Hamburg. There is great hope that the pandemic wave will flatten out, but Corona is far from over. But can we protect ourselves outside the well-known rules of hygiene? “You cannot prevent the risk of Corona infection with a special diet, but you can be immune system with a certain races strengthen,” says Nutrition handout Dr Matthew Riedl. “An infection is essentially a state of emergency in which the body is put to maximum demands. It is also easier to survive a corona or flu infection if you eat healthily over the long term. »
Nutrition Doc: How to Boost the Immune System
Lots of people then focused on vitamin C. That’s also important, says the internist, diabetologist and nutritionist, but antibodies are made from protein, and you shouldn’t miss it. So you can also have muscle deficiency due to a lack of protein. “Muscles produce anti-inflammatory messenger substances that also help curb excessive inflammatory reactions. It’s a side effect.
Even with a lack of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for cell walls, the risk of death is greatly increased. “According to a pilot study in the United States, a high omega-3 index can prevent a fatal course of corona,” says the head of Medicum Hamburg. However, modern man is ten times worse off than people of the past, who lived on natural plants, game, and more fish.
“We also know that iron deficiency makes vaccinations much less effective. Iron is important for defense,” explains the expert. The same goes for zinc. Both strengthened the immune system and promoted blood formation.
Nutrition Doc: This food is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial
According to Riedl, recommended foods include ginger and turmeric, as they have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. Horseradish also facilitates expectoration, relieves sore throats and frees the bronchial tubes.
The isolated thought that you can also take these substances is not correct, because it is important that you make everything available to the body and that it regulates the supply itself, explains the doctor. It is therefore strongly recommended to eat 25 different vegetable products per week, including cereals, nuts, seeds and mushrooms. “If you always eat the same thing, you don’t have the variety you need.” According to Riedl, good sources of zinc and iron are pumpkin, sunflower and pine nuts, flax seeds, oatmeal, wheat bran, whole grains, walnuts, cheese and lentils, which are one of the main suppliers of proteins.
According to Riedl, the intestine plays a decisive role in the immune system. “Gut health strengthens the immune system. We now know that we have a very high concentration of immune cells in the gut, because the gut is a gateway. We are not as vulnerable anywhere except in the skin and respiratory tract, which is why the body has placed a large part of its immune system there, and it interacts with the intestinal flora, which could ruin.
The intestine plays a crucial role in the immune system
A gut-healthy meal is also an immune-boosting meal. The most important point is to consume enough dietary fiber, “30 to 40 grams is ideal, but 80% of the population cannot do that”.
Vegetables contain one to three percent fiber, so you can’t avoid nuts and whole grains, which Riedl says provide a significant portion of the fiber. This is why he also advises against gluten-free foods if they are not necessary, because only one percent of the population suffers from celiac disease. “People on a gluten-free diet are often lacking in fibre!”
The whole range of anti-inflammatory foods is important, including onions, ginger, berries, cabbage, mustard oils, such as watercress or radishes (“have an antibiotic effect”) or fresh horseradish. Riedl’s anti-inflammatory fillers include nuts, paprika (“also improves lung function”), and legumes. “You can get enough of it, but people often lack the imagination to implement it,” explains the nutritionist. The advice to always drink enough is easy to follow. “The mucous membranes want to be kept moist, so it’s harder for pathogens to penetrate.”
Bacterial infections: what you should eat
Riedl recommends carrot soup for bacterial infections of the intestines, cranberries for bladder infections, and chicken soup for colds. “It’s not clear exactly why it works, but it seems to be the mix of minerals and proteins that plays a role. And the amino acid cysteine, which is produced when cooking chicken soup, seems to play a role. a role in this and has antiviral and expectorant effects. You also absorb a lot of fluids.” Simply using a bouillon cube doesn’t work, says Matthias Riedl, “chicken soup has to be cooked by yourself.”
And if you have a cough, you should use chilli, “because it’s supposed to have an antitussive effect and also lift your spirits, and you can use it when you have an infection.”
Riedl’s 3 best foods in case of infection:
1. Red onion – It has an antibacterial and antiseptic effect.
2. Ginger – it has an expectorant and anti-inflammatory effect, reduces coughs and helps against colds, is antibacterial and strengthens the immune system.
3. fermented foods like yogurt – because they promote the intestinal flora.
“Lactic acid bacteria promote regeneration, which is good for infections.” These are all healthy foods that you can still eat, but have additional side effects, says the nutrition doc: “They help the body defend itself.”
You must also do something for your psyche
And you also have to do something for the psyche, says Moritz Schäfer, psychological psychotherapist at Medicum. Corona has caused a lot of chronic mental stress and tension in people, for example due to worries about loved ones or the professional future. “This alone can promote the onset of psychological symptoms that require treatment. “If you feel that you can no longer positively influence your own destiny and are at the mercy of negative influences, this can lead to a massive feeling of helplessness and therefore also to depression.”
It is therefore important that people have stimulating experiences through regular positive activities, explains Schäfer. And this can be done within reason and in compliance with hygiene concepts, even during the pandemic.
Updated: Tue 05/04/2022 06:02
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