Covid-19: Five food habits to strengthen your immune system
As we continue to navigate through a global pandemic, there are various measures one can take to avoid infection and prevent spreading the virus. Although there are still many unknowns about the COVID-19 virus and the information around it is constantly evolving, “we do know that healthy diets, physical activity, stress management and adequate sleep are vital to keep the immune system strong”, said Dr. Siddhant Bhargava, Fitness and Nutritional Scientist, Co-Founder – Food Darzee.
He explained that a healthy, balanced diet directly affects the way we feel and also how the body functions. “In the face of current health challenges, these tips will help protect you and your loved ones in the fight to stay Covid-free”, the expert added.
Mentioned below are some healthy eating habits, according to Dr Bhargava, to sail you through these challenging times:
*Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables – Opt for a variety of fruits and vegetables that offer loads of vitamins, minerals and fibre. One can also use them to prepare a large batch of soups, stews or other dishes, as per preference and taste.
*Consume pulses and nuts – Whole grains, pulses, nuts and healthy fats support the immune system and help in reducing inflammation. An inexpensive source of protein, pulses are full of vitamins and minerals that can help reduce the risk of diseases like diabetes and coronary conditions. “Increase the intake of olive, sesame, peanuts and other unsaturated oils”, Dr Bhargava said.
*Limit fats, sugar and salt – In times of high stress, such as during a pandemic, do not turn towards comfort food that is high in fat, sugar, salt and calories. “Managing fats, sugar and salt in the body can keep you healthy and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease”, he said.
*Immunity boosting drinks – Prepare fresh, immunity boosting drinks at home using ginger, apple cider vinegar, granola fruit smoothie, and kadha. These drinks are not only delicious but exceptionally healthy, fulfilling and rejuvenating.
*Regular physical activity– It is important to exercise daily to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy. The aim must be at least 30-60 minutes of daily exercise depending on your age, fitness, diet and lifestyle.
“Eat a variety of food to ensure a balanced diet, include micronutrient-rich foods in the diets of elderly people, seek guidance on what constitutes healthy portions for adults and young children to avoid overeating and prevent obesity. Also, adopt the right pre-cooking processes and appropriate cooking methods”, the expert said in conclusion.
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