If you have a healthy immune system, your body can safeguard you from any disease, even the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.
While as of now, there is neither any vaccine available nor proven home remedy to protect you from the COVID-19, there are some vitamins and foods which you can inculcate in your diet to have a strong immune system and in turn, fight the infectious disease.
How food affects health
The foods you eat help your immune system. Inflammation is a natural alert to fight invaders. But, if it goes on too long, it can hurt you and your ability to fight disease effectively.
Eating foods that reduce inflammation (“anti-inflammatory” foods) helps your immune system.
Can supplements prevent COVID-19?
No single food, nutrient or supplement can prevent coronavirus infection, but eating healthy helps your body fight disease. It’s all about balance.
Supplements (like vitamins and minerals) can be helpful, but only if you’re not getting enough of those nutrients regularly.
Supplements can actually be bad for you if you take too much at one time. Everything is best in moderation. If you have underlying or chronic health conditions, check with your primary care provider before taking them.
Looking for ways to help prevent coronavirus?
Adding these 7 immunity-booster foods to your diet may help
1.Yogurt for Gut Health
“Yogurt is a natural probiotic and aids in the formation of good bacteria in our body. Remember, it has to be freshly made.
Do you know that a huge proportion of the immune system is actually in the gastrointestinal tract?
Eating yoghurt daily can improve immune function because it increases the body’s production of antibodies that fight off viruses. To avoid added sugar, choose plain, unsweetened yoghurt.
2.Turmeric for Anti-inflammatory Properties
The golden spice turmeric is known for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Curcumin, the compound present in turmeric is a very potent agent and aids in the healing of wounds and infections. This is the reason, it is often suggested to have turmeric milk.
‘Most people have it (turmeric) in the wrong way. If you are having Haldi (turmeric), don’t have it in water, instead, boil it in the milk and have the popular turmeric milk.
3.Garlic & Onions for Antiviral Properties
Garlic, a popular and pungent herb with a characteristic aroma, is widely believed to have antibacterial and antiviral effects, including helping to fight the common cold.
Garlic gets that distinctive smell from sulfur compounds and regardless of whether you love the aroma, it offers protective benefits to your health and immune response.
That’s because when garlic is crushed or chopped, it produces allicin, highlighted for its antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Onions have a substance called quercetin, which may help regulate histamine
response and contains antiviral properties.
4.Mushroom for Antibacterial Properties
Shiitake mushroom to be precise are packed with beta-glucans which are known to be antiviral and antibacterial compounds. They not only help in giving a kickstart to your immunity but also appear to subside inflammation.
You can enjoy stir-fried shiitake mushrooms by thinly slicing the mushroom caps and sauteeing in coconut oil.
5. Citrus and Leafy Greens for Vitamin C
Among all kinds of Vitamins, Vitamin C and Vitamin D play a major role in strengthening one’s immunity.
People who have been infected with the COVID-19 are being given Vitamin C through IV (Intravenous therapy) – that delivers fluids directly into a vein.
Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers reign supreme when it comes to fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C. One cup of chopped red bell peppers contains about 211% of your DV of vitamin C. That’s about twice more than an orange (106%).
Broccoli is also rich in vitamin C. Just half a cup contains 43% of your daily value of vitamin C. Broccoli is also packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants that support our immune system. It also contains vitamin E.
Just half a cup of strawberries contains 50% of her vitamin C needs for the day.
Spinach is rich in vitamin C and full of antioxidants that help shield our immune cells from environmental damage. Plus, it has beta carotene, which is the main dietary source of vitamin A — an essential component of proper immune function.
6.Nuts and Seeds Supply Immunity-Supportive Vitamin E, magnesium & selenium
Not only do they have magnesium, but they’re also rich with vitamin E, an antioxidant that’s been shown to improve the body’s ability to fight off bacteria and viruses.
Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, which works as an antioxidant and helps boosts the immune system. Small but mighty, just one ounce of dry-roasted sunflower seeds can give you 49% of your daily value of vitamin E.
Just one Brazil nut packs more than 100 per cent of your daily selenium needs, a mineral that can strengthen your immune system. Other options like almonds, walnuts, and pecans can give you that vitamin E boost with just a small handful.
7.Zinc for Cell Functions
Zinc is a mineral involved in the white blood cell response to infection. Because of this, people who are deficient in zinc are more susceptible to cold, flu, and other viruses.
This essential nutrient helps maintain the body’s ability to make new cells and enzymes, process carbohydrate, fat and protein in food and also increases the speed of healing muscles and wounds.
If you’re a meat-eater, good news: red meats are particularly high in zinc, as are shellfish and eggs. Vegans, go for nuts, whole grains and legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans).
Taking supplementary zinc may be a good strategy for older people and others at increased risk. If you decide to take zinc, make sure to stay below the upper limit of 40 mg per day and avoid administering nasally, due to the risk of olfactory complications.
By Priyanshi Bhatnagar