Eating a healthy diet has never been as important as it has become during the COVID-19 pandemic. What we eat and drink can affect our body’s ability to prevent, fight and recover from infections. The first step towards building our immunity is what we consume on a daily basis. Here is the list of the seven things anyone must include in their diet to increase immunity during these unprecedented times:
1. Include Omega 3 Fatty Acids Like Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is a source of polyunsaturated fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid. The alpha-linolenic acid and related chemicals in flaxseed oil seem to decrease inflammation. That is why flaxseed oil is useful for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory (swelling) diseases.
2. Eat Fresh And Unprocessed Food Everyday
Unprocessed food quickly reduces weight, increases your stamina, effectively fights heart disease. Add a minimum amount of 5 to 6 cups of seasonal vegetables to increase antioxidants. Also add in a wide variety of seasonal vegetables like carrots, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower. These are Sulphur rich vegetables, which help the body to detox.
3. Add In Good Fats
Add in good fats in the form of pure Bilona ghee. Desi Cow’s Bilona Ghee is full of nutrients, fatty acids, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, and antiviral properties. It is cool, sweet and a kind of saturated fat which we can add in our cooked food daily during lunch or dinner. Add cold-pressed extra virgin olive oils – there are many benefits of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil— its high in nutrients. Olive oil also boasts vitamin E and K. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant involved in immune function, while vitamin K plays a key role in blood clotting and bone health; avocados; nuts and seeds; fatty fish.
4. Include Protein And Complex Sources Of Carbohydrates
Include protein and complex sources of carbohydrates in the form of legumes, vegetables and whole grains. Legumes are a rich source of fibers that have various beneficial health effects. Legumes improve blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, lowers heart disease risk and promotes weight loss in long term.
5. Avoid Refined Items
Avoid all refined flours, refined oils, simple processed sugars in all forms including sugar replacements like honey and jaggery. Refined flours cause an acid-alkaline imbalance. Regular consumption of refined flour affects the body’s pH level. It also increases your blood sugar and causes weight gain. It also affects your digestive health and causes inflammation. This kind of food should be avoided if you have been diagnosed with inflammatory diseases.
6. Say No To Bakery Items
Avoid all bakery items like breads, biscuits, cookies etc. Replace with whole grains like millet, amaranth, buckwheat, sattu. Millets should be added to your daily menu as they have an abundance of vitamin B, calcium, iron, potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium and zinc. Since millets have their outer cover and they are rich in fiber too.
7. Befriend Vegetable Juices
Vegetable juices are easy to digest and are also high in their nutritional value. Add in a simple green vegetable juice. Green vegetables and their juices are the best source of essential vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds. Eating green leafy vegetables may help in reducing inflammation. Avoid fruit juices in all forms because it’s high in sugar and high in calories which is unhealthy for your health. Fruits to be taken in limited quantities once a day only.
A balanced diet with anti-inflammatory protocol is important to follow during and post-recovery from COVID-19. These food items may not help in the prevention of the virus but they shall help prepare your body to fight it and come out stronger.
(The article was authored by Dr. Anish Musa, CMO, Co-Founder, Jeevam Health and Ms. Rashi Mathur, Functional Medicine Certified Health & Nutrition Coach)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.