FOOD AND IMMUNITY

FI1As coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted communities around the world, many people have wondered whether there are steps they can take to stay healthy. Everyday preventive measures—such as handwashing, avoiding contact with sick individuals, and good hygiene—can go a long way in reducing your risk for viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.

In addition, however, the main thing that is important is that nutrition and other lifestyle measures influence immune strength and susceptibility to infectious diseases.

Here is what I feel the foods which helps in boosting your body’s immune system, and the most crucial at this point with the Covid – 19 pandemic around.

 

  1. VITAMIN C:

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Vitamin C helps to boost the immunity by helping white blood cells to function more efficiently. It acts as an Anti-Oxidant, enhancing immune cell function. It has anti-bacterial and anti – viral properties that protects your body against any kind of infection.

Good Sources:

Kiwi’s, Guavas, Oranges, Lemons, Amla, Strawberries, Lychee, Broccoli, Kale, Red Bell Pepper, etc

 

  1. VITAMIN D:

FI3Research shows vitamin D supplementation may reduce the risk for viral infections, including respiratory tract infections, by reducing production of pro inflammatory compounds in the body. Increased vitamin D in the blood has been linked to prevention of other chronic diseases including tuberculosis, hepatitis, and cardiovascular disease.

Good Sources:

               Sunlight, Fatty Fish, Egg Yolks, Fortified Milk, Mushrooms, Supplements, etc

 

  1. ZINC:

Zinc plays an important role in immunity, as it is involved in your body’s cell mediated and humoral immune response (two types of immunity where a specific immune response is generated for a particular pathogen). Researchers have found that taking zinc within 24 hours of the first signs of cold could shorten its duration and make the symptoms less severe.

Men and women need 11mg and 8mg of zinc per day respectively. Keep in mind that you don’t want to have more than the daily recommended amount of zinc. The maximum intake is 40mg/day. Too much zinc can actually inhibit immune system function.

Good Sources:

Red Meats, Sea food especially Oysters & Molluscs.  It is also found in plant sources like whole grains and legumes, but in much lower quantities

 

  1. GARLIC:

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For thousands of years, people all over the world have hailed garlic as an elixir of health. Its cloves are said to help treat the common cold and keep the plague at bay.

Garlic has been used to fight infectious diseases as it has anti – microbial, anti – fungal and anti -viral properties.

Studies have shown that in corporating Garlic in your meals may actually activate immunity genes and reduce the severity and incidence of cold.

Raw garlic, not cooked or dried, is most beneficial for health, since heat and water inactivate sulphur enzymes, which can diminish garlic’s antibiotic effects.

 

  1. PRE-BIOTICS & PRO – BIOTICS:

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PREBIOTICS are a special form of dietary fiber that acts as a fertilizer for the good bacteria in your gut.

PROBIOTICS are live bacteria that can be found in yogurt and other fermented foods.

Prebiotics and probiotics both support the body in building and maintaining a healthy colony of bacteria and other microorganisms, which supports the gut and aids digestion. These food components help promote beneficial bacteria by providing food and creating an environment where microorganisms can flourish.

                    Good Sources of Prebiotics:

Garlic, Onions, Bananas, Oats, Apples, Legumes, Berries, Flax Seeds, Wheat Bran , Asparagus, Artichokes, Chicory Root, Leek, Dandelion Greens,  etc

Good Sources of Probiotics:

Yogurt

Buttermilk

Pickles

Kefir (Fermented probiotic drink)

Sauerkraut (shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid and bacteria)

Kimchi (Is a fermented spicy, Korean side dish)

Tempeh (Fermented Soya bean product), Miso (Is a Japanese seasoning)

 

  1. GINGER:

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Antioxidant compounds in ginger root have potent anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Normal metabolic processes in the body, infections, and toxins all contribute to the production of free radicals resulting in oxidative stress. Antioxidants in foods like ginger quench free radicals and help guard against arthritis, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and may other conditions. Grate some fresh ginger and steep it in hot water to make tea. Ginger has proven antibacterial and antiviral properties.

 

  1. GINSENG:

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Ginseng is a root with potent anti – oxidant effects that contribute to reduced Inflammation, supported immunity and other health benefits.

Ginseng can improve respiratory systems especially in elderly. It is most effective when taken within a 2 hours window of a meal.

Aim for 2000mg of Ginseng extract daily.

 

Also, apart from following the above things, there are some other daily things that you can follow to maintain the immunity.

  • HOT WATER GARGLES:

Hot water gargles could be done twice a day in the morning and at night by adding either turmeric or salt or both because the corona virus before entering the lungs remains in the throat for 4 days and hot water gargles would aid in sustaining them there itself or kill them.

  • EAT WARM AND HEALTHY FOOD:

It’s best to eat warm and freshly prepared food these days. Also prefer having home made food, rather than packed or processed or canned food. Avoid eating stale food or left-over food. But also, as this is a crisis situation avoid wasting food and purchase only what is essential.

  • AVOID COLD FOOD AND DRINKS:

Avoid cold food and drinks as much as possible in these days as it makes you more susceptible to catch cold and lower your immunity.

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