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Healthy eating key to boosting defenses
To strengthen the immune system and raise the body’s defenses to prevent the development of some diseases and help the body react to those that have already manifested, it is important to increase the consumption of foods rich in vitamins and minerals, decrease the consumption of sugars and industrialized foods that have dyes and preservatives, and may be indicated the intake of drugs or supplements that help increase immunity.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also one of the best strategies to keep the body’s natural defense system strong and efficient, so it is recommended:
Do not smoke
Eating healthy food
Practicing regular mild to moderate intensity physical activity
Maintain proper weight
Sleep 7 to 8 hours per night
Avoiding stress and excessive alcohol consumption
Exposure to the sun daily, preferably until 10 am and after 4 pm, without sunscreen, to increase the body’s production of vitamin D
These habits must be maintained for life, not only in the moments when the person is sick or is weaker because otherwise they will have no effect.
- Foods to boost defences Nutrition plays an important role in the functioning of the immune system. Foods rich in omega-3, selenium, zinc, probiotics, vitamins A, C and E are the most suitable for boosting the immune system, because they encourage the production of the body’s defence cells more efficiently. Some examples are:
- Omega-3: Chia seeds, nuts and flaxseed;
- Selenium: Brazil nut, wheat, rice, sunflower seeds, shaping bread, cheese, cabbage, wheat flour.
- Zinc: Wheat germ, whole grains, pumpkin seeds, nuts (peanuts, almonds, brazil nuts).
- Vitamin C: Orange, tangerine, pineapple, lemon, strawberries, papaya, melon, mango, kiwi, broccoli, tomato, watermelon, cabbage, potato with skin.
- Vitamin E: Sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, pistachios, mango, olive oil, tomato paste, sunflower oil, nuts, papaya.
- Vitamin A: Carrot, sweet potato, mango, spinach, melon, beet, chard, red pepper, broccoli, lettuce, egg.
- Probiotics: Natural yoghurt, fermented milk such as kefir or yakult, to maintain intestinal health. See all the benefits of taking probiotics.
- Water: The body needs to be hydrated during the day to function properly, minimum 2 liters of water per day.
- Vitamin E: Dried fruits, sunflower seeds, almonds, chard, spinach, broccoli, papaya, avocado, olives, wheat germ, soy.Source: https://mejorconsalud.com/9-alimentos-elevar-las-defensas/
Natural Juices an alternative to maintain your immune system
To increase defenses and strengthen the immune system, foods rich in vitamins and minerals should be included in the daily diet, and one of the best ways to do this is through the preparation of juices or smoothies that include fruits, vegetables, seeds and/or nuts, which provide all these nutrients to the body. In addition to being eye-catching because of their bright colors, fruit and vegetable juices are an important part of breakfast to strengthen the immune system, as they provide vitamin A, C and B6, Iron.
When the immune system is weakened, the person is more susceptible to disease, so the ideal is to consume these shakes regularly, as this offers the body a constant supply of vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, among other nutrients, which are essential to stimulate, regulate and increase the body’s defense cells. Juices are a good way to consume nutrients needed to strengthen the immune system and fight off disease. To avoid unwanted colds, a morning glass of these natural preparations is the key.
- Some recipes of Simple, delicious, vitamin-laden juices
Beet juice with carrotsThis carrot and beet juice is an excellent home remedy to strengthen the immune system, as it is rich in beta-carotene and iron. Besides this, ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action, so it could help prevent and improve respiratory diseases such as flu, cough, asthma and bronchitis.Ingredients
1 raw carrot;
1/2 raw beet;
1 tablespoon of oats;
1 cm fresh ginger root;
1 glass of water.Method of preparationWash, peel and chop the ingredients. Blend them until the juice is smooth and drink 1 glass a day.
Strawberry and mint shakeStrawberries are rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps fight the free radicals that promote the emergence of certain diseases. In addition, it has natural yogurt, which is rich in probiotics that help maintain healthy intestinal flora, and mint that acts as an antiseptic, reducing the growth capacity of microorganisms in the digestive tract.Ingredients1 cup of strawberries;
10 mint leaves;
1 teaspoon chia seeds;
120 mL of plain yogurt;
1 tablespoon of honey.Method of preparation
Blend all the ingredients and drink 1 glass a day. If it is too thick, you can add a little water or skimmed milk. Strawberries can be frozen beforehand to make the shake more refreshing.
Green juice with lemon
This green juice is rich in vitamin C and folate, the latter being a vitamin involved in the formation and repair of DNA, the deficiency of which could affect the immune system mediating cells. In addition, it contains ginger, lemon and honey, the regular consumption of which has been associated with an increase in the body’s defences.
2 cabbage leaves;
1 leaf of lettuce;
1 medium carrot;
1 celery stick or celery spain
1 green apple;
1 cm of fresh ginger root;
1 tablespoon of honey.
Method of preparation
Wash and cut the ingredients. Blend and drink 1 glass per day.
Papaya and oatmeal shake
This shake is an excellent way to consume all the nutrients that are needed to strengthen the immune system. It contains vitamin A, zinc, silicon, selenium, omegas and vitamin C.
1 skimmed yogurt;
2 tablespoons of oats or oat bran;
1 brazil nut or 3 almonds
1/2 small papaya (150 g);
2 tablespoons of avocado.
Method of preparation
Place all the ingredients in the blender. Blend them until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. It should be taken 2 to 3 times a week.
Tomato juice with lemon
Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants that protect cells against free radical damage that can compromise the immune system. Tomatoes provide three vitamins with high antioxidant power, such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and E.
3 large ripe tomatoes;
1/2 lemon juice:
1 pinch of salt.
How to prepare
Wash and cut the tomatoes into segments, place them in a pot and let them simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and add salt to taste and a few drops of lemon. Leave to cool and drink.
What is the Immune System? How do you rub it?
The main function of the immune or defensive system is to protect the body from diseases caused by viruses, fungi, parasites and bacteria. The immune system not only identifies and destroys attackers that try to invade the human body, but can also recognize them if they try to enter the body again. The immune system fights harmful elements through lymphocytes (white blood cells) and antibodies (protein molecules). This is supported by the lymphatic system, which consists of the spinal cord, thymus, lymph nodes, spleen and lymphoid tissue. However, sometimes the immune system is weakened, leaving the body exposed to serious diseases.
- Some factors that cause the weakening of the immune system are:
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Medical procedures (surgeries, transplants, use of anti-rejection drugs, among others)
Tips to strengthen the immune system
Avoid foods with refined fats and sugars.
Consume at least 10-12 glasses of water per day to stimulate the immune system and expel toxins.
Exercise daily for 30 minutes.
Perform deep breathing and relaxation exercises.
Eat foods rich in vitamins A, C, E, Iron and Zinc
Eat broccoli, cauliflower, and radish daily to boost the immune system.
Take a daily spoonful of honey.
Make an infusion of green tea which stimulates the production of immune cells.
Extract the set from a regular sized carrot and two oranges and mix it. Drink it daily at breakfast to stimulate the immune system.
Black beans and their benefits
Beans are among the oldest foods known to man, forming an important part of our diet since ancient times.
The common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) began to be cultivated around 7000 B.C. in America and when the conquistadors from the Iberian Peninsula arrived in the New World, there were species of various sizes, colors and flavors, such as the very tasty black bean.
This legume stands out for being an excellent source of protein and fibre, as well as vitamins and minerals. However, the greatest health benefits of black beans are found in their high concentration of antioxidants.
- Antioxidant Properties
The antioxidant effect that we all wish to find in food is present in the bean, given the content of anthocyanins. These substances belong to the group of flavonoids, widely known for their power to inhibit free radicals.
Needless to say, free radicals are dangerous because they are unstable and highly reactive molecules, which when interacting with neighboring molecules, generate new radicals around them. This can create a chain reaction that becomes indefinite if antioxidants do not intervene.
It has been shown that the darker the bean cover, the higher the anthocyanin content, with the black bean variety having the highest concentration of such antioxidants. The anthocyanin content is approximately 214 mg per 100 g of black beans.
Thus, they provide natural antioxidants that help prevent cellular oxidative stress, responsible for diseases such as arteriosclerosis and inflammation, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, immune system problems, diabetes, eye disorders and many types of cancer.
- Anti-aging properties
The anti-aging effect of black beans is closely related to the antioxidant properties described above. The anthocyanins and other flavonoids present in black beans prevent the signs of premature aging caused by free radicals generated by exposing the skin to ultraviolet light.
Free radicals often cause the breakdown of collagen and elastin and can cause wrinkles, an effect that is reduced by the flavonoids present in beans.
- Detoxifying properties
These properties are given by the presence of molybdenum, which is a trace element necessary to form and activate several important enzymes in the detoxification of the human body. One of the enzymes favored by the presence of molybdenum is aldehyde oxidase, responsible for neutralizing acetaldehyde, which is a toxin that comes from the metabolism of several substances in our body and has carcinogenic properties.
Molybdenum also provides a detoxifying effect through the activation of the enzyme sulfite oxidase, which is responsible for converting sulphites (potentially harmful) into sulphates (harmless). The action of this enzyme helps to properly metabolize the amino acids methionine and cysteine, which are part of the proteins that the body needs to build muscle tissue and produce neurotransmitters needed in the function of the central nervous system.
Thus, molybdenum is a mineral that should not be lacking in the diet of a bodybuilder interested in building muscle mass.
Molybdenum is also key in the creation of uric acid, which is a waste product of protein and carbohydrate metabolism; therefore, it is another reason why it is considered a detoxifier.
There are many properties of molybdenum, but the best known is its indispensable role in the metabolism and intestinal absorption of iron. Our diet is very low in molybdenum and the consumption of beans can help us acquire this important mineral.
- Low glycemic index
Black beans have a glycemic index of 30, so it is considered a low glycemic index (potential to raise blood glucose) food. This type of food is slowly absorbed into the bloodstream, which helps prevent blood glucose spikes and allows us to control sweet food cravings.
Most of the carbohydrates in beans are complex, such as starch and dietary fiber, while the fraction of sugars (mono-, di-, and oligosaccharides) is significantly lower. In addition, of the total starch contained in black beans, 65% corresponds to starches that are resistant to digestion, ideal for maintaining our healthy intestinal flora.
Protein: Black beans provide us with most of the essential amino acids for protein synthesis. For every 100 g of beans, 20 g are protein and the black bean variety has the highest amount. Unlike meat, they contain very little saturated fat and no cholesterol, which makes them essential for people who follow a healthy diet, especially for vegetarians.
Because of their high protein content, they are an alternative to red meat, so they can help maintain a fast metabolism and active lifestyle. This makes them recommended for recovery after exercise or weight lifting.
Fiber: An adequate fiber diet is associated with a healthy body weight. This is because fibers are substances that are not well digested in the digestive tract and help you feel full with a minimum amount of calories.
Men should take 38 g of fibre per day and women 25 g to obtain the recommended daily intake. Cooked beans provide 7 g of fibre in half a cup, so it is recommended that they are included in the diet several times a week.
The fibres present in this legume are the soluble and insoluble ones. The former helps good cardiovascular health, regulates the body’s sugar levels, which makes them ideal for diabetic patients; in addition, it reduces the possibility of suffering from high cholesterol. The second one regulates the intestinal transit and prevents constipation. It is very useful for people who suffer from hemorrhoids and other disorders in the colon.
Essential vitamins and minerals: They are rich in vitamins, especially in B vitamins, such as thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3) and vitamin B9 or folic acid. The latter is required for DNA synthesis and repair, cell division and growth, among other functions.
Of all the varieties, black beans are the ones that have the highest contribution of iron, since one cup provides 25% of the minimum daily iron requirement. Iron is an essential mineral used for the transport of oxygen by red blood cells and its deficiency causes anemia.
It can be difficult to get enough magnesium in the diet, and this mineral is important for preventing osteoporosis, because of its role in calcium absorption. Magnesium is ideal to help control blood pressure, prevent the formation of blood clots and therefore facilitate circulation. Beans provide 19% of the daily value of this mineral.
They are a good source of potassium, which helps maintain normal heart rhythm, important for muscle function and proper water balance in the body. They also contain other minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, manganese etc.
The effects previously discussed in relation to the presence of anthocyanins and their action as antioxidants, also explain their anti-cancer property, since free radicals are an important source of cellular damage. It has been possible to establish a relationship between the habitual consumption of foods rich in flavonoids and fiber to a lower incidence of a great variety of malignant tumors.