The Mediterranean answer to your cold and flu.
Autumn and winter are the prime time for cold and flu. On average, adults have two to three times colds per year and children between six to eight. Women get more than men probably because they are often coming closer to children.
In prevention, Mediterranean diet and a good nutritional status of the organism can be the protective wall of the immune system against cold and flu. But, in the case of the appearance of flu, Mediterranean diet can help on symptoms’ relief in combination with doctor’s prescription. On the contrary, when you’re feeling terrible in colds usually get better by themselves without the need for any treatment. In that situation, good nutrition and adequate hydration can relief the symptoms.
In any case, following a Mediterranean-like diet rich in vitamins, metals, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant compounds can play a crucial role on the prevention and treatment of cold and flu.
The most important compounds of Mediterranean diet that help on the prevention and treatment of cold and flu are:
- Vitamin C
It is probably the most crucial vitamin for cold and flu due to the fact that takes part on many metabolic reactions related to immune system. In addition, the adequate intake of vitamin C enhances the synthesis of compounds responsible for killing pathogens that insert organism.
Good sources: kiwi, broccoli, oranges, mandarins, peppers, spinach and lemons
- Vitamin E
It is a vitamin with strong antioxidant action that inhibits the oxidation of cells from free radicals. In addition, vitamin E contributes on the synthesis of compounds that protects organism from infections.
Good sources: olive oil and nuts
There are significantly important compounds for human health as they inhibit free radicals in the body. If free radicals are not inhibited by antioxidants, impoverish immune system function and body become more vulnerable to viruses. Antioxidants obtained from Mediterranean diet are poly- and mono-unsaturated fatty acid, phenols, selenium, zinc and flavonoids.
Good sources: fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, sesame, mountain tea
It is a classic ingredient in Mediterranean-diet, rich in polyphenols and sulfur that helps immune system activation.
Tips: add garlic in soups, sauces and grilled vegetables
Drinking lots of water is important against cold and flu. Water is the structural compound of cells. Therefore, water is important for good hydration, balance between fluids and electrolytes and kidneys function.
Don’t forget: to drink wαter, fresh juices, warm soups and herbs.
Prevention is always better than treatment…Therefore, eat Mediterranean, exercise, have a rest, have a sleep for 8 hours every night and manage your stress.
Chicken soup with vegetables
Ingredients (4 serves)
- 4 chicken legs
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 leek, sliced into chunks
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and quartered
- ½ celeriac, peeled and cut into cubes
- 6 carrots, peeled and halved
- 2 sticks celery
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
- 8 stems thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- sea salt and pepper
1. Tip all of the ingredients into a very large pan, cover with cold water and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer uncovered for 2 1/2 hours. Every 30 minutes or so you should skim off any fat or scum from the surface.
2. Carefully remove chicken legs, thyme stems and bay leaves from the soup. Using a hand –held stick blender, carefully blend the soup until smooth. Season the taste with touch of salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.