By Paramita Saha, Sport Nutritionist
Coronavirus as an epidemic has already caused countries to lockdown for social distancing and prevention of its further spread. There is an immediate need to take precautions the key is to focus on building one’s immunity as well as overall health. It is important to follow basic hygiene but there’s only so much that hand sanitizers can do. Hence, it’s imperative to boost immunity that helps prevent diseases like novel coronavirus.
Our body has a natural defense mechanism, ‘immunity’, to prevent and fight again viruses such us coronavirus infection. Since it is a virus that has never mutated in human beings before, there is no current solution to it. Therefore, prevention is the best way during times of social distancing or self-quarantine. Our strong immune system will help us with virus prevention and also with regular pollution or contamination in food problems.
Some of the most helpful ammo in this fight against ill-health is right in your kitchen.
Turmeric is a spice commonly used in Indian cuisines and easily accessible. It contains a bright-yellow compound known as curcumin which has strong anti-inflammatory effects. Research suggests it might enhance immune function, prevent flu and heart diseases. It also helps in soothing sore throat and improves digestion. On the other hand, adding turmeric to your food adds flavor, and taking a curcumin supplement is unlikely to cause any harm in otherwise healthy people. Consume it with milk before sleeping or add it to warm water to reduce itching. Ginger-haldi tea is a remedy for the flu.
Garlic, a pungent herb with a characteristic aroma with zesty flavor and popular amongst Indian cuisine. It helps to fight the common cold and has antibacterial and antiviral effects. As per a research report, garlic supplement had cold recovered more quickly.
Cloves also known as lavang pods are a major part of Ayurvedic medicine. It helps in treating nausea and flu. The oil in it combats sore gums. It should be a part of one’s diet by adding it to your pulaos and other rice dishes.
Cinnamon has strong anti-inflammatory properties and can be added to warm water, coffee and desserts. The oil in it reduces aches, joint pains and improves circulation.
Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation in the body. The lining of the cells is protected by this fatty acid which keeps the immune system in check. It may not directly help with warding off a cold, but it bolsters the immune system, so when there is a viral attack the body is prepared. The omega-3-rich foods include flax seeds (unroasted, powdered) that can be added to soups and salads or crush it to powder and add it in the wheat flour.
Juices like Kale which is nutrient-dense provides one of the best ways to fortify the immune system. Pomegranate helps in aiding blood clotting, boosts heart health and bone development. Beetroot juice has powerful antioxidants that lower the risk of heart disease and inflammation. Orange juice is a rich source of vitamin C along with calcium that contributes to bone health.
Individuals with type 2 diabetes and other metabolic conditions are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19. The effective tools for treating and reversing these metabolic conditions are low-carb and ketogenic diets. Keto diet containing high fat and low carbohydrates activates a subset of the immune system’s T cells in the lungs. A recent study also shows that the way the body burns fat to produce ketone bodies from the food we eat can fuel the immune system to fight flu infection. It will also help you limit the conditions like high blood pressure or high blood sugar that might worsen the health condition.