Regional and seasonal
Are we really what we eat? Definitely – says Karin Frey, a nutritionist with Oviva. "If you eat a balanced diet, you absorb all the major nutrients, you live more healthily, and you strengthen your immune system." But what is a balanced diet?
"A balanced diet means that you should incorporate as many regional and seasonal products as possible", says Karin Frey. Your diet should include vegetables, fruit and salads, and carbohydrates (e.g. potatoes, rice, bread or pasta - whole grain for preference). "The third important component is protein. This can be found in fish, meat, eggs and dairy products as well as in tofu and Quorn. The ideal meal should consist of about 50% vegetables and salad, 25% carbohydrates, and 25% protein," says Karin Frey.
People who eat like this are getting all the nutrients they need – both macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) and the important micronutrients (iron, selenium and zinc). The antioxidant vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene, which are particularly important for strengthening the immune system, are also absorbed in this way. "This type of diet is also good for the gut. The gut plays a major role in the immune system because the most important nutrients are absorbed through it."
Preserving the vitamins
However, if you want to store fresh products instead, make sure they are well wrapped, protected from direct light, and kept at a maximum of 4°C in the refrigerator or cellar; the ideal combination is high humidity and low temperature. By the way, plastic containers or bags can be used to protect the vitamins in fresh vegetables or salad.
Don't take supplements unless necessary
As long as you vary your diet and take care when preparing your meals, you don't need to take dietary supplements, explains Karin Frey. "Unless you have a deficiency or illness." For example, vitamin D deficiency is not uncommon in winter. Vitamin D is produced by the action of sunlight on the skin. "If you think you have a deficiency of some kind, you can find out if this is the case and take a supplement if necessary."
In summary, the following are particularly important for the immune system
- Iron, selenium, zinc, copper, magnesium and vitamins. Supplements are often recommended for vitamin D deficiency.
- Carbohydrates and fibre (e.g. wholemeal products, rice and potatoes) have a stabilising effect on the immune system.
- Amino acids, which are found in meat, fish, eggs and dairy products, are important for the immune system.
- The gut plays a major role in the immune system. A fully functional digestive system and the presence of healthy gut flora make a significant contribution to good health. Probiotic foods containing lactic acid bacteria (e.g. yoghurt combined with prebiotic ingredients such as linseed, wheat bran and chicory) are recommended.
Exercise and rest also contribute to keeping your immune system healthy. Win one of 100 prizes for healthy ways to spend your leisure time. Join now
SWICA supports you with exclusive services and benefits
Nutritional advice for SWICA customers
Perhaps you'd like to lose a few pounds, or eat more healthily and more consciously? Or maybe you have some general questions about nutrition? SWICA's customers can access free nutritional advice from specialists at the santé24 telemedicine service. Call santé24 to arrange an appointment.
- healthy diet
- poor diet and malnutrition
- weight loss
- nutrition while pregnant or breastfeeding
- nutrition in old age
- nutrition for amateur athletes
- being underweight
- nutrition following abdominal surgery (on the oesophagus, stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, liver, intestine with e.g. creation of a stoma, diverticulitis, hemicolectomy, removal of part of the stomach, removal of the gallbladder)
- nutrition following bariatric surgery (gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, biliopancreatic diversion)
- nutrition in the case of metabolic illnesses (diabetes, gout, dyslipidaemia (elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure), gallstones, kidney stones, pancreatic hypofunction)
- nutrition in the case of cardiovascular disease
- nutrition in the case of oncological illnesses (e.g. loss of appetite, impaired sense of taste, weight loss, problems in the digestive tract as a result of therapy (mouth pain, difficulty swallowing, diarrhoea, constipation), nutrition following surgical removal of tumours)
- nutrition in the case of digestive disorders (flatulence, bloating, reflux, irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhoea, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis)
- nutrition in the case of food allergies or intolerances (e.g. lactose intolerance, coeliac disease etc.)
- nutrition in the case of lung diseases (e.g. COPD, cystic fibrosis)
- nutrition in the case of medication-related taste disorders (potentially in cooperation with pharmacist)
- nutrition in the case of chewing and swallowing problems (e.g. mucositis, ill-fitting prostheses, etc.)
- nutrition in the case of renal insufficiency (without dialysis)
Phone-based nutritional advice is offered in German, French and English. Appointments are planned and scheduled in advance.
santé24 – your Swiss telemedicine service
Phone +41 44 404 86 86
SWICA-recognised benefits relating to nutrition
Eating a varied and balanced diet makes a crucial contribution to health and wellbeing – which is why SWICA offers its supplementary insurance plan customers up to 600 francs* per year towards a wide range of services relating to nutrition, including nutritional advice, nutritional apps, TCM, and dietary/nutritional programmes with SWICA-recognised advisors and service providers. These include online, video-streaming and phone-based consultations which can also be accessed from home. Incidentally, supplementary insurance plans always provide valuable additional benefits above and beyond those available under basic insurance. It can be taken out with SWICA at any time, regardless of which insurer currently provides your basic insurance.
- Nutritional analysis and advice, provided by SWICA-recognised nutritionists and SVDE-ASDD members (legally recognised nutritionists)
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SVDE-ASDD members, legally recognised nutritionists
- Nutritional advice based on complementary medicine (e.g. Ayurveda, TCM and TEN) by a SWICA-recognised provider
- Diet and nutrition programmes
Go to offers
- Obesity camp for children up to the age of 18
Discover offers relating to home-based nutrition
Nutritional advice by app and phone
Nutritional advice can also be provided digitally. You can communicate directly with your nutrition coach and plan your meals using apps and online programmes from Weight Watchers.
Nutritional advice by phone or video chat
Nutritional advice can easily be provided over the phone or by video chat (e.g. Skype). The following advice centres, for example, provide this service:
The immune system is complex – SWICA supports you in all areas
The immune system involves the complex interplay of many different factors. To stay healthy, people need a balanced diet, sufficient sleep (more than seven hours), recovery after periods of stress, and sufficient exercise. SWICA supports your health-promoting activities with up to 800 francs (go to detailed information).
Because health is everything
Physical fitness, a balanced diet and wellbeing are important elements in a healthy lifestyle. That's why SWICA supports your personal commitment in all areas of health with annual contributions of up to 800 francs under the COMPLETA PRAEVENTA and OPTIMA supplementary insurance plans (go to detailed information).
Incidentally, supplementary insurance always provides valuable additional benefits above and beyond those available under basic insurance. It can be taken out with SWICA at any time, regardless of which insurer currently provides your basic insurance. .
SWICA is there for you
The SWICA team would be happy to assist you online or by phone if you have questions about benefits or require personal advice. Call free of charge on 0800 80 90 80 or complete the form below:
For your health at home
SWICA supports you with medical services and advice around the clock and has useful recommendations and products for promoting health and preventing illness. Here you can get valuable tips on coronavirus checks at home, staying in shape while at home, and working from home. You can also discover the online courses and coaching sessions that SWICA supports.
Getting medical support and recommendations for symptoms
Staying fit and healthy at home: Tips and offers
Personal training: Why you will reach your goals more quickly
Nutrition: Tips for the immune system and offers for at home
Working from home: Setting up your workplace properly