Food is essential to strengthen our immune system. When our body is low on defenses, colds are recurrent or last longer than desired; even the flu keeps us in bed more days than usual, and fever also makes its presence known. Tonsillitis or herpes in the mouth are also a sign that our body needs a shot of vitamin C, D, E or folic acid . There are other aspects that give us clues: hair loss, daily fatigue, bad night’s rest, or spots on the skin and nails.
But don’t worry. Because you don’t have to run to the pharmacy to buy a supplement, or go to the doctor immediately. Many of these problems can be solved in a simple and natural way from the home kitchen. It is only necessary to have certain keys of what is best for us to be strong, active, and in a good mood. I am going to recommend some foods that I use in my daily life, and that help me to be as healthy as possible.
Fruits and nuts: separately or in combination, they work
The fruit has a large amount of micronutrients that strengthen the immune system, so in addition to providing energy, they help us prevent diseases. In addition, its composition is basically water, which not only contributes to being hydrated but also has benefits for the skin. Of course, excesses are not good, and in the case of fruit, it is necessary to take into account its high presence of fructose.
The best fruits are those in season. March is the perfect month to consume those delicious strawberries that last so little on the supermarket shelf, pineapple or papaya . Also other fruits to which we are more accustomed such as apple, banana or orange (better sliced than in juice). The grapefruit or coconut live at their best during the winter months. And eating fruit is not synonymous with chopping the kiwi on the plate. You can make delicious smoothies or add it to our favorite desserts.
S If you don’t want to waste time peeling an orange, or your afternoon is too busy and you need something to fill you up and give you energy to finish the day, nuts are ideal. Natural almonds have vitamins B2 and E, and they are delicious directly from the container for a snack, in a breakfast bowl or as an accompaniment to a salmon or tuna loin. They can also be used in cream. The almond cream is perfect to make a dessert, and the cashew cream to accompany a savory dish. The pistachios , which we like so much to snack while we watch our favorite series, have vitamin E that is key to our defenses. And the nuts, so recommended for the heart, are very complete for many functions of the body .
Vegetables: know what they bring you according to their color
Vegetables and vegetables have endless possibilities in the kitchen. We can use them as a main dish, as a garnish, for a green smoothie or even raw as an aperitif. There is a wide variety, so if you feel lost, use a very easy rule: colors, since each family of vegetables has its properties.
If we take the green, we find broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts with plenty of water, fiber and vitamin B. Or lettuce, spinach and zucchini , which contain folic acid. A more reddish color such as tomato, pepper or chili provides vitamins for our defenses. The best thing to do is to choose a green vegetable on Monday, pumpkin or carrot on Tuesday, and cabbage on Wednesday. And don’t forget the ajo!
Food of animal origin: some optimal examples for your defenses
Our ancestors based their diet on meat to be strong in their hunting and gathering activities, and it was for a reason. Grass-fed meat in a healthy environment is a dose of proteins, minerals and vitamins essential for our body. If it is about strengthening the defenses, the liver is ideal. And since we are talking about products from animals, eggs are a source of vitamin D and can be cooked in a wide variety of ways.
For those who are more fishy, the sardine is one of the most popular blue fish, it is cheap and has a great Amount of vitamin B . herring or multi-purpose tuna are highly recommended. Also monkfish which, like shellfish, contains folic acid, recommended for pregnant women. Clams or mussels are a good choice, and can be added to many recipes or eaten with a good stir-fry.
With the S… mushrooms and seeds for the immune system
If you are vegan or vegetarian, mushrooms are probably part of your daily diet. They are essential so that people who do not consume derivatives of animals have the proteins they need. In addition, they contain B vitamins that help the immune system. The first thing we think of when we talk about mushrooms, myself included, is mushrooms , but there is much more. Do you know enoki mushrooms?
I saved the seeds for last just like that kid who keeps that last chocolate muffin like gold on a cloth. They have calcium, omega 3, fiber, vitamins, fatty acids … and they are the great forgotten in the daily diet. Now, the one who tries them no longer leaves them. My favorite seeds are the chía.
To make it easier for you, we give you some ideas for recipes with defense kick included:
- Endives with cream cheese
- Breakfast bowl: Nuts and seeds granola
- Chia seed and psyllum pudding
- Homemade Seed Cracker
- Scrambled eggs with free-range chicken, garlic and asparagus
- Salmon skewer with peanut butter
- Parsnip puree with sautéed mushrooms and garlic