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Prof. Ersoy: Stay hydrated and consume fruits and vegetables to strengthen immunity

26.03.2020

Prof. Dr Gülgün Ersoy said that it is very important to drink at least 2 litres of water and consume 5 servings of fruit and vegetables to strengthen the immune system against coronavirus.

Prof. Ersoy: Stay hydrated and consume fruits and vegetables to strengthen immunity

The coronavirus (COVID-19), which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, is known to be a danger to individuals whose immune system is not strong. In addition to taking care of hygiene measures, the immune system needs to be strengthened for this disease, which does not have any cure yet. So, how to strengthen the immune system against coronavirus, what foods should be consumed? Prof. Dr Gülgün Ersoy of Istanbul Medipol University, the School of Health Sciences, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics gave some advices on this point.
“AT LEAST FIVE PORTIONS SHOULD BE CONSUMED FROM VARIOUS FRUITS AND VEGETABLES”
In her statement on the subject, Ersoy said that the most important nutrients in supporting the immune system are vitamins A, B, C and E, and foods containing zinc, carotenes, iron and selenium. Stating that the consumption of vegetables and fruits is very effective due to the antioxidant substances they contain, Ersoy said: “Consumption of fruits such as apple, pear, pomegranate, orange, kiwi, tangerine and grapefruit alongside the vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, zucchini, cabbage, cauliflower and parsley which are rich in antioxidant vitamins (A and C) which strengthen the immune system, are very important. We can recommend consuming at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables suitable for the season. Vitamin E is also effective in strengthening the immune system. It increases body resistance against cold, flu and other infections. Green leafy vegetables, dried legumes, nuts and walnuts are good sources of vitamin. In addition to vegetables and fruits, nuts or walnuts and legumes (lentils, red beans, chickpeas) should be consumed 2-3 times a week. Vitamin D supports antimicrobial functions in the immune system while reducing inflammatory activity. It is very important to eat at least 3 meals a day and to provide a variety of foods. It is also necessary to consume healthy snacks, avoiding sugar consumption. And try to avoid fried foods.”
"DRINK AT LEAST TWO LITERS OF WATER"
Noting that fluids should be consumed for all body systems to work, Ersoy underlined that at least 2 litres of water should be drunk per day. Emphasizing that the body resistance will decrease in irregular and fewer sleeps, Ersoy said: “Water is required for the operation of all body systems. Drinking at least two litres of water a day helps to remove toxins from the body, nutrients to reach our cells and to neutralize bacteria and viruses. Regular sleep and rest are very important. Because sleeping is the time when repairing is the most in the body. Exercising for 30 minutes at home reduces stress, increases oxygen uptake, strengthens the immune system, and also increases chemicals that reduce the body's stress.”