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What you need to eat to strengthen immunity: expert advice

The pandemic has made everyone pay attention to health. Scientists have long said that the state of our body directly depends on the diet. The scientific journals Nutrients and Molecular Science have published two reviews confirming the effect of nutrition on the prevention of coronavirus infection and the severity of the disease. Edition NEWS has compiled a list of dietary ingredients and supplements that will increase protection from disease.

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Omega-3s are unsaturated fatty acids that are involved in many physiological processes. Animal experiments have shown that they improve the regulation of inflammatory processes in infectious diseases. Omega-3s are found in marine fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. The recommended portion is 100-150 g. These acids contain plant products, they are found in flax seeds, chia and walnuts. Flaxseed is recommended in the amount of 1-2 tbsp. l. crushed seeds per day, it is necessary to crush before use to increase digestibility. The dose of walnuts is a small handful per day.

Vitamin C

Experiments were also conducted on the intravenous administration of this vitamin to patients with COVID-19, but their results have not yet been published. However, many scientists recommend that everyone include foods rich in vitamin C in their diet. According to the recommendations, the daily dose is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. This amount is contained in 1 sweet bell pepper, kiwi fruit or orange, 5 strawberries, 100 g of broccoli. You can also eat foods fortified with vitamin C. This vitamin is destroyed during heat treatment, so it is advisable to eat raw vegetables and fruits.

On the subject: Support immunity: WHO told how to eat during the COVID-19 pandemic


It is an antioxidant from the polyphenol group. It is found in green tea. Research has shown that EGCG suppresses inflammation, strengthens the immune system, and reduces the damage caused by viruses. In addition, it prevents viruses from attaching to cells.

The recommended dose of green tea is 3-5 glasses a day. Brew the bags in boiling water for at least 3 minutes.


He participates in vital physiological processes, regulates the immune response and suppresses inflammation. In China, COVID-19 patients were given a dietary supplement with selenium, and they saw a slowdown in the spread of the virus throughout the body. The recommended dose based on research results is 300 mcg per day (exceeding it may cause intoxication). Health experts recommend a daily dose of 55 mcg for both sexes.

Selenium is found in plant and animal products. Its amount in 1 Brazil nut exceeds the daily dose. It can also be obtained from a glass (100 g) of whole oats or 3 slices of whole spelled bread, as well as from 100-150 g of fresh tuna or salmon.


Zinc is essential for the immune system as it prevents the penetration of infection into tissues and enhances the effect of antioxidants. A new review has demonstrated the beneficial effects of zinc on airway inflammation.

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The scientifically based daily dose of zinc is 25 mg. The Ministry of Health recommends 8 mg per day for women and 11 mg for men. This amount is contained in 2 tbsp. l. whole sesame paste, in seeds, including pumpkin seeds, in pine nuts and cashews. The daily dose of seeds or nuts is 30 g.

Vitamin D

This is a group of fat-soluble substances formed in the skin when exposed to sunlight. The daily dose for adults is 15-20 mcg (600-800 IU). Studies have shown that the recommended dose is 1000-2000 IU (25-50 mcg).

Vitamin D3 is found in fish, fish oil, yolks, dairy products, butter, and foods fortified with it. Vitamins D and D2 are found in yeast and mushrooms. A glass of soy or oat drink contains 1,5 mcg (60 IU) of vitamin, a serving of cereal with added vitamin - 1 mcg (40 IU).

100 tilapia fish contain 48 μg of vitamin (1920 IU), 100 g of canned sardines - 4,8 μg (192 IU), 1 egg - 1,25 μg (50 IU - only in the yolk), in a glass of fortified milk - 2 μg (80 IU). You can also get the vitamin from food supplements.

With an inflammatory process in the respiratory tract, for example, with COVID-19, there is an excess of inflammatory factors in the body that make it difficult for the lungs to function. Changes in eating habits strengthen the immune system, reduce the risk of infection and alleviate the course of illness. Therefore, it is recommended to enrich the diet with vitamins C and D, zinc, selenium and antioxidants.

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