• by: Valter Longo Foundation
  • October 11th, 2022

Nutritional and Lifestyle Guidelines for Women for a Stronger Immune System

Useful information for age groups regarding:

  • Nutritional needs
  • Physical activity
  • Sleep
  • Longevity recipes

CHILDREN (1-10 years OLD)


The period of childhood is characterized by an increase in growth and nutritional needs: caloric intake varies from 770 kcal to 2230 kcal based on age and physical activity.

To adequately support the immune system, it is important to meet protein needs. The daily protein requirements vary according to the age group: from 0.82 g to 0.72 grams per kg / 0.31 to 0.36 grams per pound of body weight per day.

Fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are also essential for the immune system and proper neuronal development, and they are found in foods such as fish, nuts, and oil seeds.

Daily caloric intake should be divided as follows: 15% breakfast, 5% snack, 40% lunch, 10% snack, and 30% dinner. In particular, it is important to make breakfast a habit from a young age as it reduces the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease and improves mental clarity. Additionally, an overnight fast of 10-12 hours is recommended.

Breakfast should consist of a protein source (i.e., milk), a carbohydrate source (i.e. biscuits) and a fat source (i.e. nuts). For variation, you can replace cow’s milk with goat milk, yogurt (low-fat, goat, or vegetable) and plant-based milk (preferably sugar-free and enriched with vitamin D and calcium).

The biscuits or common bread can be substituted with whole grain versions, or with a mix of whole grains. It is important to consume the so called “good” fats such as dried fruit (also through spreads with a high content of dried fruit) or extra virgin olive oil, limiting saturated fats and sugars.


Physical activity in childhood is essential for the proper development of the child in order to prevent the development of metabolic syndrome in adulthood. This does not refer to a single disease, but to a set of factors that put individuals at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc., and which are linked to excessive fat, particularly abdominal fat, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and fasting blood sugar.

Physical activity can prevent this condition and allows you to ensure proper development of muscle mass, maximize bone growth, and compensate for the subsequent loss associated with aging. In addition to having an important role in physical growth, exercise is also very important for cognitive development.

The right amount of physical activity also contributes to the strengthening of the immune system, as described in the literature and in the book “Longevity Begins in Childhood” by Professor Valter Longo (forthcoming in English).

According to the guidelines of the World Health Organization, children should practice at least 60 minutes of moderately to intense daily physical activity, accompanied by exercises to strengthen the musculoskeletal system at least 3 times a week. Performing activities for over 60 minutes, also through day-to-day play activities, further improves the psychophysical health of the child.


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