With the outbreak of COVID-19 which is declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, fortunately, hygiene standards have risen globally. Mundane household tasks have turned into a source of uncertainty and anxiety as families grapple with getting the basics done all while keeping their loved ones safe and healthy. People are advised to adopt measures such as reducing non-essential travelling and staying home, frequent washing of hands, covering mouth and nose, avoiding touching face and keeping a certain distance with other people to reduce the risk of getting infection. These precautions, if taken seriously and sincerely, will certainly minimize the risk of getting infected but enhancing the body’s natural defense system or immunity is far safer and a more effective way to protect yourself from the Coronavirus.
Immunity plays an important role in maintaining optimum health. A healthy diet is key to sickness prevention and a working immune system. Including the following powerful foods may help keep your immune system strong.
Sweet or Sour
Sweet, brightly colored citrus fruits are not only flavorful and pretty — they’re also good for you. This class of fruits includes lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit, tangerines as well as many more hybrids and varieties. They are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C, a nutrient that strengthens the immune system and keeps your skin smooth and elastic. In fact, just one medium orange has all the vitamin C and fiber you need in a day. Because your body doesn’t produce or store it, you need daily vitamin C for continued health.
Citrus fruits also have good amounts of other vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly, including B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and copper. The recommended daily amount for most adults is: 75mg for women and 90 mg for men. Although there’s no evidence yet that it’s effective against the new Coronavirus yet most studies reveal that vitamin C might help you recover from a cold quicker.
The idea of boosting your immunity is enticing. Eating a low-fat, plant-based diet may help give the immune system a boost. The immune system relies on white blood cells that produce antibodies to combat bacteria, viruses, and other invaders. Vegetarians have been shown to have more effective white blood cells when compared to non-vegetarians, due to a high intake of vitamins and low-intake of fat. Studies have shown that green vegetables — from bok choy to broccoli — are the source of a chemical signal that is important to a fully functioning immune system. They do this by ensuring that immune cells in the gut and the skin known as intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) function properly. Green vegetables are also rich in antioxidants, they help reduce oxidative stress. Green leafy vegetables include not only the commonly known fenugreek, spinach and lettuce but also a variety of herbs like parsley and cilantro, and also kale and Swiss chard. They are stark green in colour due to the abundance of chlorophyll, which is structurally similar to haemoglobin, making them a natural blood-building food. Spinach has a high dose of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which help fight off infections as well as replenish the blood cells to give a boost to the immune system. Broccoli too is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fiber and many other antioxidants, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate.
The multi-vitamin dose in these vegetables keeps the weight under control, maintains blood pH, improves vision and nervous control, supports heart and liver health, dental and bone health, fights cancer, purifies blood, and increases hemoglobin, thus boosting immunity.
Good Ginger Garlic
Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. It is found in almost every cuisine in the world. It adds a little zing to food and it’s a must-have for your health.
Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin. However, allicin is unstable, so it quickly converts to other Sulphur-containing compounds thought to give garlic its medicinal properties. These compounds have been shown to boost the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells in the body when they encounter viruses, such as the viruses that cause the common cold or flu. Garlic is an excellent natural blood thinner, helps to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, and may protect the blood vessels from developing atherosclerosis. Raw garlic, not cooked or dried, is most beneficial for health, since heat and water inactivate sulfur enzymes, which can diminish garlic’s antibiotic effects. In clinical trials, the toxin-fighting staple seems to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and kill parasites in the body.
Being a root spice ginger is filled with immune-boosting benefits, making it a “go-to” ingredient in many healthy recipes. Ginger is antibacterial so it helps support the immune system and it can help to prevent nausea and soothe an upset stomach. Ginger is also a natural blood thinner and contains a phenolic anti-inflammatory compound called gingerol that may be responsible for relaxing blood vessels. It contains nutrients such as vitamin B6 and dietary minerals like magnesium and manganese. In fact, raw ginger has around 79% water, 18% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and 1% fat. In fact, the best way to use ginger is by adding the raw ginger to your foods and drinks. 904
Almost all varieties of nuts are full of nutrients thereby making them a great dietary staple. They’re incredibly versatile and taste great in breakfasts, dinners, snacks, and treats. They also have a long shelf life. Walnuts are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals, including: Copper and Vitamin B6. Copper found in fresh walnuts helps maintain bone, nerve, and immune system function. Vitamin B6, on the other hand, strengthens your immune system and supports nerve health. A healthy immune system requires adequate intake of vitamin B6, which pistachios abound in. Vitamin B6 in fresh pistachios also promotes blood flow and helps maintain the health of lymphoid glands, such as the thymus, spleen and lymph nodes. All of these things help the production of white blood cells that defend the body from infections. Brazilian nuts are most renowned, though, for their high selenium content, and are in fact the richest known food source of this important nutrient.
Sip it Green
Green tea is packed with flavonoids which helps us to strengthen our brain function and also increases metabolism. The polyphenols act on our immune system and affect the number of regulatory T-cells (a part of our immune system) and in that process, improve our immune function. Levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), another powerful antioxidant, are high in green tea. Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T cells.
Tinge of Yellow
Turmeric is a key ingredient in many Asian curries. Curcumin in this Asian bitter spice gives its distinctive colour and helps in boosting immunity and helps to fight viral replication. Curcumin suppresses various inflammatory molecules.