With the arrival of winter, our body has to cope with the low temperatures. It is so good that it gets to the cold season well prepared. Just as we must supply us with wool sweaters, scarves and coats to protect from wind and cold, so our diet must change to strengthen the immune system.
Children and the elderly are often the ones most affected because their body may be more sensitive to temperature changes and the attack of viruses and bacteria. In addition, the effects of colds, flu, and bronchitis, may be more powerful, last longer and much debilitate the body, risking further relapses. At all ages, but especially for children, the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases, prevention is important to better overcome the cold months.
Vitamins and minerals to protect our body
Balanced and correct diet in macro and micronutrients can help fight seasonal influences. Prevent is better than cure. This is why the diet is enriched with foods that contain high doses of antioxidants, such as certain minerals and vitamins that increase the defenses of the organism and help to maintain good bowel function.
Vitamin A, E, and C are especially excellent antioxidants; it also has anti-inflammatory action, increases the body’s defenses and protects against infections caused by viruses and bacteria. Just a small amount of vitamin C (60 milligrams per day) to strengthen the immune system. If you smoke, remember that every cigarette there takes away a lot, so the amount should increase. During pregnancy and lactation, the requirement of vitamin C increases up to 90-100 mg. This vitamin also promotes the absorption of iron especially that contained in vegetables.
Iron and zinc are two basic minerals for the body and for the proper functioning of the immune system. Zinc, for example, is an essential nutrient because it stimulates the production of antibodies, which is also linked to the assumption of Iron.
Selenium also has an important antioxidant and helps to increase the immune system by enhancing the production of antibodies. Its action is enhanced in combination with vitamin E. Another alternative is Bacopa Monnieri a nootropic which contains high doses of antioxidants and really effective for the immune system.
Prepare for winter in advance
A correct and complete diet, as such, should be followed regularly, every day. It must be established a habit. Know the foods and consume more than it can strengthen our defenses can be a good first step only if done at the right time. Attention intake of vitamins and minerals mentioned above must, therefore, be paid in advance and of course all year: prevention with food is to begin shortly before the autumn.
In fact, vitamin C, for example, may not have any effect if we have already caught the flu or bronchitis and can be invaluable if it is taken daily before the arrival of the cold. The intake of fresh foods that contain this vitamin, you can pretty much all year, as present in many fruits, such as strawberries and kiwi. You can still eat the Kiwis, but also tomatoes and citrus fruits for all the cold months. A good dose of antioxidants is recommended throughout the year, although we should not forget these friends of cells, especially in the fall. This way you can better prevent diseases typical of the cold season that could occur, and continue to take them throughout the winter.
What to eat?
What should we do to prevent the flu, combat the onset of diseases of the respiratory tract, and have all the benefits of the foods that we find in the winter?
These simple steps can give us health and wellness…
- First, we must look to diet, to ensure the right amount of vitamins and minerals. It is recommended to consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, particularly citrus fruits, kiwi, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, kale, and cabbage.
- Even the condiments and spices with which foods can reserve many benefits: garlic and onion used in the preparation of the dishes, as well as being rich in vitamins and minerals, have antiseptic properties, thinning and help to eliminate phlegm. Spices such as curry, paprika, and chili, are sources of acetylsalicylic acid, an important anti-inflammatory active ingredient. Moreover, spices have vasodilator action that promotes sweating and stabilization of the body temperature. Another good habit is to use lemon to flavor the food as it facilitates the absorption of iron in foods, which in turn strengthens the natural defenses against colds, sore throats, and coughs.
- One must not forget the importance of fluids. In addition to water, you can take hot beverages such as teas and herbal teas rich in vitamins and flavonoids. The broth or soups, if sufficiently hot, vasodilation and create benefit for upper airway irritated with fluidizing effect.
- It is also recommended the use of probiotics and prebiotics that by balancing the intestinal flora improve body functions and strengthen the immune system. They are present in yogurt and vegetable (e.g. Garlic, onion, tomato, carrots, chicory, barley, rye, oats, etc.).
- The vitamin E found mainly in olive oil and other vegetable oils (peanut, soybean, corn, sunflower, etc..), Wheat germ, nuts.
- They are rich in antioxidants also milk and dairy products in particular zinc, selenium and vitamin A. In 50g of Grana Padano There are 112 mcg of vitamin A, which represent about 18% of the daily needs of the elderly and about 28% of children from 1 to 6 years; 5.5 mg of Zinc covering the daily requirement of more than 50% of children and about 30% in the elderly.
Forget that, without regards to the above foods, a balanced and varied diet still favors the well-being, because it allows to feed all the organs of our body and promotes cell protection, thus making it more durable and less prone to major diseases such as cardiovascular that can weaken the body and make you more susceptible to winter illnesses.