Immunity Boosters during COVID-19 pandemic

15 April 2020 | Opinion

Health experts have suggested that boosting immunity may help as a precautionary step Image credit- shuttershock.com Image credit- shuttershock.com

With the government extending the lockdown period from April 14, 2020 to May 03, 2020, there is an alarming uneasiness in everyone’s mind about the preventive measures one can take other than social distancing to avoid Covid-19.  

As the whole world is desperately looking for a cure for this dreadful disease, health experts have suggested that boosting immunity may help as a precautionary step. Here are 5 ways that we can try as a thumb rules for all in the family to boost and maintain immunity:

1 Handful of nuts and seeds: The vitamin E found in nuts like pistachios, almonds and walnuts is needed by the immune system to fight off viruses and bacteria. Try adding nuts to salads, few gravies, oatmeal or simply enjoy a handful as a snack. To increase the amount of zinc, do add pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or flax seeds. To save time, fix a trail mix and store in an airtight container. 

2 superfoods in a day: Try and have at least 2 super foods in a day. Add good amount of turmeric, ginger and garlic to Indian curries and vegetables. If preparing pasta for children add a good amount of garlic and fresh basil. Other superfoods that you can store at home are sundried amla, mint, fresh berries, yellow pumpkin, beetroot, sweet potato, carrots etc. 

3 portions of protein in a day: Indian diets are mostly protein deficient. And we generally do not pay enough attention to adding protein to our main meals.  Dietary Protein plays a very crucial role in maintaining and boosting immunity. So, make sure you add at least one portion of protein rich food in all main meals. One portion means- 1 medium katori of thick dals, rajma, channa, lobiya (black eyed peas) broad beans, soybeans, milk, curd and other milk products are very good sources of protein. Make tomato pepper rasam with dal in it, can add besan or soy flour to whole wheat flour to make chapatis etc. 

5 fruits and vegetables a day to meet vitamins and minerals requirements: All seasonal fruits and vegetable are great sources of essential vitamins and minerals. To keep our immunity strong, we must try and add at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day. Add all colourful veggies in this season, from bright orange carrots to lilac – purple beetroot to orange- yellow pumpkin, bell peppers and more. One can also try easy-one pot recipes like healthy rice bowl (add all sautéed colourful vegetables, cubes of paneer and steam on slow heat with rice. Or try chapati noodles- Make chapatis with soy flour and grated carrots. Cut chapatis in thin strips (like flat noodles/ pasta). Stir fry all colourful vegetables like for hakka noodles and instead of noodles add chapati strips.

8 glasses of water a day: Hydration is another key factor when it comes keeping infections/ germs away. Make sure you and your kid hydrates well. Along with 8 glasses of water, add fresh lemon water (great in increasing a cell’s anti-viral defense mechanisms), 1 glass tender coconut water, 1 cup tomato rasam or tomato soup. Thin buttermilk, ragi ganji etc are also good ways to boost nutrition while keeping children well hydrated.

So stay clean, maintain social distancing and let’s make nutritious food a part of our lifestyles today and days to come to beat the pandemic!

 

PARIKSHA RAO, Co-Founder & Chief Nutrition Officer (CNO) LIL’GOODNESS & sCOOLMEAL, Bengaluru

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