Eating a healthy diet has never been as important as it has become during the COVID-19 pandemic. What we eat and drink can affect our body’s ability to prevent, fight and recover from infections. The first step towards building our immunity is what we consume on a daily basis.
Here is the list of the seven things anyone must include in their diet to increase immunity during these unprecedented times:
Include omega 3 fatty acids like Flaxseed oil (Flaxseed oil is a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid). The alpha-linolenic acid and related chemicals in flaxseed oil seem to decrease inflammation. That is why flaxseed oil is useful for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory (swelling) diseases.
Eat fresh and unprocessed food every day (Unprocessed food quickly reduces weight, increases your stamina, effectively fights heart disease). Add a minimum amount of 5 to 6 cups of seasonal vegetables to increase antioxidants. Also add in a wide variety of seasonal vegetables like carrots, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower. These are Sulphur rich vegetables, which help the body to detox.
Add in good fats in the form of pure bilona ghee (Desi Cow’s Bilona Ghee is full of nutrients, fatty acids, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, and antiviral properties. It is cool, sweet and a kind of saturated fat which we can add in our cooked food daily during lunch or dinner), cold-pressed extra virgin olive oils (there are many benefits of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil--- it's high in nutrients. Olive oil also boosts vitamin E and K. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant involved in immune function, while vitamin K plays a key role in blood clotting and bone health.), avocados, nuts, and seeds, fatty fish.
Include protein and complex sources of carbohydrates in the form of legumes, dals, vegetables, and whole grains. Legumes are a rich source of fibers that have various beneficial health effects. Legumes improve blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, lowers heart disease risk, and promote weight loss in long term.
Avoid all refined flours, refined oils, simple processed sugars in all forms including sugar replacements like honey and jaggery. Refined flours cause an acid-alkaline imbalance. Regular consumption of refined flour affects the body’s pH level. It also increases your blood sugar and causes weight gain. It also affects your digestive health and causes inflammation. This kind of food should be avoided if you have been diagnosed with inflammatory diseases.
Avoid all bakery items like bread, biscuits, cookies, etc. Replace with whole grains like millet, amaranth, buckwheat, sattu. ( Millets should be added to your daily menu as they have an abundance of vitamin B, calcium, iron, potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. Since millets have their outer cover and they are rich in fiber too).
Vegetable juices are easy to digest and are also high in their nutritional value. Add in a simple green vegetable juice. Green vegetables and their juices are the best sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds. Eating green leafy vegetables may help in reducing inflammation. Avoid fruit juices in all forms because it's high in sugar and high in calories which is unhealthy for your health. Fruits to be taken in limited quantities once a day only.
A balanced diet with an anti-inflammatory protocol is important to follow during and post-recovery from Covid-19. These food items may not help in the prevention of the virus but they shall help prepare your body to fight it and come out stronger.