We were caught unawares by the coronavirus pandemic and when scientists and doctors from all over the world declared that the only defense we have right now, against this virus, is our own immunity, it felt as if a mirror was being shown to us by Mother Nature. In a society where how you looked mattered the most, suddenly we were forced to think about our health.
A person’s immunity is their ability to fight infections. Many factors play an important role in keeping the immune system active. Proper diet, exercise, stress management, adequate sleep and avoiding alcohol and smoking are essential for building your immunity.
Consuming a well balanced diet which has all the food groups in the right amounts is crucial for the proper working of your immune system. It is important to avoid junk and processed foods as they only provide empty calories. Proper hydration should also be maintained for which around 3 litres water should be consumed daily. Special emphasis should be given to the following foods to boost your immunity –
- Vitamin C rich foods i.e. citrus fruits like amla, guava, orange, lemon etc. should consumed daily. Care should be taken to consume them fresh and uncooked as Vitamin C is lost by cooking.
- Protein is required to produce cells that fight infections in the body. So it is important to consume protein rich foods like beans, lentils, dals and dairy products.
- Probiotics such as curd keep the gut healthy which helps in proper functioning of the immune system.
- Spices such as turmeric, ginger and garlic have always been a part of Indian diet. Apart from imparting flavour, these also help to strengthen the immune system.
- Nuts and oilseeds are rich in vitamin E which works as an antioxidant and helps the body to keep healthy.
- Fruits and Vegetables especially green leafy vegetables are loaded with antioxidants which also boost immunity.
Alongwith these foods, a good dose of morning sunlight will provide Vitamin D and also help to boost your mood during the lockdown days.