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Boost your immune system through your diet

There are many measures we are advised to take, to protect ourselves from the Coronavirus, as the media are buzzing on this topic these days. At the same time, it is important to protect our immune system as best we can, to shield our body from the illness. There are important foods that have an immune-boosting effect, making it important to incorporate them into our daily diet during this time. It is also important to keep in mind that every food we eat must offer some benefit to our health. Do not consume packaged foods that are low in valuable nutrients, such as fast food, cakes, cookies and salty snacks, that are ultimately empty calories. Arm your body with foods rich in nutrients such as omega-3s, vitamins A and C and antioxidants.

One of the most important immune-boosting nutrients is omega-3 fatty acids, which should be included in our daily diet. If you do not consume fish and seafood, you can add chia seeds and flaxseed to your diet. We recommend getting whole seeds and grinding them immediately before consuming them, to make the most of their antioxidant content. During the hottest months of the year, it is advisable to keep linseed in the fridge, as it needs to be stored in a cool place away from sunlight. If you do not have time to grind a small amount daily, you can simply prepare some yogurt with 2 tablespoons of linseed on the evening before. This will make it easier for you to chew through the linseed husk, therefore enabling your body to absorb more of its precious nutrients more quickly. It can be added to your salads or cooked food, as its fiber can make any meal more nutritious and satiating.

Walnuts are also rich in omega-3s, fiber, magnesium and vitamin E. Even 4 whole walnuts a day can help you to meet your body's needs for natural anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts are also a good source of fiber and protein, so they have a low glycemic index, thus contributing to the feeling of satiety.

Vitamins A and C also enhance the immune system. Strawberries and bell peppers are good sources of both vitamins, making them great additions to your daily diet. You may not have expected that bell peppers are one of the most nutritious foods that we should eat regularly. And yet, peppers are rich in fiber, an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and antioxidants, and they help to improve satiety and boost metabolism. A red bell pepper containg about 209mg of vitamin C, while an orange contains about 60mg, and the daily needs of an adult non-smoker are 75mg. It is therefore a very nutritious vegetable. On the other hand, at this time of year strawberries are in the spotlight, and it is well worth consuming them daily, choosing organic when possible. Most fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, including broccoli, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, ginger, spinach, peppers, kiwi, mango, melon, apple, orange and grapefruit.

Finally, turmeric, a yellow spice originating in India, is known to boost immunity, and has been used for therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. There are many scientific studies that highlight the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of this spice. Regular intake can help boost the immune system, so it is advisable to add it to your daily meals in small quantities.

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