What to eat to increase defenses

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Frequent hand washing and physical distance are the main measures to avoid coronavirus. But, in addition, we should take care that our immune system, the complex network of cells, tissues and organs that work as a team to defend ourselves from the “invaders”, is found as strong as possible.

Although there are factors that influence our defenses and that we cannot control such as genetics, age, sex, chronic diseases, etc., there are others, related to lifestyle, that we can modulate. So it is important that during confinement we do not fall into unhealthy habits.

“Nutrition is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system. This is made up of many cells that are being generated almost continuously, and which, therefore, is very demanding of nutrients (minerals, amino acids from proteins …), “doctors Africa González and Alfredo Corell, president, explain to ABC. and vowel, respectively, of the Spanish Society of Immunology (SEI). It has been shown that malnutrition (lack of protein and calorie intake) causes a secondary immunodeficiency situation, and that inadequate diets, in which specific nutrients are suppressed, could also cause problems in our immune system, experts say.

A poor diet translates into an increase in infections and this has been verified, González and Corell point out, in the case of «deficiencies of zinc, selenium, iron, vitamins A, C, D or E, among some others ». The recommended way to avoid deficiencies is a varied diet that includes vegetables, legumes, fresh fruits, eggs, meat, fish, dairy and cereals.

No alcohol and tobacco

Confinement can be a good time to get away from your routine. two habits that harm the immune system: alcohol and tobacco. The experts consulted recommend not drinking, even in moderate amounts. They warn that the consumption of distilled alcohol has an immunosuppressive effect, “with mechanisms very similar to those that occur in situations of depression or stress.”

With respect to tobacco, it is very harmful because “it alters the entire line of defenses in our respiratory mucosa and is at the origin of the development of various types of cancers,” they point out.

Yes it is recommended to do moderate exercise on regular basis. Both sedentary lifestyle and strenuous physical activity negatively affect the immune system. And other factors that are in your hand for optimal defenses: having the vaccines recommended posts, sleep 7/8 hours and avoid prolonged stressful situations.

Where do we find …

Zinc and selenium: meats, cereals, fish, dairy and eggs.

Vitamin A: Red, orange and dark green vegetables, dairy and eggs.

Vitamin C: Fruits and vegetables (citrus, strawberries, kiwi and broccoli).

Vitamin E: olive oil.

Vitamin D: blue fish, eggs, dairy and avocado.

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