Coronavirus outbreak: Food to consume that help boost immunity to fight COVID-19

Updated: Mar 21, 2020, 12:47 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

The best way to protect oneself is to follow simple habits like sleeping well, exercising, and finding the best ways to reduce stress for a more effective immune system.

The image has been used for representational purposes only
The image has been used for representational purposes only

With the global spread of coronavirus at a lightning pace, it is essential to have a strong immune system to combat it effectively. As of now, there is no medical cure to this pandemic. However, individuals can still ensure critical hygiene and have a healthy food consumption pattern to keep our immune system in pink of health and to avoid infections. Fortunately, nature has given us an abundance of food that strengthens the guts and keeps one healthy.

The best way to protect oneself is to follow simple habits like sleeping well, exercising, and finding the best ways to reduce stress for a more effective immune system. Food influences our body, and hence the immune system, to respond and therefore it is important to help the immune system fight against coronavirus.

Appended below are some of the best foods that can help strengthen our immunity system:

1. Garlic

Garlic contains an important compound called ‘Allicin’ which helps in fighting against germs and boosts the immune system.

Ways to consume:

• Add it in your soups and curries
• Crush it and eat it raw

2. Ginger
Ginger is a strong antioxidant that has been proven to boost the immune system. It contains many vitamins, some of which are magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium. Ginger also helps to kill viruses that cause colds and has been said to combat chills and fever.

Ways to consume:

• Add it to your coffee/tea
• Mix it with honey and eat it
• Prepare a concoction of ginger and star anise and drink it

3. Resveratrol

Resveratrol is a polyphenol compound found in certain plants and is known to have antioxidant properties. Foods like peanuts, pistachios, strawberries, cranberries, grapes etc. contain resveratrol.

Ways to consume:

• Munch on the food items mentioned above

4. Load your diet with Vitamin C
Foods rich in Vitamin C such as amla, peppers, broccoli, apple, kiwi, lemons, oranges etc. are found to be helpful in adding the immune system.

Ways to consume:

• Prepare a fruit salad.
• Eat them whole and not in juice form.

5. Herbs
Tulsi, oregano and rosemary are good for boosting the immune system

Ways to consume:

• Eat 1-2 tulsi leaves daily
• Add tulsi leaves to tea or boil the water with tulsi leaves
• Add oregano to your salads
• Add rosemary oil to your dough or to the oil used for frying
• Inhale them

6. Zinc and Selenium
Foods rich in zinc and selenium such as almonds, cashew nuts (unsalted), sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds are effective immunity boosters.

Ways to consume:

• Nibble on them
• Topped cooked veggies with them

7. Probiotic and Fermented Foods
These foods maintain and promote the growth of gut bacteria and in turn boost one’s immunity.

Ways to consume:

• Include dosas, idlis and dhoklas in your diet
• Include curd/yogurt to build good bacteria

It is indeed important to stay safe and with the help of thorough cooking. Including these food items in your diet helps boost immunity while giving high importance to nutrition. Food thus plays the biggest role in the prevention of a viral infection.

By Snehal Nanivadekar , Assistant General Manager –QHSE at Elior India

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