Near East University Hospital Nutrition and Dietetics Center Dietician Banu Özbingül Arslansoyu emphasized the importance of a strong immune system in order to protect against common diseases in winter, and made recommendations on many issues from vitamin and mineral supplements to adequate and balanced nutrition criteria.
Reminding that the immune system, which is the defense mechanism of our body, protects our body against foreign substances such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites that can cause infection, Near East University Hospital Nutrition and Dietetics Center Dietician Banu Özbingül Arslansoyu drew attention to the importance of a strong immune system for a healthy life. Dietitian Banu Özbingül Arslansoyu; “The immune system cannot be strengthened with one-way nutrition or just vitamin supplements.”
Dietitian Banu Özbingül Arslansoyu, who said that a strong immune system should be supported with natural foods, said that the importance of adequate and balanced nutrition is great in order to be protected from upper respiratory tract infections or to get over the disease in a shorter time, when winter starts to make itself felt.
Banu Özbingül Arslansoyu said, "Adequate and balanced nutrition is one of the most important factors that support the immune system and increase the quality of life," saying that the immune system of people with inadequate and unbalanced nutrition is weaker, and that the immune system cannot be strengthened with one-way nutrition or only vitamin supplements. Banu Özbingül Arslansoyu said, “The strength of the immune system depends on the meals consumed, the amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals taken. It should not be forgotten that no element can function alone in the body. For example, some minerals need vitamins for better absorption, and some vitamins need fat. Therefore, instead of turning to certain foods or vitamin supplements to strengthen the immune system, an adequate and balanced nutrition program should be created and all food groups should be included in the daily diet. Foods in the meat group, dairy group, fruit and vegetable group and bread group should be included in the nutrition lists every day. Thus, all the elements that make the immune system strong are taken through food.
Which vitamins and minerals do what?
Banu Özbingül Arslansoyu, who stated that taking adequate amounts of vitamin C every day plays an important role in strengthening the immune system, said that orange is the first thing that comes to mind when vitamin C is mentioned, and that daily vitamin C needs can be met with an orange consumed every day. Banu Özbingül Arslansoyu stated that a daily portion of kiwi, tangerine or broccoli can meet the daily need. Banu Özbingül Arslansoyu said, "Vitamin C is a sensitive vitamin that loses early." She said that as you cut the fruits, slice them with metal knives or squeeze their juice, the vitamin C value decreases, so fruits and vegetables should be consumed without waiting after slicing.
Saying that vitamin A, which plays an important role in strengthening the immune system, is mostly found in foods such as fish, liver, milk, egg yolk, spinach, and carrots, Banu Özbingül Arslansoyu stated that one small potato is enough to meet the daily vitamin A need. Regarding vitamins, Arslansoyu said, “Due to the insufficient effect of the sun in these months, vitamin D intake is low. Vitamin D is of great importance in strengthening our immune system. Its deficiency decreases our resistance to diseases. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, eggs and liver are foods containing vitamin D. But none of them are rich resources. It is impossible to eliminate vitamin D deficiency with daily nutrition. The most important resource is the sun. However, its deficiency is common on these cold days, when little use of the sun can be made. Vitamin B is another vitamin that strengthens the immune system. It is found in cereal products, milk and dairy products, green leafy vegetables, meat and fish. Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower oil and olive oil rich in vitamin E should also be taken in sufficient quantities every day. Oil seeds such as walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds, which will be consumed during the day as snacks, have a positive effect on the immune system.
Banu Özbingül Arslansoyu, who emphasized that zinc, one of the minerals, has an important role in strengthening immunity, and that iron, copper and selenium are necessary for the immune system to work well, said: elapsed time etc. He stated that factors can lead to vitamin and mineral losses, therefore, in addition to a healthy diet, the use of various vitamin supplements may be required at certain times under the control of a doctor.
Cooking methods are effective in increasing or decreasing the nutritional value.
Banu Özbingül Arslansoyu, who stated that the preparation and cooking methods applied to foods can cause an increase or decrease in the nutritional value, made the following suggestions about the consumption patterns of foods; “Eat vegetables and fruits raw. Do not peel the edible shells. If peeling is required, peel it as thinly as possible. Many vitamins and minerals are found in vegetables and fruits, especially in their outer leaves, skins or just below the peel. Clean the fresh vegetables first, wash them thoroughly under plenty of running water, then chop them and cook them in a little water. Green leafy vegetables have higher water content than other vegetables. Therefore, cook with little or no water. Do not soak vegetables for a long time while washing them. Chop the vegetables just before cooking and into large pieces. Cook the vegetables in a short time so that their freshness is preserved. Nutrients such as vitamins C and some B vitamins are easily lost if the cooking water is spilled and cooked under inappropriate heat conditions. Keep the lid of the pot closed while cooking vegetables and fruits. Thus, you will shorten the cooking time and minimize the loss of nutrients.”
Tea and kefir recipes that you can prepare at home to strengthen the immune system
It can be supported to strengthen immunity with herbal tea prepared with green tea, ginger, honey, lemon and black pepper. Green tea is the unspoiled and unprocessed form of black tea in nature. Therefore, it contains a lot of minerals in its structure. With honey to be added to tea, both the flavor of the tea and its antioxidant effect can be increased. Ginger is also a good antioxidant like honey. Using fresh powder instead of powder provides more benefits.
Add 1 tablespoon of green tea, 1 hazelnut of ginger, 2-3 large black peppercorns into half a liter of boiling water and let it brew for 4 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of honey and 2-3 drops of lemon into it and consume.
Thanks to the probiotics it contains, it strengthens the immune system. Kefir contains all the nutrients found in milk. Some researchers consider kefir the key to life over the age of 80.
Making Kefir at Home
Necessary ingredients for kefir, which is very easy to prepare at home: 1 liter of milk at room temperature, walnut-sized kefir yeast, glass jar and plastic strainer (metal products cause the yeast to spoil).
Add kefir yeast to the milk and mix thoroughly with a wooden or silicone spoon without damaging the kefir grains. Cover the container with a clean cloth. Leave to ferment for at least 24 hours in a dark place at room temperature. After it is fermented, pass it through a sieve and set aside the yeast remaining on the strainer for reuse. The part under the strainer is ready to drink. Consume the kefir you will keep in the refrigerator within 2 days.