What should I eat to prevent respiratory diseases?

We are in the midst of a seasonal change and people must take precautions to take care of our health to avoid respiratory diseases that could compromise us in this harsh context in the face of Covid-19. Low temperatures, environmental conditions such as confinement, greater physical proximity and lack of ventilation in common areas facilitate the transmission of various viruses, the most common: tonsillitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, flu and influenza, says Karen Quiroz, director of the Nutrition and Food Techniques Career at Le Cordon Bleu University.

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For this reason, the specialist recommends avoiding foods such as carbonated drinks, fried foods, processed foods, since these are related to a high inflammatory process. On the other hand, it is also advisable to avoid the consumption of cigarettes and antibiotics, since it alters our intestinal microbiota, which reduces the defenses.

“A good diet must contain all the nutrients to keep our body in balance, with a sufficient supply of meat, dairy, eggs, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, all together will strengthen our defense system. Vitamin D is considered to play a fundamental role in the inflammatory process that causes Covid-19, and is present in egg yolk, fish, poultry liver, beef and we obtain it for free with sun exposure “says Karen Quiroz.

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On the other hand, there is a very direct relationship between the intestine, lung axis and the microbiota, scientific evidence reports that the alteration of bacterial biodiversity (intestinal dysbiosis) decreases the immune response and therefore increases the risk of respiratory and pulmonary infections. To follow a healthy diet this season it is necessary to include foods rich in antioxidant proteins, probiotics fiber and vitamins and minerals. There are foods that strengthen our respiratory and immune systems, among them are:

  • Garlic, onion and leek: They have antiseptic and bactericidal properties, it is a good expectorant and it has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it helps in bronchial processes and coughs.
  • Ginger: It has anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties.
  • Radishes: It has sulfur compounds helping to eliminate bronchial mucus.
  • The fruits: Citrus fruits mainly have vitamin C and antioxidants, taking care of the integrity of the tissues due to the damage caused by free radicals. Pineapple has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • The fiber: this is in vegetables, legumes, fruits and whole grains.
  • Probiotic foods: Yogurt, preferably green olives, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi.
  • Aromatic herbs with anti-inflammatory properties: Turmeric, ginger, cat’s claw, eucalyptus, horsetail, etc.

Fermented vegetables also play an important role, since they contain antioxidants and have beneficial bacteria for our digestive tract, increasing our defense system. Finally, it is important to highlight the oils rich in omega 3 present in all sea fish in general, those of dark color stand out.


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