How can you improve your immune system? Your immune system does a perfect job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. What if you improve your diet? Take certain vitamins or herbal preparations? Make lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a better immune response.
An overall healthy diet will ensure better immunity and lesser chances of getting affected by this epidemic. The first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Diet should have a balance of following nutrients:
1.) Macronutrients: Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats
2.) Micronutrients: Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Zinc, Magnesium etc.
• Sources of these Nutrients
Carbs plays an important role in Indian diet. Complex carbohydrates are a powerhouse of fiber that helps in improving gut health and immunity. It includes whole Wheat Flour, Corn, Rice, Ragi, Jowar, Bajra. Fruits and Vegetables are also good sources of fiber and micronutrients. Limit the intake of simple carbohydrates like Sugar, Sweetened Beverages, Carbonated Drinks, Maida and Bakery Products.
It is essential to take protein in each meal of the day. Proteins sources are Milk and its products like Curd, Buttermilk, Paneer etc, Lentils, Beans, Chana, Moong, Rajmah, Chhole, Tofu, Soyabean, Soya Chunks, Amaranth and Quinoa. Saaol recommends 200 ml of double toned milk in 24 hours and milk products should be from this 200 ml.
Our body only needs certain amount of fat each day, and this need of body completed with the invisible fat which are present in Cereals, Pulses, all Vegetables, and all Fruits. So there is no need of take extra from other fat sources. Saaol does not recommend his patients to include any kind of fat in their diet.
Vitamin A is a nutrient vital to support immune function by supporting the growth and distribution of T-cells, a type of white blood cell that protects one’s body from infection. A deficiency in this nutrient leads to increased levels of pro-inflammatory molecules that diminish immune system response and function. Foods that are high in beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A, include Squash, Carrots, Grapefruit, Oranges and Apricots.
Vitamin C helps encourage the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infection. Vitamin C helps these white blood cells function more effectively while protecting them from damage by potentially harmful molecules, such as free radicals. Sources are Amla, Lemon, Orange, Guava, Raw Mango, Capsicum, and Kiwi.
It is also an antioxidant and has an ability to modulate host immune functions especially in elderly people. Sources include Green Leafy Vegetables like Spinach, Broccoli, etc, Avocados, Kiwi, and Pumpkin.
Zinc is essential for normal development and function of cells. Its deficiency is associated with immune dysfunction. Sources include Lentils, Pulses, Soyabean, Bajra.
Magnesium keeps the immune system strong, helps strengthen muscles and bones, and supports many body functions from cardiac functions to brain functions. Magnesium is found in Ragi, Jowar, Pulses, Beans, Green Leafy Vegetables, Avocados, green leafy vegetables, brown rice, and soy or tofu.
It is important to hydrate yourself especially during any viral infection. Drink plain, billed and cooled, or lukewarm water daily. Your daily fluids’ intake should be 3 liters. You can include Coconut Water, Lemon Water, Roohafza, Soup, Green Tea, and Citrus Fruit Juices in your daily fluid intake. Avoid drinking sweetened, sugary beverages.
• Foods from your Kitchen
There is no single food can be considered as super food. Include these ingredients in your daily cooking. These will help in improving your immunity for longer period.
9.) Apple Cider Vinegar