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This is the time of the year when you get sick more easily: the fault of the first cold and the annoying seasonal influence. With immunonutrition, you can also fight it at the table and avoid colds, coughs, headaches, joint pains, exhaustion and fever.

Immunonutrition: What it is?

It is a branch of medicine, which studies the direct relationship between food and modulation of the immune response. In fact, some nutrients contained in the food you bring to the table perform a stimulating and protective action of the immune system, allowing you to raise your defenses against external attacks.

How to protect yourself from the flu

Completely avoiding the flu is impossible, but you can limit the risks of infection. First of all, you have to respect the basic rules of hygiene, how to wash your hands with a certain frequency, especially if you go to very crowded places. You prefer soap to soap, which has a fair chance of being a receptacle of bacteria.

Then, you should try to find some time to take care of yourself, practice sports, cultivate a hobby or just relax. It is well known that psychophysical stress inhibits your body’s ability to respond appropriately to a sore throat or a cold, thus making you immune-depressed.

Immunonutrition food and system

The important thing that you must remember is to fight the flu especially at the table: what you eat, in fact, can nourish and strengthen your immune system, making you less vulnerable to influenza viruses. There are a number of foods that have an immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory action, which is able to guarantee an adequate functioning of the defense and protection systems of your body.

We asked Dr. Stefania Giambartolomei, gastroenterologist and nutritionist, to show us what immunonutrition is and in which foods you can find the active ingredients that can strengthen your immune system.

Immunonutrition

The origins of immunonutrition

Initially we looked for foods and nutrients that stimulate the immune defenses in patients during the postoperative course, then, given the validity of a nutritional support suitable to stimulate the immune system, diets have been formulated enriched with nutrients with immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory action.

Foods that have healing properties

They are foods rich in arginine, omega-3 fatty acids.  Among the foods particularly rich in omega-3 we find blue fish, then herring, mackerel, sardines, tuna and salmon.

Also zinc, being an essential component of many enzymes, is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system and is found above all in meat. Particularly in the fillet, rib and giraffe. It is also found in fish – especially octopus – and in milk and its derivatives.

The amino acids evaluated in the immunonutrition are glutamine and arginine. These two substances represent an energetic substrate essential for enterocytes and stimulate the activity of the intestinal lymphoid apparatus. Arginine is found mainly in meat, while glutamine is mainly found in milk and cheese.

Resveratol and vitamin C to fight the flu

The resveratrol   is a molecule of plant origin present in grape skins, in pine nuts, berries and the cashews. It has valuable anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor properties and protects the body from cardiovascular diseases.

As vitamin C has antiviral properties, as an antioxidant. Speaking of foods rich in vitamin C, we recall kiwis, citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables.

Immunogutition can be considered a valid support to drug therapy and it would be advisable to eat foods rich in active ingredients that are beneficial for our immune system throughout the year, so as to always maintain valid defenses.

Immunonutrition: foods to be integrated into the diet

1 – Herrings

Immunonutrition

An economic blue fish rich in nutritive principles. It has an excellent supply of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (Omega 3) and in particular the alpha-linoleic acid. The fresh herring contains about 216 kcal per 100 grams.

2 – Entrecôte

Immunonutrition

Meat is an important food because it contains many nutrients that are very useful for health (bioavailable iron, noble proteins, zinc, selenium, vitamin B12, and folate). It is important to include it in your diet, but without exaggerating not to take too many animal fats, which could be harmful.

3 – Kiwi

Immunonutrition

The kiwi is among the richest fruits of vitamin C:  85 mg every 100 g against the 50 mg of the orange. It would be enough to eat one a day to almost completely satisfy the daily need for vitamin C: the recommended dose is in fact 60 mg / day.

4 – Milk and derivatives

Immunonutrition

The milk is an important food as the rest of the milk, because it provides you with essential minerals such as calcium and zinc:  in 100g of milk are calcium and 120mg of zinc 0.37mg.

In addition, by choosing skimmed products, you ensure a not excessively high caloric intake.

5 – Octopus

Immunonutrition

Octopus is a low-calorie food with only 70 kcal / 100 grams and is therefore perfectly suited to your diet. It is also rich in minerals, especially potassium, calcium, phosphorus and zinc (5.1mg per 100g of edible product), but also vitamin A, B1 and omega 3.

6 – Sardines

Immunonutrition

The sardines are part of the big family of “blue fish”, which contain vegetable-like fats, characterized mainly by “unsaturated” compounds and are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

It is distinguished from the anchovy because it has the mouth in a medial position, while that of the anchovy, when it is closed, is facing downwards.

7 – Tuna

Immunonutrition

Tuna is a fish with excellent nutritional values, because it is rich in noble proteins, phosphorus and B vitamins. It is also an excellent source of Omega 3. Being also low-calorie, it is the perfect food for those who want to follow a weight loss diet.


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