Do you want to keep the flu away? Munch a pepper or have breakfast with soy milk. These foods strengthen the immune defense system much more than a medicine.

Here to you many tips to better face the cold season, with the help of food and natural remedies.

Peppers

Peppers contain vitamin C, which enhances antibodies and attenuates inflammatory states. And not only. This substance also lowers cortisol, a stress hormone that makes us sick more easily.

Eat them this way: half a raw pepper added to salads, or munched during an aperitif (if you want to keep hunger at bay), ensures the daily dose of vitamin C.

The alternative: if you do not digest very good this vegetable, substitute it with kiwis, oranges, currants and broccoli and do not be afraid to exaggerate: the excess vitamin C, being water-soluble, is naturally eliminated from the body.

Peanuts and popcorn

These foods contain zinc that plays an essential role in defense mechanisms and makes the immune response against viruses and bacteria more rapid and efficient.

Eat them this way: as a snack or as an aperitif. Choose natural peanuts and not the toasted and salted ones. If you prepare popcorn at home, try the version for microwave oven, with zero added fat.

The alternative: to take a lot of zinc during meals, choose one of these second courses: 200-250 grams of octopus, 70-80 grams of provolone cheese or 160-180 grams of beans. Also 30 grams of salami are good, but no more twice a week.

Whole grains

Whole grains contain B5 and B6 vitamins that act on the upper respiratory tract, improving resistance to infections. They also give an extra boost to the cells of the immune defense system that defend us from viruses.

Eat them this way: consume them at breakfast, with milk or yogurt. So you ensure the recommended daily dose of the two vitamins. You can also use them to prepare cookies: mix them with an egg, a little sugar, whole wheat flour and a little butter. Put them in the oven for 15 minutes at 160 °.

The alternative: you can also take the same vitamins with 50 grams of dried vegetables or 2 bananas or 2 eggs or even 4 dried figs.

Soy-based products

These products contain manganese, a very useful mineral salt for those who suffer from recurrent respiratory infections or need long periods of recovery after flu.

Eat them this way: soy-based drinks are perfect instead of milk for breakfast. You can also replace the meat with ready-made vegetable burgers that you just have to heat up: you can find them at the frozen foods area.

The alternative: dried fruit with shell (20 grams), brown rice, chickpeas, tea, ginger and saffron. A perfect dish for winter? A soup with brown rice, corn and chickpeas, with a dusting of parmesan cheese.

Carrots

Carrots contain provitamin A, which is very important for the production of white blood cells. And there is more. Provitamin A is also a precious substance because it protects the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth and throat, our first barrier against viruses and bacteria.

Eat them this way: steamed or stewed, with a little oil. This type of cooking breaks the membranes of carrots peel. And it makes the provitamin A more "available" for the body. In addition, the oil helps the body to assimilate it.

The alternative: in winter, pumpkin and spinach are also among the best sources of provitamin A.

Grana cheese or Parmesan cheese

They contain a good dose of the so-called proteins of high biological value, that are fundamental for the structure of the antibodies. Moreover, these two cheeses are rich in cystine, an amino acid that helps to keep away the seasonal ills.

Eat them this way: these cheeses are a good second course. 60 grams provide you with around a third of the proteins you need every day for your body. Grana cheese and Parmesan cheese, however, are also good as a snack that gives a good sense of satiety (in this case, 15 grams are enough).

The alternative: in a portion (160-170 grams) of blue fish you find the same amount of noble proteins.

Rice oil

Rice oil contains vitamin E, which protects the cells of the immune defense system.

Eat them this way: use it raw to season. If the taste seems too light, you can mix it with extra-virgin olive oil: fill the bottle with half the rice oil and half extra-virgin olive oil. Try rice oil on potatoes: some studies reveal that vitamin E acts in synergy with the selenium of which these tubers are rich.

The alternative: to take a lot of vitamin E you can choose between 100 grams of avocado, 20 grams of hazelnuts and almonds or 2 tablespoons of wheat germ to add to salads.