Dr.ssa Michela Barducco

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Combatti a tavola influenza e malanni di stagione

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 8:37 PM
Un'alimentazione corretta può aiutare a rafforzare il sistema immunitario attraverso un'ottimale introduzione di vitamine e minerali. 
In genere se si segue una dieta varia e completa (preferibilmente ispirata ai principi della dieta mediterranea) si assumono automaticamente i nutrienti utili al corretto funzionamento del sistema immunitario; in situazioni particolari (dieta carente o aumentato fabbisogno di alcuni nutrienti) sarà possibile ricorrere ad integratori alimentari.

Vediamo quali sono i nutrienti utili a rafforzare il nostro sistema immunitario e in quali alimenti possiamo trovarli.

  • Vitamina C
  • Zinco

Lo zinco è un minerale contenuto soprattutto nel tuorlo d'uovo, nelle ostriche, nella carne (soprattutto bovina, suina e ovina) e nei crostacei ma anche nelle noci, nei cereali, nel germe di grano, nei legumi, nella lecitina di soia e nelle verdure.
Lo zinco ha un'azione immunostimolante e sembra in grado di paralizzare i virus e impedirne la replicazione (azione dimostrata nei test di laboratorio).
In caso di integrazione è preferibile limitarsi a cicli non troppo prolungati per evitare il rischio di sovradosaggio e tenere presente che si può verificare un'interferenza nell'assorbimento della vitamina A.

  • Probiotici

Si tratta principalmente di bifidobatteri e lattobacilli contenuti in yogurt, bevande probiotiche e formaggi freschi arricchiti con probiotici.
Migliorano il funzionamento del sistema di difesa presente nell'intestino.
L'integrazione non comporta rischi e può essere fatta con tranquillità quando la si reputi utile.

La vitamina E o alfa tocoferolo si trova soprattutto nell'olio extravergine di oliva, nell'olio di germe di grano, nelle mandorle, nelle nocciole, nella lattuga e in altri vegetali a foglia verde, nel riso e nella margarinaSi tratta di una vitamina liposolubile perciò l'assorbimento avviene in presenza di grassi.
Essendo facilmente reperibile negli alimenti l'integrazione in genere non è necessaria; in caso vi si ricorra è comunque preferibile limitarsi a cicli non troppo prolungati. 

  • Carotenoidi

Si tratta di un gruppo di pigmenti di colore giallo-rossastro molto comune nei vegetali e negli animali. In particolare il carotene (precursore della vitamina A, immagazzinato e trasformato in vitamina A nel fegato) è abbondante nelle verdure di colore giallo-arancio: carota, zucca, mais; altre fonti  di carotene (provitamina A) e di vitamina A o retinolo sono i pomodori, le barbabietole rosse, i peperoni, le verdure a foglia verde (in particolare scarola, cavolo verde e prezzemolo), il fegato e i grassi animali (burro, tuorlo d'uovo, latte intero, formaggio, panna). 
I carotenoidi e la vitamina A sono termo-resistenti  perciò non vengono danneggiati durante la cottura degli alimenti.
La carenza può rendere più vulnerabili alle infezioni mentre un'assunzione eccessiva di carotenoidi può determinare una colorazione giallastra della cute, particolarmente visibile sui palmi delle mani; l'integrazione viene fatta tramite assunzione di carotenoidi in cicli non troppo prolungati.

  • Omega 3

Gli acidi grassi della serie omega 3 si trovano soprattutto nel pesce, in particolare salmone, tonno e pesce azzurro (sgombri, sardine, alici, ecc.) e nell'olio di semi di lino
Gli omega 3 agiscono attenuando l'infiammazione e modulando l'attività del sistema immunitario. 
In caso di introduzione inadeguata con la dieta (l'ideale sarebbe assumere pesce almeno 3 volte alla settimana) è possibile fare ricorso ad alimenti arricchiti con omega 3 o a veri e propri integratori alimentari; in caso di dieta vegetariana sarà utile assicurarsi l'introduzione di fonti vegetali di omega-3, come le noci e ancor più l'olio i semi di lino.

  • Vitamina D

La vitamina D è una vitamina liposolubile (solubile nei grassi) e si trova soprattutto nel burro, nel latte, nel tuorlo d'uovo, nel pesce (in particolare pesci grassi come salmone, tonno, sardine e aringhe), nell'olio di fegato di pesce, nelle ostriche, nel fegato e nel lievito; oltre ad essere introdotta con gli alimenti la vitamina D viene sintetizzata nella pelle per effetto dell'esposizione alla luce solare, perciò durante la stagione invernale è importante cercare di esporre al sole almeno il viso e le mani per almeno 15-20' al giorno.
La vitamina D è in grado di stimolare le difese immunitarie; in caso si ricorra all'uso di integratori per evitare il sovradosaggio è preferibile che l'assunzione avvenga in cicli non troppo prolungati.

  • Ferro

Il ferro si trova principalmente nella carne (bianca o rossa), nei molluschi e nel pesce; buone quantità di ferro sono contenute anche nei legumi, nel germe di grano e nelle verdure a foglia verde, tuttavia il ferro contenuto nei vegetali viene assorbito e utilizzato con minore efficacia dal nostro organismo. La vitamina C aumenta l'assorbimento del ferro, perciò, soprattutto in caso di carenza di ferro o nel caso in cui si segua una dieta vegetariana, risulta utile condire gli alimenti con succo di limone o comunque associarli ad alimenti ricchi di vitamina C.
Il ferro, essendo essenziale per la formazione di emoglobina, è indispensabile per la vita. Il fabbisogno risulta aumentato nella donna in età fertile, e durante la gravidanza e l'allattamento; in questi casi e nei soggetti che seguono una dieta vegetariana è buona norma controllare periodicamente (con un normale prelievo del sangue) che non vi siano carenze in modo da prestare maggiore attenzione all'introito con gli alimenti o ricorrere se necessario ad un'integrazione.

Per concludere se volete prevenire raffreddore, influenza e malanni stagionali in genere  cercate di seguire una dieta varia e completa (preferibilmente ispirata ai principi della dieta mediterranea): abbondate con frutta e verdura di stagione, non dimenticate di assumere anche alimenti crudi con un occhio anche a variare i colori, alternate cereali raffinati e cereali integrali, alternate come fonte proteica carne, pesce, uova, formaggi e legumi (in caso di dieta vegetariana o vegana assicurati di introdurre correttamente non solo tutti macronutrienti ma anche tutti i micronutrienti di cui hai bisogno), non dimenticate di assumere anche yogurt o altri probiotici

Categories: Conoscere gli alimenti

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