By : Sheryl Salis (Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator)

Healthy Hacks To Boost Immunity

With the global pandemic of COVID-19 that has affected all of us, it is important that we stay safe indoors and encourage everyone around us to stay indoors and maintain physical distancing.

It is also very important to build our immune system as it works as our frontline defence mechanism against disease-causing microorganisms and protects us from all viruses and microbes that our body is exposed to daily.

While you are confined to the house, it is important to follow your regular routine, stay active, exercise daily, eat a wholesome balanced diet, get adequate sleep and manage stress levels.

A nutritious and a well-balanced diet with all the essential macro and micronutrients is very important for an optimally functioning immune system.

We suggest you follow these steps to build a strong immune system.

Get your dose of Vit D

Ensure you get your dose of Vitamin D which helps to boost immunity. You can go up to the terrace or to your balcony without sunscreen during the day to boost your Vit D levels. If your levels of Vit D are very low, consult a doctor and he may suggest a Vit D supplement

Wash fruits and vegetables

Ensure that you wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly, particularly leafy vegetables, cauliflower and broccoli as a precautionary measure before using them.

Colour your plate

Coloured fruits and vegetables are a rich source of antioxidants which help to boost immunity. Include colourful fruit and vegetables like pumpkin, bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, papaya in your diet.

Power up with Protein

For the immune system to function at its best, it is important to consume good quantity and quality of protein in the diet. A quarter of your plate at every meal must be protein.

Incorporate protein rich foods such as eggs, curd, buttermilk, paneer, sprouts, dal, soybean, soy chunks, soy granules, lean meat, fish, chicken etc in the meals

If you are not able to meet your protein requirements through food, you can include protein powders or diskettes.

Include foods rich in Vit C

Include foods rich in Vitamin C like gooseberry (amla), orange, sweet lime, lemon, bell peppers, berries, tomato, dark leafy vegetables, cashew fruit, kiwi, strawberry, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, etc. Vit C helps you build a strong immune system.

Add Zinc rich foods to your diet

Foods rich in zinc such as nuts, whole grains, legumes, soybean, eggs, black sesame seeds also help boost immune function and are highly recommended to be incorporated in the diet.

Include foods rich in Vit E

Vit E is a potent antioxidant which helps boost immunity hence foods rich in Vit E such as almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, garden cress seeds must be included in the diet

Include foods rich in Magnesium

Include millets like ragi, jowar, almonds, cashew nuts, pulses, green leafy vegetables and seeds like garden cress seeds and black sesame seeds to boost immunity

Kill the virus with these anti-viral foods

Garlic, fennel, ginger, cloves, tulsi, turmeric and coconut oil have anti-viral properties that help you maintain and boost your immune system whilst you stay prepared to fight the viral infections and flu.

Sip on Green Tea/Moringa Tea

Green tea catechins enhance immunity against viral infection by inhibiting the activity. You can also add a bit of lemon juice to your green tea to increase the vitamin C that will increase the amount of catechins available to the body

We can boost our immune systems by adding the above-mentioned foods easily available in our kitchen to build a strong immune system without letting us compromise on our taste buds.

Stay safe and healthy!

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