Lavleen Kaur (Photo Credit: lavleen kaur)
New Delhi :
As corona-virus cases keep increasing every day, we feel more threatened about catching the virus. We find ourselves asking if increasing immunity level really help fight the virus. The answer is yes! Our immune system is responsible for fighting against diseases once they enter our body. Even though there is no proven cure for the virus yet, a healthy immune system means we’ll effectively be able to fight the virus even after exposure.
Aside from elders, we know that people with weak immune system due to various health problems are very vulnerable to the virus. These include people with weak lungs, breathing problems, diabetes, high blood pressure levels, obesity etc. The only way to stay precautious is to stay indoors and work towards building our immune system.
So how can we boost our immunity?
The internet is filled with advice on how to “boost” our immunity from eating Vitamin C to essential oils. With all this advice on what to eat, how can we know if any of these recommendations really work? “Immunity is not a one-dimensional concept. It cannot be built only by focusing on diet. It is a two-fold concept which includes diet as well as lifestyle”, says Lavleen Kaur, a leading dietitian and lifestyle coach.
Immune-boosting food items to add to your diet
Vitamin C If you enter a supermarket, you might see that the section of Vitamin C supplements is almost empty. That’s because vitamin C is an essential nutrition needed to boost immunity. It helps white blood cells function smoothly and fight against infections. Many prefer to take supplements in order to acquire this nutrition that our body needs but they forget that it can be easily found in our daily food. Our body does not produce this vitamin and therefore we should focus on eating rich vitamin C food. It can found in oranges, amla, bell peppers and spinach.
Zinc is another mineral that is often added into supplements because of its crucial role in boosting immunity. Lack of zinc means people are more likely to catch the flu and other viruses. Nuts and seeds are a great source of zinc. It is also present in milk and other dairy products. Vegetables like mushrooms, green peas, broccoli and spinach are also rich in zinc.
Herbs and spices
Other beneficial spices available in every Indian kitchen are cinnamon, star anise, cloves and green cardamom. As dietitian Lavleen says “Indian Kitchen is a complete pharmacy in itself.”
Probiotics are microorganism found in our digestive system. These are “good bacteria’s” that are essential for our bodily function.
Fermented food items: These include food items like curd, cottage cheese (paneer), pickles, buttermilk, kaanji, dhokla etc. South Indian food items like idli, appam, uttapam are all examples of fermented foods.
To boost immunity, it is important to include essential fatty acids in our regular diet. They increase the count of white blood cells, which help fight the invasion of dangerous infections into our body.
Immunity-booster tea (special recipe)
Here is an instant recipe for herbal tea which includes all the natural immunity booster ingredients you will need
|Ginger/Dried Ginger Powder||1inch/1tsp|
|Tulsi (fresh)||4-5 leaves|
|Crushed garlic (optional)||1-2 cloves|
|Fennel seeds||1/4th tsp|
|Ajwain (carrom seeds)||A pinch|
|Jeera (cumin seeds)||1/4th tsp|
Boil the above ingredients in water for 10 minutes. Strain, and then sip warm.
As dietitian Lavleen Kaur repeats, that having a proper diet is not enough! To boost immunity, we will also have to focus on improving our lifestyle.
The basics of a good lifestyle
Even though there is no medical treatment for Covid-19 yet, boosting immunity will help you prevent or manage the damage of the virus. According to Kaur, there is no quick way to boost immunity. It simply cannot be built in a week or two. It is a gradual process and requires diet and lifestyle changes. A healthy and strong immune system will also help avoid catching any other disease in the future. Amid times of uncertainty, let us treat this as a God sent reminder to build our immunity together by following these simple and easy advice on diet and lifestyle.