The October diet. Increase your immune defenses and lose weight in the right places

The October diet. Increase your immune defenses and lose weight in the right places

We fill up on vitamins C and D, help the intestinal microbiota and rediscover the old grandmother's remedies to fight viruses and bacteria

Never before has there been talk of the importance of immune defenses as in this period: the health emergency of 2020 has in fact also turned the spotlight on the role of nutrition in the fight against viruses and bacteria. A struggle this year felt more than ever. "But a healthy and varied diet, rich in antioxidants that are also effective in preventing common cold season ailments, should be adopted regardless", explains Dr. Corrado Pierantoni, specialist in endocrinology and metabolic diseases and clinical nutritionist in Lanciano (Ch). "Prevention should start from birth through breastfeeding first and a balanced diet already in the first 1000 days of the baby's life and then continue throughout life".

What to bring to the table?

“The fruit and vegetables that we find in this period in the markets contain numerous antioxidants useful in the prevention of seasonal ailments”, says the nutritionist. "Oranges, beets, beets, broccoli, persimmons, cauliflowers, Brussels sprouts, head cabbage, savoy cabbage, cedar, turnip greens, spring onions, clementines, mandarins, pomegranates, quinces, radicchio, celeriac, spinach, grapes, pumpkin and many others are in fact rich in vitamin C, the vitamin allied to the immune system, and it is no coincidence that they have been abundant since October for the prevention of flu syndromes in the winter ”.

Yes, for the same reason, also to the use of chilli, very rich in vitamin C and with a strong anti-bacterial action. Even better if associated with foods such as garlic and onion, the latter very rich in quercetin, a substance that has recently been put under the scrutiny of scientists for its original and interesting properties from a pharmacological point of view. It is known, in fact, for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and antiproliferative actions. In addition to red onion, it is present in common vegetables such as capers and radicchio.

Special attention to our intestines

60-70% of our immune system is located in the intestine and in recent years scientific research has shown that some foods are more effective than others for having a healthy microbiota. Among these are lactofermented vegetables and kefir, a drink obtained from the fermentation of sheep, cow or goat milk, very similar to yogurt and with a liquid consistency. Thanks to the presence of strains of "good" bacteria and yeasts, it possesses valuable antibiotic properties. Not only that: kefir is rich in vitamins, amino acids and minerals. All these properties make it an ideal food with an effective positive action on our immune system.

The importance of vitamin D

Not only useful for bone health. Vitamin D is considered the queen of the immune system, ensuring the health of T cells and macrophages, which fight infections. Now, a study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open and conducted by experts from the University of Chicago, has examined the relationship between vitamin D levels and the possibility of contracting COVID-19. The results found that people with low vitamin D levels could be up to 60 percent more likely to test positive for the coronavirus. Scientists point out that this doesn't imply that vitamin D may represent effective protection against COVID-19, but the 60 percent difference in positive test rates suggests it may have some effect. We remind you that 90% of this prohormone is synthesized following exposure of the skin to sunlight, but with nutrition we can increase its levels. Fish, eggs, butter, cheeses, mushrooms and avocados are rich in this substance.

Let's rediscover grandma's remedies

Numerous foods, herbs, and spices can also help ease cold and flu symptoms. Perfect are cinnamon, cloves, turmeric and chilli. A hot drink based on lemon and garlic, a mulled wine or an herbal tea of ​​cloves and cinnamon are valid allies against bacterial and viral infections.

The menus of the week

MONDAY

BREAKFAST: 1 kefir; 2 rice cakes with a thin layer of jam; 1 cup of green tea

MORNING SNACK: 1 pomegranate juice

LUNCH: Mixed salad of cherry tomatoes, avocado and sweet and sour onions; cream of chickpeas with pumpkin cubes

AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 cup of blueberries; 1 clove and cinnamon tea

DINNER: Toasted wholemeal bread croutons with garlic sauce and anchovies; sauteed broccoli

TUESDAY

BREAKFAST: 1 glass of vegetable milk; 1 slice of toasted wholemeal bread with butter and orange marmalade; 1 cup of green tea

MORNING SNACK: 1 kiwi

LUNCH: Tomato, avocado and sweet and sour onion salad; spinach in garlic, oil and chilli

AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 small bunch of grapes; 1 clove and cinnamon tea

DINNER: Gratinated cod fillets; sautéed Belgian endive; 1 slice of toasted wholemeal bread

WEDNESDAY

BREAKFAST: 1 vegetable yogurt; 1 tablespoon of whole oat bran; 1 kiwi; 1 cup of green tea

MORNING SNACK: 1 persimmon

LUNCH: Scrambled eggs; peas cooked in a pan with onion and butter

AFTERNOON SNACK: 20 g of dark chocolate; 1 clove and cinnamon tea

DINNER: Mixed salad; spaghetti with garlic, oil and hot peppers

THURSDAY

BREAKFAST: 1 juice of grapefruit, carrots and pineapple; 1 slice of toasted bread with extra virgin olive oil

MORNING SNACK: 1 slice of toast with smoked salmon; 1 cup of green tea

LUNCH: Radicchio and tomato salad; 1 plate of bresaola with lemon; 1 slice of toast

AFTERNOON SNACK: 8 hazelnuts; 1 clove and cinnamon tea

DINNER: Sliced ​​Jerusalem artichoke salad with black pepper and lemon; pumpkin risotto

FRIDAY

BREAKFAST: 1 kefir; 2 wholemeal biscuits; 1 kiwi; 1 cup of green tea

MORNING SNACK: 1 orange juice

LUNCH: Mediterranean swordfish steak; broccoli sautéed with garlic and chilli; 1 slice of toast

AFTERNOON SNACK: 5 almonds; 1 clove and cinnamon tea

DINNER: Pasta with mushrooms, walnuts and parmesan; turnip greens, garlic and chilli

SATURDAY

BREAKFAST: 1 HD yogurt; 2 wholemeal dry biscuits; sliced ​​fruit; 1 cup of green tea

MORNING SNACK: 2 slices of white melon

LUNCH: Chicken stew with garlic, chilli, parsley and diced potatoes; sautéed carrots

AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 juice of pineapple, apple and carrot

DINNER: Mixed salad; 1 vegetarian pizza with vegetables

SUNDAY

BREAKFAST: 1 kefir; 1 slice of homemade cake

MORNING SNACK: 1 small bunch of grapes

LUNCH: Mixed salad; pasta with sardines and pine nuts

AFTERNOON SNACK: 20 g of dark chocolate; 1 clove and cinnamon tea

DINNER: Radicchio and walnut salad; omelette with spinach; 1 slice of toasted wholemeal bread

Category: Welfare
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