translated from Spanish: In times of coronavirus, five tips to strengthen the immune system

Staying in homes and extreme hygiene measures are some of the measures recommended by all health agencies to prevent the contagion and spread of COVID-19; but there is one more thing we can do: strengthen the body’s own defenses through adequate and healthy nutrition and nutrition. This is important as the immune system helps protect our body by producing cells and antibodies that destroy foreign substances such as viruses and bacteria. Also, as we age, the immune system no longer works as well.

Here are five tips by nutrition experts: Consume foods rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, C, E, selenium and zinc. 
Vitamin A deficiency involves an alteration of innate immunity and the secretion of antibodies; To avoid this, we can consume dairy fats, egg yolk, carrot, pumpkin, apricot, liver and animal meat. Meanwhile, consumption of vitamin C-rich foods — such as citrus fruits, blackberries and tomato — is considered a means of preventing colds, especially in athletes, children and the elderly. Apparently, vitamin C is able to fight pathogens even at a very early stage of invasion in the body. On the other hand, several studies showed that vitamin E, found in green leafy vegetables, nuts and avocado, could improve the function of T cells — important for defense function — in the elderly. In addition, some studies suggest that sufficient administration of vitamin E may reduce upper respiratory infections and colds. Finally, selenium — available in meat, fish, egg, seeds and cereals — and zinc — meats, eggs and seeds — protect cells from oxidative damage and help decrease disease symptomatology, respectively.

Avoiding products that encourage inflammation
Coronavirus most severely attacks those who have an inflammatory picture in their body. This is why products that promote inflammation of organs and cells, such as sugar, refined flours, gluten and poor quality fats, should be avoided; such as palm oil, canola oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil. Eliminate consumption of ultra-processed foods
This type of food causes more free radicals or unstable molecules to be produced that unbalance the immune system. The human body is approximately 60% water, so a hydrated organism works best. Drinking enough water eliminates toxins and helps to transport nutrients easier, and which can be used correctly.

Avoid extremely restrictive diets
Very restrictive diets, especially if you’re not advised by a nutritionist, often lead to nutrient deficits and weaken the immune system. Prioritizing certain foods above the recommended amounts and limiting the supply of certain nutrients could be counterproductive to health and well-being. Finally, physical exercise can also contribute to physical and emotional health. It is important to keep the body active and moving to face sedentary lifestyles.

Original source in Spanish

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