Coronavirus: The super foods that boost the immune system

Researchers are focusing on the protective role of diet against new coronavirus infections and how it can reduce the severity and duration of symptoms. See which phytochemicals are considered particularly active and which foods they contain.

Developments on the front of the new coronavirus are underway and, in anticipation of the vaccine that will give relief, scientific interest is focused on factors that help shield the body against viral and bacterial infections.

As Dr. explains. Rob Thomas, consultant oncologist at Bedfordshire and Cambridge hospitals with research on the role of diet in reducing the risk of various types of cancer, comorbidities are inextricably linked to lifestyle such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity-related the sedentary life.

Therefore, proper nutrition is the key to strengthening the immune system.

The contribution of phytochemicals

Several studies have shown the importance of vitamin D in shielding the body against the new coronavirus.

However, research seems to be focusing on the role of phytochemicals, the natural chemical compounds contained in plant foods that are responsible for their taste, color and aroma, and have been linked to beneficial effects against cancer and other degenerative diseases.

The ongoing Phyto-V investigation at Bedford Hospital led by Dr. Thomas, examines the action of phytochemicals that have been shown to be effective against SARS such as esperetin (citrus), catechin and quercetin (pomegranate), aloe-emodin (aloe vera), curcuminoids (turmeric) and apigenin (hamo). Studies in 2003 found that the above compounds prevented the virus that causes SARS from infecting cells and multiplying.

The current studies are based on the administration of supplements with the aforementioned phytochemicals, which have been considered safe and can also be made available immediately, in order to further determine their ability to reduce the risk of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

“Taking them regularly provides them with proven multiple health benefits, especially in reducing diseases such as cancer and chronic inflammation,” explains Dr. Thomas, and adds that chronic inflammation is the most aggravating factor for diseases such as cancer, arthritis, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia.

Recent studies have taken into account the findings linking high-meat diets and sugary foods – which lack phytochemicals – to poor gut health and consequent weakening of the immune system. On the contrary, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables has a protective effect.

In addition to diet, exercise plays an important role, according to Spanish scientists studying how a resistance training and aerobic exercise program twice a week for 50 minutes can boost recovery in COVID-19 patients.