Foods that strengthen immunity It is recommended to keep the consumption of varied fruits and vegetables in at least five servings per day.

They contain vitamins and antioxidants that help to strengthen the immune system.

Vitamins A and C are the most remembered when it comes to immunity. The fame is fair, but they alone cannot guarantee a strong immune system.

Vitamin C: the recommendation is to take 75 mg daily for women and 90 mg for men. Examples of vitamin C source foods are: orange, lemon, acerola, guava, cashew, kiwi, strawberry, watermelon, parsley, red pepper and sweet potato.

Vitamin A: the daily recommendation for this vitamin is 700 micrograms (µg) for women and 900 µg for men.

Its main sources are: liver steak, carrots, sweet potatoes and yellow-orange fruits, such as mango, papaya and persimmon.

For the set of cells, tissues, organs and molecules that make up the immune system to function well, a balanced diet with proteins, carbohydrates, fats and minerals is necessary. And water, lots of water.

Hydration is fundamental for the functioning of the body, being vital for the cells of the immune system.

So don’t wait for the thirst to arrive: keep your bottle close by and drink water several times a day.

To ensure the balance of nutrients, reinforce immunity and reduce trips to the supermarket or the fair (to avoid crowds), planning is necessary!

We have gathered 7 tips here:

1 – Create the menu of the week and list the necessary ingredients. Check what’s in the pantry and in the fridge and make a list of what’s missing.

2 – Choose less busy times to go shopping or buy online.

3 – Don’t overdo the shopping. Choose what is necessary and fair. In addition to being a conscious act in relation to the needs of other people, it helps to avoid waste.

4 – Avoid buying ultra-processed foods, such as crackers, soft drinks and soluble soups. Most of them are rich in sodium, trans fat and empty calories.

5 – The ideal is to organize the routine to prepare your own meals at home. For example, take advantage of Sunday to sanitize and store vegetables or cook extra beans to freeze in portions. In this case, small amounts of salt, fat and sugar should be used in homemade preparations.

6 – Prefer the whole versions of rice, pasta and bread. They are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and have less saturated fats. Extra tip: to avoid waste, store the bread in the refrigerator or even in the freezer and heat it up before eating.

7 – Take advantage of this moment at home to discover ways to consume more fruits and vegetables. More resistant fresh fruits: apple, orange, lemon, guava, melon, pineapple.

Fresh and resistant vegetables: celery, broccoli, onion, potato, sweet potato, yam, carrot, pumpkin. In addition to planning, it is necessary to take care in conserving fruits and vegetables so that they last longer.

A very effective technique is the bleaching of vegetables, which allows food to be frozen for up to three months. Here’s how to do it:

1 – Wash and cut the vegetables in the way they are to be eaten

2 – Dip them in a pan of boiling water over high heat and close the lid (see the time in the table below)

3 – With a sieve or slotted spoon, remove them from the pan and immerse them in very cold water with ice and leave for the same time. This thermal shock interrupts cooking

4 – Drain the water and pack the food in airtight jars or plastic bags, filling them to the edge

5 – Defrosting can be done directly during cooking

The technique preserves the nutritional value, color and flavor, as it reduces the microbial load and decreases the natural enzymatic action that would end up spoiling the food thus, it increases its useful life, helping in conservation.

It is natural that in the midst of a scenario as troubled and challenging as of recent times, many of us are carried away by pain, anguish, anger, upset or discouragement.

My role here, however, is to remind you of exactly the opposite: what is positive about all of this.

For all intents and purposes, the generation that lives this pandemic will be marked (I hope) by the understanding that life is transitory and no matter what you do, it can end at any moment.

That is why the importance of letting go, living life to its full potential and no matter where you are, keep doing your best for yourself and others.

Bon appétit!

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