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Fats and proteins good for your health

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An exclusively vegetal diet may have immune deficiencies. In fact, the body requires the consumption of healthy proteins and fats, the former contributing to the growth and maintenance of cells – antibodies, among others – the latter being metabolizing agents for the body.

The truth about fat: some are good for you

Numerous reports of the dangers of eating a lot of fat have created the false impression that fat is useless if not dangerous and must be avoided at all costs. In fact, in addition to proteins, you need a certain amount of fat, good for your health. It contains essential acids, a source of energy, and a favorable environment for the absorption of vitamin A, which is  fat-soluble. Dietary fat also provides the structural framework for hormone-like compounds, the prostaglandins, needed to control blood pressure, nervous system, inflammatory response, and fertility.

While fats are useful, not all have the same immunostimulatory properties and do not promote health. Saturated fats of animal origin – bacon, butter, bacon, whole milk and marbled steak – increase the risk of several cancers, but also, if we consume a lot, heart disease. Trans fat, manufactured by man and present in most margarines and marketed products (these are the hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils mentioned on the labels) have the same effects. Even polyunsaturated oils, such as sunflower oil, increase the production of free radicals if you take a lot of them.

“If the fat you eat is healthy, you have no  reason to go on a low fat diet. ”  – WALTER WILLET, MD / NUTRITION RESEARCH, HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Olive oil: a good fat to consume

In these conditions, what fat to eat? If you do not overdo it, olive oil is a good choice. Evidence of this is the situation in Italy and Greece, where rates of colon and breast cancer, which are high in North America, are low, a situation attributed in part to the popularity of olive oil.

Olive oil is the fatty substance that predominates in the cuisines of Italy and Greece or, as they say, in the Mediterranean diet. Where did his magical effects come from? It contains polyphenols; these activate the phase II enzymes that make the harmful substances soluble in water and therefore likely to be excreted in the urine or bile. In scientific publications, there is a link between impaired detoxification and certain diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease and chronic fatigue syndrome. Olive oil contains mostly monounsaturated fats, which are more stable than other fats and less likely to favor the production of carcinogenic compounds.

The proof

In animals, it has been noted that squalene in olive oil has improved the immune response and decreased cellular changes and cancer-promoting enzymes. According to the review Gut , olive oil would act against colon cancer.

Olive oil: at work

Extra virgin oil is the one with the most polyphenols and therefore the one that is potentially the most favorable to health.

What does “extra virgin” mean?

“Extra virgin” olive oil is obtained by first pressing the olives, without excessive heat or the addition of chemicals. it has no more than 1% acidity and its flavor is the best of all. Virgin olive oil, also at first pressure, has more acidity (about 2%) and less flavor. Classic olive oil is a mixture of both. Some things to remember:

– Olive oil spoils: only buy what you consume in three months. Check the expiry date if there is one. You do not need to refrigerate it, but avoid sunlight and heat.

– Put on the skin after a sunbath, the virgin olive oil can protect it against the damages caused to the cells by the ultraviolet rays, if one thinks the researchers of the School of Medicine of the university Kobe in Japan.

Long live the proteins

As beneficial as herbal nutrition may be for immune function, it does not eliminate the consumption of fat and protein foods that are good for health, such as fish and legumes, whose protein is needed for growth and maintaining the cells. Proteins are, in fact, the constituents of the immune system: antibodies are proteins. The lack of dietary protein, so common in the elderly, often explains the depression of their immune system.

Sea fish

These fish have a dual immune function. They give proteins, but also specialized fatty acids called omega-3. According to studies, omega-3s provide excellent protection against several cancers by blocking the growth and metabolism of cancer cells. Fish oils regulate immune function by inhibiting the creation of inflammatory compounds and stimulating that of anti-inflammatory products.

The proof

Clinical trials have shown that omega-3s would reduce the acute inflammation that is part of the immune response by activating the players responsible for clamping down on defensive cells once they have done their job. They are prescribed to reduce rejection reactions after transplantations and to treat autoimmune disorders.

Fish: at work

Fish is a convenient food: it is cooked to perfection in just a few minutes. Sea fish, sardines, herring, mackerel and bluefish are good sources of omega-3 and protein; 110g per day meets half of your protein needs. The rest will come from legumes.


In addition to being the least expensive sources of protein, legumes are full of protease inhibitors, compounds that can block the spread of cancer cells . Soy is rich in isoflavones believed to lower the risk of prostate cancer, as well as the risk of breast cancer, by reducing the effect of estrogen on the tissues.

The proof

According to molecular studies, legumes have anticarcinogenic properties. For example, the genistein of yellow split peas, lima beans and soy inhibits two enzymes that make normal cells cancerous. The researchers are working to discern what other good effects soy would have on the immune system.

Legumes: at work

Try to eat 1 /  cup per day. With the exception of split peas and lentils, dried legumes must be soaked before cooking. Look for Indian curry, made with lentils, and hummus, Middle Eastern dip made with chickpeas. And eat Mexican dishes made with black or red beans.

LEGUMES, such as soybean and anasazi, are edible seeds that grow in pods.


He comes last, but he occupies a big place. He is often described as the perfect friend of your health. The living bacterium found in yogurt gives this fermented milk product, more than any other food, a large amount of immunopotent substances. By attaching to the mucous membranes lining the intestinal and reproductive system, the excellent bacteria of yogurt dislodge pathogens that would otherwise settle permanently. Some yogurt bacteria produce acids that kill other bacteria, including Clostridia , a family of germs that cause tetanus and botulism, among other things.

The proof

According to the American Journal of Gastroenterology , Lactobacillus bulgaricus protects the gastrointestinal tract by stimulating their immune cells. A six-month study by the University of California says that eating 500 ml of yogurt a day quadruples its levels of interferon gamma produced by white blood cells, helping to resist colds. According to the Annals of Internal Medicine , women with recurrent yeast infections had three times fewer seizures during the six months they ate 230 grams of yogurt a day than six months without yogurt.

Yogurt: at work

Read the label to make sure that the yogurt contains “active” or “live” cultures. Check the expiry date. If the yogurt waits too long, its acidic medium kills millions of good bacteria.

NATURAL YOGURT NATURE is a source of good bacteria, which are often destroyed by antibiotic treatment.

Wine and chocolate: good for your health

Eating healthy is more comforting if you can give yourself some sweets from time to time. But in this chapter, big surprises are waiting for you. Before refusing a glass of red wine while eating or a chocolate after the meal, take a good look at what you risk depriving yourself of.

Red wine

It has long been said that a glass of wine while eating can help prevent heart disease. It is clear now that a moderate use of wine has other benefits. Researchers at the Institute of Preventive Medicine in Copenhagen have extensively studied the habits of more than 13,000 men and about 11,500 women. According to them, people who drink wine – rather than beer or alcohol, or both – had lower mortality rates than those who did not drink wine at all. It is important to note, however, that those who drank heavily were more likely to die than those who did not drink more than three drinks a day.

What is the best wine? According to research in nutrition, a wine antioxidant, resveratrol, is particularly beneficial and some grape varieties contain more than others. Pinot Noir, for example, has twice as much as Merlot, Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Dark chocolate

Chocolate contains antioxidants found in red wine, fruits and vegetables. A 40g dark chocolate tablet holds about the same amount of antioxidants as 150ml of cabernet. Tests in Japan on human blood samples have revealed that chocolate’s antioxidants remove chemicals that attack cells and stimulate immune function. More recently, the British Medical Journalreported that people who regularly eat chocolate live a year longer than those who do not.

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