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Food combinations, how to strengthen the immune system

November 04, 2020
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Food combinations, how to strengthen the immune system

Garlic, cinnamon, cloves, lemon, extra virgin olive oil and elderberry, these are just some foods that can strengthen the defenses and act with antibacterial and antiviral properties

Eat healthy but eat tasty! Today we will see simple and delicious recipes to strengthen the immune system and help it fight the external threats that come from viruses and bacteria. Without forgetting the importance of hygiene measures, we can also resort to diet to fortify our defenses. Let’s learn more about!


We are used to thinking of bruschetta as a tasty, crunchy and fragrant appetizer, but in fact this exquisite preparation is also useful for the health of the immune system. In fact, bruschetta can help counteract viral and bacterial infections, including colds, thanks to the action of garlic, olive oil and chili pepper (Aufiero, the nutritional and therapeutic role of food). Garlic shows indeed antiviral properties since, as scientific studies have shown, it prevents the virus from entering the cell of the host organism (Rouf et al, Trends Food Sci Technol, 2020). Thanks to the action of vitamins A and E, olive oil has an anti-infective action on the mucous membranes. Not only that, extra virgin olive oil is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and protects the health of the microbiota, that is the intestinal bacterial flora, favoring and supporting the good bacteria with benefits for the health of the whole organism and the immune system (Olalla et al, Medicine , 2019). Toast a slice of brown bread. Rub the warm slice with a peeled clove of garlic, pour a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, complete with some sliced ??tomatoes and, if you like, a pinch of chili pepper, a precious source of vitamin C.

Candy apples

A little and yummy dessert that helps you sleep better, thanks to the action of potassium (Zeng et al, Curr Sign Transduct Ther, 2015), and fight viruses and bacteria thanks to the properties of lemon, cinnamon and cloves (Aufiero, the nutritional and therapeutic role of foods). Wash an apple, cut it in half, remove the core and slice it into wedges. Place in a pan the apple wedges, the well-washed peel of an organic lemon, 4 cloves, an inch of cinnamon stick, half a glass of apple juice. Heat over medium heat for about ten minutes.

Tasty side dish with potatoes

Here is a perfect side dish to combat cold and viral diseases thanks to the antibacterial and antiviral properties of garlic (Aufiero, the nutritional and therapeutic role of food). This recipe is also useful in case of gastrointestinal problems thanks to the action of potatoes. Wash and boil two potatoes. Drain the potatoes, peel them, cut them into pieces and season with extra virgin olive oil and a little sea salt. Peel two cloves of garlic and cut them into coarse pieces, add them to the potatoes.

Red pesto

You need 300 grams of dried tomatoes in oil, 1 clove of garlic and 40 grams of almonds. Drain the tomatoes from oil and blend them in a blender together with the almonds and the garlic. Pour this pesto into a bowl and add extra virgin olive oil as needed to obtain a creamy mixture. Use pesto to flavor pasta, fish or toasted slices of bread. In this way you can benefit from the antibacterial and antiviral action of garlic, from the anti-inflammatory properties of extra virgin olive oil but also from the effect of lycopene contained in dried tomatoes. Lycopene is an antioxidant substance capable of supporting the immune system and also of fighting viruses (Saedisomeolia et al, J Nutr, Biochem, 2009).


Finally, here is an idea for a smoothie able to boost the defenses of the immune system. Blend a banana and a handful of thawed frozen berries together with half a glass of elderberry juice. Elderberry is considered a highly antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral remedy, able to stimulate the immune system. It should not be forgotten, in fact, that elderberries bring quercetin, a substance considered capable of blocking the entry of the virus into cells and the viral replication, even in case of the novel coronavirus. This effect is enhanced by the synergy with vitamin C, contained in berries (Simonyi et al, Life Sci, 2015 - Biancatelli et al, Front Immunol, 2020).

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