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The biggest concern right now is how to contain and prevent coronavirus or COVID-19. As the number of cases of coronavirus in India and the rest of the world increase, you need to be careful and look for ways to improve your immunity. You are unlikely to find foods that will help prevent contracting COVID-19 but you can reduce the severity of the coronavirus symptoms and equip your body to fight the virus better.
This is no different from getting your share of nutrients like vitamin C during the flu season in addition to maintaining proper hygiene – washing hands and sanitizing. Social distancing is the main precaution for coronavirus but you can also improve your immunity by eating certain foods. Get FITFEAST and consult certified nutritionists to find out which foods you should be eating and which are best avoided. Get personalized advice based on your needs and preferences.
Citrus fruits are packed with Vitamin C, which helps strengthen the immune system. It facilitates the production of white blood cells that primarily fight infections. Vitamin C isn’t produced or stored by your body, which raises the need to consume it regularly for good health. Most citrus fruits contain high amounts of Vitamin C. Therefore, have lemons, limes, grapefruit, tangerines, clementine, oranges, etc. every day. The orange season is almost over so get your fill of it as much as you can. Eating oranges can lower the duration severity of a cold. If you have mild coronavirus symptoms, eating citrus fruits will help you.
Ginger has been used for centuries to treat ailments and many still turn to it when they feel under the weather. Ginger is easily available even in the current climate. Ginger root has considerably potent immunity-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also known to have antiviral and antibacterial properties. It reduces throat soreness and other inflammatory illnesses including nausea.
The production of free radicals (highly reactive molecules) is a result of normal metabolic processes in the body, presence of toxins, and infections. Free radicals cause oxidative stress which is an imbalance. Ginger and other antioxidant-rich foods fight free radicals and prevent or reduce the symptoms of cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, arthritis, etc.
Ginger is best when added to dishes. Ginger tea is also a good option. Add some freshly grated ginger to stir-fried veggies for a healthy dish. It can be used in desserts as well.
This amazing vegetable is on the list not only because it is packed with Vitamin C (although it is) but also because it contains lots of antioxidants and beta carotene. Having spinach enables the immune system to fight infections effectively. However, spinach retains its nutrients when cooked as little as possible. While you can have it raw, cooking it a little improves the absorption of Vitamins A and releases other nutrients like oxalic acid.
Apart from Vitamins A and C, spinach is rich in iron, magnesium, and fiber that not only boost the immune system but facilitate cell division and DNA repair as well. Spinach salad is a good idea but you should try other dishes as well like creamed spinach, spinach dip, spinach lasagna/pasta, garlic sautéed spinach, etc.
It seems as if citrus fruits are the obvious winners when it comes to vitamin C contents but they’re not. As it turns out, red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits. According to research, the body needs 200 mg of Vitamin C every day. Any more of it is excreted by the body. An orange of medium size contains around 70 mg Vitamin C whereas a medium raw bell pepper contains around 150 mg.
Red bell peppers contain beta carotene, which is good for skin and eyes. Cut up a red bell pepper into slices and have it with guacamole or hummus. Or you can add it to your pizza. Check out stuffed red bell pepper recipes for a wholesome meal.
Found in virtually every cuisine in the world, garlic adds a zingy flavor to the dish. Not only that, but it is also amazing for your health. For millennia, it has been used for its infection-fighting properties. Eat garlic to lower blood pressure and to slacken the hardening of the arteries. Garlic contains high amounts of allicin and other sulfur-rich compounds that are very good for the immune system.
Garlic has not only antiviral and antibacterial properties but anti-fungal properties as well. It is especially good for people suffering from cancers, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease among others. It reduces the severity of colds, which can help reduce the symptoms of coronavirus as well. You can simply eat a clove of garlic every day or use it as an ingredient in your foods.
Turmeric is widely used in the majority of preparations in Indian households. It contains a natural compound – curcumin – that has anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests that curcumin boosts immune cell activity, which improves antibody response. Turmeric is especially good for patients of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Using a mix of black pepper and turmeric increases the availability of curcumin. You can make smoothies, soups, or cooked veggies with turmeric and black pepper combo.
Yogurts have live and active cultures that stimulate the immune system and enable it to fight disease much better. Yogurt is great for gut health, which plays a major role in determining the strength of the immune system. Whenever you buy yogurt, make sure that you buy the sugar-free and unflavoured one. Get plain yogurts and add seeds, nuts, and berries to them to make them tasty and nutritious. Yogurt contains Vitamin D, which is also good for the immune system. It fortifies the body’s defense against diseases.