Influenza, guide to strengthening defenses at the table: “From old remedies to ‘green’ innovations”

The immunologist, ‘cannot ignore proteins and legumes, meat broth rich in collagen, taurine and creatine’

The arrival of flu season it can be contrasted at the table. From grandmother’s old remedies (who has never tried chilled meat broth?) to more ‘green’ choices, from Belgian endive to pumpkin, but also kiwi and more. It is the guide to ‘shield’ foods against the flu developed by the immunologist Mauro Minelliresponsible for the South of the Italian Foundation for Personalized Medicine, for Adnkronos Salute.

“To stay healthy and be able to prevent and treat colds and flu typical of the autumn and winter period, rather than thinking of individual foods capable of supporting our health, we should – underlines Minelli – consider the use of a real diet, understood as a balanced lifestyle characterized by a variety of foods that constantly allow us to have at our disposal all the nutrients essential to health, such as proteins, vitamins and mineral salts”.

In fact, proteins – explains the specialist – they provide the building blocks to create antibodies and keep all the other cells of the immune system active and functioning, so as to be ready and strong to face the flu, also playing an important role in the healing and recovery phase. Therefore the diet must be characterized by the presence of foods such as meat, fish, eggs, milk and derivatives which are sources of proteins with high biological value, but also legumes which provide a certain amount of proteins, despite being plant foods and of lower biological quality. . Our wise grandmothers – Minelli recalls – when we suffered from some ailment, used to present hot chicken broth at the table, hydrating and with highly therapeutic power, as it was rich in substances extracted from meat and bones, but also from vegetables, from the aromatic herbs and spices which are the other ingredients of this dish”.

Meat broth – highlights the immunologist – it is in fact rich in collagen, taurine and creatine which, released during cooking, become highly bioavailable for intestinal absorption and are useful for inhibiting oxidative stress and improving the activity of the immune system; it also contains mineral salts such as calcium, silicon, phosphorusmagnesium and polyunsaturated fatty acids, precursors of important regulators of inflammation”.

A central topic for the health of the entire organism, also in view of the flu season, is intestinal well-being; for this reason it is important to put foods on the table that are useful for maintaining the quantity and quality of the intestinal ecosystem. It is good to include in diet plans – Minelli points out – fresh and light foods, for example vegetables such as fennel, carrots, courgettes, red radicchio, Belgian endive, pumpkin and fruit such as kiwis and citrus fruits, which are rich of vitamin C and which, together with dried nuts such as walnuts, pine nuts and almonds, provide a substantial supply of calories, vitamin E and fibre”.

“The ‘Mediterranean’ concept of the healthy and balanced diet remains at its core, good, in reality, for all seasons but which, by virtue of its heterogeneous variety, can adapt with wise benevolence to our every changing need”, concludes Minelli.