asks. Check. Sanitisers. Check. Hand wash regimen. Check. Social distancing. Check. Working on immunity. What? While we are busy taking all possible precautions to fight the pandemic that’s making the world lose its sleep, most of us are probably not spending enough time to strengthen our own immune system — perhaps the only way to fight coronavirus, if not prevent it completely. Here are a few simple ingredients that you can stock up on (no panic buying). Keep these handy to boost your immunity in order to help yourself and in turn, the world at large. Remember, worrying won’t help, improving your gut and immunity will.
FOODS RICH IN ANTIOXIDANTS
Superfoods like berries, onions, garlic, ginger, carrots and even pumpkins are high on antioxidants. Include one of these in your diet at least once a day. They are extremely essential for building our immune system, which in turn fights off the virus. These foods also contain abundant amounts of Vitamin C, B and E, which help get rid of infections. You can add green tea to your daily diet too as Green tea is the healthiest beverage due to its richness in antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body.
GET YOUR DOSE OF VITAMIN C
Our body relies on these nutrients to launch an effective immune response. So, stock up on lots of citrus fruits like guavas, oranges, amla, berries, lime etc. Almonds are rich in Vitamin E and a key to a healthy immune system. Add vegetables of different colours to your plate and include basil leaves, spirulina, neem, almonds in your diet.
GOOD OLD TURMERIC
Turmeric, rich in anti-inflammatory properties, has an active compound called curcumin, which is known to have multiple benefits. Add turmeric and black pepper to your diet. It’s an age-old, tried and tested recipe for boosting your immune system. Have it in the form of tea along with water and spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, saffron etc or have a glass of haldi doodh.
Start your day with 1-2 tsps of organic coconut oil. It helps in reducing inflammation and digesting fat-soluble vitamins. Coconut oil has antiviral properties that can attack a variety of bacteria and viruses.
Just a spoonful of fermented foods encourages the growth of good bacteria in your gut. With high levels of good bacteria comes strong immunity. Yoghurt, home-made pickles and kanji water are some great options for fermented foods.
Known as mulethi in Hindi. It has many antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is known to be very effective in many viral illnesses. So, brew yourself a warm cup of liquorice tea if you feel like you have a cold coming up.
PREBIOTIC FOODS FOR GUT
Prebiotic foods — including flax seeds, chia seeds, apples, oats, barley, potato, bananas, garlic, kiwi — promote the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut and help with digestive problems. It even helps build a strong immune system.