Although following a healthy diet will not prevent us from being infected by a virus such as Covid-19. It will help us maintain good health.
Besides the immune system, our defenses will be stronger and will be able to respond in the most effective way possible. Therefore, here we present 8 tips to have a balanced diet in this time of the pandemic.
How should the diet be to achieve a healthy diet?
The diet must ensure the contribution of appropriate amounts of the different nutritional elements. As well as antioxidants, substances that constitute a cellular defense system. In fact, the European Food Safety Authority(EFSA) recognizes some vitamins. And minerals favor the immune system, such as folate, copper, iron, selenium, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, and D, among others.
In addition to a balanced diet, the regular practice of moderate exercise has a positive effect on immunity.
However, before reaching the conclusion that taking more is going to be of greater benefit. It must be considered that an extra contribution in the form of a supplement is not going to have an effect if there is no deficiency. You don’t have to focus on one concrete nutrient but are betting on a well-planned healthy diet that combines the different food groups with a correct frequency of consumption to cover the needs, in order to promote comprehensive health.
8 tips for a balanced and healthy diet
Adjust Your Caloric Intake
It must be adjusted to the needs of each person taking into account their daily physical activity. A caloric excess favors weight gain and increases the risk of obesity. In this regard, the relationship between obesity and the immune system has been studied, proving that it negatively affects their ability to fight infections. On the other hand, some hypocaloric diets can be accompanied by deficiencies of some nutrients, and cause deficiency states that also lead to lower immune response.
Eat Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are two large groups of essential foods in the daily diet. Not only because they are the main source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but also because they contain antioxidant substances, which constitute a true defense for the body. It is recommended to take five servings a day, three of fruit and two of vegetables (at lunch and dinner). And of the fruits, at least one is citrus because they are rich in vitamin C, which is important for its multiple functions, and for promoting resistance to infections. They also contain folates, flavonoids, B complex vitamins, and selenium, also linked to the immune system.
Don’t Forget Legumes
Although it is recommended to consume them at least twice a week. Few families comply with this recommendation. We must make room for them in our usual healthy diet. As they are of great nutritional interest. Not only because they provide protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. But also because of their mineral and vitamin content. And although it can vary depending on the type of legume, in general, they are rich in folic acid, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and iron. There is no doubt that they play an important role in a healthy diet.
Includes Olive Oil, Nuts, Seeds
Olive oil, almonds, hazelnuts, wheat germ, sunflower, or pumpkin seeds are some of the foods. In addition to heart-healthy fats, contain vitamin E. This vitamin is in addition to is an antioxidant. Having a preventive effect against the development of degenerative diseases favors defenses. Because it improves the function of T cells, essential mediators in the immune response. Also, nuts and seeds are a source of folate and zinc, nutrients related to the immune system.
Moderate Meat Consumption
Currently, within the framework of a healthy diet, meat can be eaten three or four times a week, one being red meat, and leaving processed meats for occasional consumption. The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends reducing red meat and, especially, processed meat, because it has been observed that excessive intake increases the risk of certain types of cancer. Therefore, within the follow-up of a healthy diet, it is worth taking this recommendation into account.
Control The Quantity And Quality Of Fat In The Diet
It is recommended not to abuse fats in general, and prioritize those considered healthier. Such as monounsaturated fats from olive oil or avocado. And polyunsaturated fats from fish, especially blue and nuts. Limit the intake of saturated fats present in fatty meat, sausages, and dairy products with a high-fat content (butter, cream,…), and avoid those foods that contain trans fats that can be identified under the name of hydrogenated fat on food labels. many products and precooked food, such as industrial pastries, cookies, microwave popcorn, salty snacks, ice cream, sauces, etc.
Limit Sugar Intake
According to the WHO, to obtain additional health benefits, the ideal would be to consume less than 5% of the total daily caloric intake. And the truth is that the consumption of sugar in many households is well above the desired level, not only in the form of table sugar but through sugary foods and drinks such as pastries, dairy desserts, sugary soft drinks, juices, snacks, and the long etcetera of products that we can find in the supermarket. What is clear is that excessive consumption of sugar is associated with an increased risk of developing obesity and vascular and metabolic diseases.
Opt For Fresh Foods, And Limit Processed Ones
To follow a healthy diet, you have to prioritize fresh seasonal foods. And reduce processed foods and, above all. Ultra-processed foods to sporadic consumption, and the less the better. The latter involves a higher consumption of salt, sugar, and normally unhealthy fats. As well as a wide variety of additives that are added to preserve them. Enhance their flavor, or modify the appearance or texture of the product. But which, in general, are not recommended.
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