Boost Your Immunity through Diet during COVID-19
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed our worldview and certainly our priorities too. As we finally realize the truth to the old saying “Health is Wealth”, we also start to understand that our immune system is our best defence. A healthy and nutritious diet is the best way to strengthen our immune systems and fight any infections that we may be susceptible to. Apart from staying home, maintaining social distancing, and taking protective measures, Select CITYWALK urges you to add immunity-boosting foods to your daily diet. Here are some of the important things to remember when you plan your meals:
- Add fruits to your daily diet. Citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges are rich in Vitamin C, which is one of the micronutrients needed to sustain the body’s immune functions. Fruits such as guava, apple, and banana, add various minerals and fibre to your diet. Fruits are also natural sources of sugar and help satiate your sweet tooth without the need for artificial sweeteners.
- Nuts and seeds are among the most overlooked foods. Nuts and seeds are a storehouse of energy and micronutrients which give you a huge health boost without adding empty calories. Seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and sesame seeds, and nuts such as walnuts and almonds are rich sources of minerals that help activate your immune system. Snacking on seeds and nuts can give you an instant energy boost in between meal times.
- Despite popular belief, it may not be a good idea to avoid foods sourced from animals. Fish can be a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) apart from providing you iron, zinc, and magnesium. Eggs and dairy products are great sources of Vitamin B12. Lean meats add to the protein content of your diet. It is important to maintain a balance and avoid high-fat meats and animal foods.
- As far as possible, eat fresh vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, beans, gourds, peas, kale, etc. Prefer fresh salads over cooked vegetables. Cooking destroys the nutritive value of most vegetables. It is best to opt for a large salad that has been spiced with green chilies, freshly ground black pepper, and topped with fresh herbs to one with a heavy dressing.
- Carbohydrates are an essential part of most of our meals. They should not be completely avoided. Root vegetables, pulses, and legumes, whole grains contain a healthy amount of carbohydrates that are needed to maintain essential body functions. Avoid sweets and desserts as most of these contain white and/or processed sugars and artificial sweeteners.
- At a time when the immune system needs a healthy boost, it is best to avoid all packaged foods. These are high in salt content and sugars such as fructose, corn syrup, trans fats, and artificial ingredients.
- The most important tip to keep your immune system in shipshape is to stay hydrated and drink lots of water throughout the day.
The immune system is a complex function of diet, exercise, activity, sleep, and mental health. Just as it is important to eat healthy foods, it is also important to exercise, sleep well, and stay positive and joyful.