By including certain vegetables, shellfish, plants and drinks in your diet, you increase your chances of staying healthy. Follow the guide !
Fruits and vegetables to boost your immunity
Their strengths? They contain a battery of antioxidants specific to their color, flavor and astringency, hence the importance of eating varied, colorful and seasonal foods to have a top immune system!
Which fruits and vegetables to strengthen your immune system?
- The green leafy vegetables and in particular spinach (rich in vitamin A which stimulates the proliferation of white blood cells and the production of antibodies by lymphocytes), as well as all varieties of cabbage, rich in vitamins B9 and C, which participate respectively in the proper functioning of our natural defenses as well as in the maintenance of an effective immune system.
- The red fruits and vegetables (tomato, watermelon, papaya, pink grapefruit) rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that helps protect white blood cells.
- The blue purple fruits and vegetables (beetroot, red onion, and especially red and black berries, and pomegranate) for their reservoir of vitamins A, B and C, essential to support the immune system, and antioxidants. Beetroot increases the level of antioxidant enzymes as well as the number of white blood cells. The antioxidant potential of berries is increased by their pigments, the anthocyanins. Pomegranate is very rich in vitamin C (245 mg per 100 g), essential for solid immunity, and in copper, a trace element that helps fight colds and flu.
- The citrus (lemon, orange, grapefruit) for vitamin C, which helps improve the microbial killing power of white blood cells. It also participates in cell destruction and the elimination of depleted white blood cells.
How often ? The National Health Nutrition Program (PNNS) recommends 5 servings (80 to 100 g per serving, ie 1 medium-sized tomato, 1 handful of green beans, 1 bowl of soup, 1 apple, 1 banana…) of fruits and vegetables per day. To be eaten raw or cooked.
Green tea to strengthen your immune system
Its advantages ? Green tea contains high doses of EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), a polyphenol that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Tea is an ideal drink to better resist viruses while strengthening the cells of immunity.
What teas to strengthen your immune system?
- sencha tea,
How often ? 2 cups a day, well infused, hot or cold, without food.
Cocoa to strengthen your immune system
Its advantages ? Cocoa is very rich in polyphenols, a family of powerful antioxidants which help the immune system fight against microbial attacks by stimulating white and red blood cells.
We put on dark chocolate with at least 74% cocoa.
How often ? 2 squares per day for afternoon tea, accompanied by a handful of almonds or walnuts.
Spices to boost your immune system
Their strengths?Their bright colors testify to their concentration of antioxidants. Most of them have a anti-inflammatory and anti-infectious action which protects and stimulates the immune system.
What spices to strengthen your immune system?
How often ? As often as possible, as a seasoning or an infusion.
Herbs to increase immunity
Their strengths? They are excellent antiseptics and antivirals that support immunity and help recovery better.
Which aromatics to strengthen your immune system?
How often ? As often as possible, in cooking or in infusion.
Seafood to strengthen your immune system
Their strengths? They contain iodine, omega 3 and zinc which help the body fight infections by producing antimicrobial molecules.
Which seafood to strengthen your immune system?
- Oysters (we eat them raw with the water they contain),
How often ? as much as possible.
Oils and oilseeds to boost your immune system
Their strengths?Because they contain of Omega 3, minerals (magnesium, phosphorus, potassium) and vitamins E and B9, oilseeds are necessary for the production of antibodies.
Which oils and which oilseeds to strengthen your immune system?
• Nuts: from Brazil, almonds, hazelnuts.
• Walnut, sesame, rapeseed and linseed oils.
How often ? 2 tbsp. soup a day organic oil first cold pressed on food. 5 to 6 nuts per day for breakfast or afternoon tea.
Bee products to strengthen immunity
Their strengths?Disinfectants, antiseptics, fortifiers, anti-fatigue … bee products combine properties that help boost the immune system.
What products from the hive to strengthen its immune defenses?
- propolis (this resin is an effective disinfectant against bacteria, viruses and fungi),
- honey (rich in inhibins that prevent the multiplication of microbes, immunostimulating peptides, flavonoids and carotenoids with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties).
How often ? Instead of or alternately with another sweetener for honey. As a preventive cure, at the start of winter, or all year round, for propolis.
Fermented foods to strengthen your immune system
Their strengths?Fermentation consists of allowing a small cut food to marinate in an airtight jar, with water and salt (more rarely sugar for certain fruit-based drinks such as kefir). The interest? “Foods become acidic, ‘good’ bacteria and vitamins grow, and the protective potential of the product is increased “, explains dietitian Valérie Jacquier. Fermented milk is enriched with ferments, bacteria which cause it to curdle and transform it into a product. very rich in probiotics, essential for the intestinal flora, where more than 70% of our immune system sits.
What foods to strengthen your immune system?
- sourdough bread,
- raw milk yogurt,
- fermented milks (kefir, Ribot),
- fish sauces (nuoc-mâm).
How often ? as regularly as possible!
Avoid processed products to preserve your immunity!
They contain a lot of sugars and various additives intended to enhance their taste poverty. These additives alter the intestinal flora and lead to inflammation in the body that can weaken our immune defenses and increase the risk of age-related diseases.
Favor organic, which limits the risk of exposure to plant protection products. According to a study by the NGO Générations Futures, more than 70% of fruits contain pesticide residues, with nearly 3% exceeding the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL). On the vegetable side, 40% contain pesticide residues (with more than 3% exceeding the MRL).
“Among these residues are endocrine disruptors (PE) likely to interfere with hormonal communication and lead to a drop in the immune response,” warns researcher Jean-Baptiste Fini, biologist in charge of research at CNRS.
While not all pesticides contain PE, some are nonetheless particularly toxic.
Food supplements: when are they really needed?
Sold without a prescription, they promise to overcome our deficiencies in certain nutrients. They are intended to supplementing a supposedly insufficient diet, “even if the best way is still to rebalance your plate”, insists Dr. Jérémie Talvas, doctor of nutrition. However, some dietary supplements can be useful in boosting weakened immunity. “This is the case with those which contain vitamins C and vitamin D and probiotics, nutrients known for their proven effect on immunity”, confirms the specialist. If vitamin C is sold without a prescription, vitamin D can be prescribed : “80% of the population has a deficit. A dosage once a year is recommended, especially for those over 65, who are often deficient”, notes Jérémie Talvas.
Probiotics are precious “when we take antibiotics, because they kill bacteria – that’s their goal – but without distinguishing between those useful to our health and pathogens. However, the bacterial flora is essential immunity: it stimulates our defenses located along the intestine. The probiotics are there to repopulate it “, explains our expert.