In addition to strict compliance with the rules, what we can do to protect ourselves is try to strengthen our immune system, which is closely related to the gut microbiota, that set of microorganisms that regulate many functions and generate an anti-inflammatory response against pathogens. 70-80% of the body’s immune cells are located right in the gut and, therefore, the efficiency of this activity depends on the variety of foods and the quality of nutrients we introduce with food. Of course, everyone is different and therefore the nutritional aspect must be customized. For example: citrus fruits are an important source of vitamin C, but if I suffer from gastritis I have to avoid them and replace them with something else. So here is the good practice suggested by dietitians and immunologists.

The most important micro-nutrients for the immune system (Part 2)

Vitamin C
It is a micronutrient that we cannot synthesize and supports various cellular defense mechanisms. Good vitamin C status counters common viral infections such as respiratory diseases and avoids developing complications. The daily requirement ranges from 105 mg to 85 mg (for men and women respectively). It is important to take it with the diet, eating for example 2 kiwis per day (128 mg), an orange (75 mg), a bowl of strawberries (81 mg) or redcurrant (50mg). Eating 100g of red pepper or kale we take 128 mg to 120 mg, if we opt for broccoli 89 mg, spinach 54 mg, while a portion of lettuce or rocket or raw red cabbage brings 47, 88, 55 mg respectively. Since it is a vitamin that oxidizes easily and is lost with cooking at high temperatures, it is preferable to steam and citrus fruits should be kept in the fridge and eaten or drunk immediately, in case of juice.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
The forefather of the family is the linolenic acid (ALA). The organism is not able to synthesize it, so it is defined as a essential nutrient that must necessarily be introduced with the diet. Mainly present in some types of dried fruits and oilseeds. Three teaspoons of flaxseeds provide 5.1 mg, 7-8 2 mg. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosaesoenoic acid (DHA) are also fundamental to the body, which also belong to the omega-3 class. The daily requirement can be met by taking blue fish (which results in richer): anchovies, sardines, mackerel. Recommended 2-3 servings of fish per week and 30 grams of nuts.

 

Folic acid
Encourage white blood cell formation and the daily requirement (0.4 mg) is achieved by eating half a plate of asparagus, green beans, spinach, chard or a dish of scarola, cauliflower, cabbage, beans, chickpeas, lentils or peas. Selenium: hinders the formation of free radicals, protecting cells from the damage of oxidation. It intervenes in the functioning of the immune system and in the metabolism of thyroid hormones. The daily requirement is 0.05 mg and is taken with half a plate of octopus, 6 shrimp or a fillet of turbot. Three 3 teaspoons of chia seeds provide a third of your daily requirement.

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