increase the number of leukocytes and their activity, making them more aggressive. Fresh mushrooms contain up to 95% water. 70% of compounds are protein, carbohydrates, except glucose contains trehalose sugar and sugar alcohol mannitol. Instead of fiber, the mushroom shells consist of fungin. Mineral substances are 1% of the weight, they are salts of potassium, phosphorus, iron, sulfur and chlorine.
The mushrooms contain 18 kinds of amino acids, a number of vitamins:
- B1, B2, B,
Beta-glucans support the immune system and have a high anti-cancer effect. This effect is also achieved thanks to melanin, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants. The consumption of mushrooms prevents anxiety and stress, favorably affects the work of the brain, significantly reduces mental exhaustion and feelings of irritation and anxiety. All vitamins and substances have a beneficial effect on the body.
Advice: It is recommended to eat only young mushrooms.
- Selenium, a mineral found in crustaceans: oysters, lobsters, crabs and bivalve molluscs, helps leukocytes produce cytokines – proteins that remove the influenza virus from the body.
- Salmon, mackerel and herring are rich in omega-3 acids, which reduce inflammation, increasing air intake and protecting the lungs from respiratory infections.
Advice: You can try the seaweed. They contain more vitamin C than in oranges. This vitamin is known for its antiviral properties and helps reduce the period of illness.
Meat: pork, beef, game, poultry – has long been of special importance in human nutrition.
It contains high-grade proteins, which promote the assimilation of plant proteins, and a lot of useful substances:
- enzymes and carbohydrates.
Beef and other products containing zinc should be included in your daily ration. Red meat contains a lot of zinc, an important nutrient necessary for the development of leukocytes, which recognize and destroy harmful bacteria and viruses. The lack of zinc increases the risk of infection.
For those who save on red meat, it will be useful to know that zinc is found in seafood such as oysters and crabs, as well as in:
- vitaminized oat flakes,
- baked beans,
- yoghurts and nuts (especially cashews).
Advice: Try to eat more foods that contain zinc, especially when there is a risk to be infected.