Best Food For Winter Influenza, ENT infections, gastroenteritis, or simple fatigue… Diet can help in prevention and allow a better recovery, provided you make the right choices.
Can we boost our immunity through food choices? Which products should be favored and why?
Dr. Catherine Serfaty-Lacrosnière, nutritionist: “We can act by preparing the immune ground thanks to the intake of antioxidants. Zinc is an antioxidant trace element that improves natural defenses. It is provided by all seafood products, from seafood (oysters in particular) to fish.
Concerning vitamins, vitamin C, an antioxidant, is recommended to limit the duration of ENT symptoms thanks to its antiviral action. Eat parsley, peppers, kiwis, or citrus fruits. Vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin, found in butter, vegetable oils, or oilseeds, seems to protect the membranes of cells involved in immune processes, but in its case, there is still a lack of information to understand the mechanisms.
Vitamin A is also cited in the stimulation of white blood cells and the production of antibodies. It is mainly found in poultry liver and calf liver, meat, fish, eggs, whole milk and its derivatives, colored vegetables (sweet potato, pumpkin), or green vegetables (cabbage …)”.
Other vitamins and minerals, which are not antioxidants, are involved in the immune process. In recent years, vitamin D has been mentioned. What does it do?
Dr. Catherine Serfaty-Lacrosnière: “Vitamin D is not only used to fix calcium in the bone. Scientific studies have focused on its action on the development of T lymphocytes, which directly attack viruses and bacteria. Vitamin D must first bind to the receptors of these lymphocytes to activate them. A part of the population presents an insufficiency, even a deficiency in vitamin D, which is naturally produced in the skin under the action of the sun. To compensate for vitamin D deficiency, the consumption of mackerel, herring, sardines or salmon, or even cod liver oil is recommended. There is always the possibility of supplementing.
“Copper, on the other hand, acts on macrophages, the muddy immune cells. An anti-infectious and anti-inflammatory action for this trace element present in pickled herring, calf liver, shellfish, chocolate, and legumes”.
Winter is also the season of gastroenteritis affecting young and old. Are there foods (Best Food For Winter) that would improve local immunity in the digestive tract?
Dr. Catherine Serfaty-Lacrosnière: “Since everything happens in the digestive tract, we can indeed improve local immunity by consuming probiotics, this beneficial micro-bacteria that modify the intestinal flora and reduce the trans-intestinal passage of a certain number of viruses and bacteria. They are present in yogurts and fermented milk.
These probiotics act in synergy with prebiotics and fibers that nourish them and improve their effectiveness. Prebiotics include inulin from artichoke, asparagus, garlic, or Jerusalem artichoke. It is also found in bananas and chicory. Another prebiotic, a soluble fiber, is the pectin from apple, quince, or redcurrant.”
What should I eat in case of gastroenteritis?
Dr. Catherine Serfaty-Lacrosnière: “We advise to stop eating dairy products and most fruits to favor the rice, carrot and banana trilogy which works well to slow down an accelerated transit. We advise drinking the water used to cook rice, especially since it is essential to rehydrate. In pediatrics, there is even a recommendation to detoxify a famous sweetened soft drink and serve it at room temperature to provide carbohydrates and minerals”.
What to eat in case of severe fatigue?
Dr. Catherine Serfaty-Lacrosnière: “Women in particular lack iron, which is necessary for the transport of red blood cells to the organs. The best sources of iron remain red meat and blood sausage because it is bioavailable and therefore better absorbed in the intestine. It is also present in morning cereal products, legumes such as lentils. But the availability of iron from these vegetable sources is less important.
“Magnesium is often cited in the fight against fatigue with its effects at the muscular level. 25% of the population in shortage. Signs of deficiency combine nervous fatigue, irritability, muscle cramps, joint pain, and poor quality sleep. The sources to be favored are oleaginous plants (almond, pistachio…), mollusks (periwinkles, squid…), legumes (white and red beans…), banana, chocolate… without forgetting certain mineral waters rich in magnesium.”
One evokes the protective effect of the fatty acids omega 3 in the assumption of responsibility of the light depressions and especially of the seasonal depressions from which a certain number of people suffer when the days shorten. What is it really about?
Dr. Catherine Serfaty-Lacrosnière: “Omega 3s ensure better functioning of neurons, thus fighting against intellectual fatigue. Numerous studies suggest that omega 3 improves seasonal depression by activating melatonin. It seems that it is the EPA, the eicosapentaenoic acid which allows the improvement of mood disorders. It is found in fatty fish from cold seas such as salmon”.
How do you stay well hydrated when it’s cold?
Dr. Catherine Serfaty-Lacrosnière: “To hydrate well when it is cold, think of soups that combine hydration and vegetable consumption, as long as you don’t add too much salt. We can also recommend teas with their polyphenols, these antioxidants mainly present in green and white tea, and herbal teas, including thyme tea in case of a cold.”
Recipes to fill up with vitamins
Feeding helps to fight against winter diseases. Chef Nicolas Baumann proposes two recipes to fill up with vitamins.
Recipe: fricassee of snails, garlic cream and eggplants
Ingredients for four people
- 48 snails “small gray”.
- 100 g of garlic
- 250 g of whipping cream
- 6 mini eggplants
- 1 granny apple
- 30 g of spinach shoots
- 20 g of olive oil
- 20 g butter
- 30 g of poultry juice
1 – Cut and blanch the garlic.
2 – Once the garlic is blanched, add the cream, salt and pepper. Then simmer on low heat for thirty minutes.
3 – Mix and adjust the seasoning.
4 – Cut and place the eggplants in a frying pan. Add a little oil as you go along and cook over a low heat for ten minutes.
5 – Cut the apple into thin slices.
6 – Cook the snails. Deglaze them with lemon, then add a little chicken juice.
7 – Prepare the dish.
Recipe: fricassee of poultry liver, crayfish, and carrots.
Ingredients for four people
- 320 g of poultry liver
- 24 mini carrots colors
- 20 cabbage heads
- 20 crayfish
- 30 g of cognac
- 50 g of white wine
- 20 g of olive oil
- 100 g butter
- 7 g of tomato concentrate
1 – Prepare the crayfish. To make the crayfish juice, place the heads in a stewpot and sear them over high heat. Then flambé them with cognac. Add the white wine, tomato concentrate and a little water. Leave to cook for 45 minutes.
2 – Cook the carrots in a frying pan over low heat.
3 – In a small stewpot, brown the crayfish tails and flambé them with cognac.
4 – Blanch the cabbage heads for a few moments.
5 – Prepare the chicken liver. Cook the poultry liver in a frying pan for a few minutes before adding the crayfish and its juice.
6 – Prepare the dish and enjoy.