With the global spread of the coronavirus disease impacting millions of people across nations, it is more important than ever before to keep your body fit and healthy. The key to this is developing and strengthening our immune systems. The immune system serves as the guardian of our body, fighting off illnesses and preventing us from falling sick. People with strong immune systems rarely fall ill, and even when they do, recover very quickly.
On the other hand, a compromised immune system can be very dangerous. Individuals with weakened immunity are prone to frequent illnesses, and often take longer to recover when they do fall ill. This is especially true of the elderly and children – with immune systems that aren’t as strong as healthy adults, they are more vulnerable to disease. That is why it is vital to build a strong immunity, and the best way to do that is through a nutritious diet that provides the body with the fuel it needs to properly function.
The two key elements of a healthy diet are vitamins and minerals. They boost the immune system, support physical and mental growth and development, and provide cells and organs with the energy they need do function properly. Although both are vital to our health, vitamins and minerals differ in a few key ways.
While vitamins are organic and derived from living things, minerals are inorganic compounds from the earth that retain their chemical structure. Examples of common vitamins are A, B, and C, while important minerals are calcium, iron, and magnesium. Each of these vitamins and minerals plays in important role in the functioning of our bodies, which is why a well-balanced diet that incorporates all of them is vital to good health.
Vegetarian food is capable of providing the body with all of the nutrition it needs, provided the right ingredients are used. By incorporating grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits, and important dairy products such as milk and cheese, vegetarian diets can be wholesome, nutritious, and most important of all, yummy!
Certain studies have even found that plant-based diets are among the healthiest of all, with few reported cases of common diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. To keep up the spirits of everyone staying at home during this challenging period, I’ll outline the recipe and ingredients for a hearty, healthy, and thoroughly delicious four-course vegetarian meal! Packed with superfoods, this meal is sure to bring the entire family together.
In the heat of the summer staying hydrated is extremely important. That is why the first recipe is a spinach and carrot soup. Carrots are often claimed by nutritionists to be the perfect health food. As a root vegetable, they come from the ground and are thus packed with both vitamins and minerals.
It’s often said that carrots help improve your vision. While this may not be exactly true, carrots get their bright colour from beta carotene, which is converted by the body into Vitamin A. This vitamin is crucial to preserving our vision, and also helps prevent age-related macular degeneration. They are also important sources of other important vitamins such as K1 and B6, while also being packed with potassium – a mineral important for blood pressure control. Spinach serves as the perfect complement to these nutrients, being rich in minerals such as calcium and iron. Quick, easy, and healthy, this soup is the perfect start to any meal.
After a hearty soup like that, a superfood salad is just what’s needed to cleanse the palate. Drawing from various cuisines and culinary influences, the key vegetables I use are broccoli, chickpeas, and avocado. All three are fantastic sources of vitamins and minerals, while also serving as a source of healthy fats – an element that’s important to a balanced diet. As a main course, black rice is an excellent alternative to traditional varieties.
Dating back to antiquity, black rice has always been eaten for its health properties. Loaded with antioxidants and fibres, it has a huge number of benefits for the body. Paired with extremely nutritious zucchini spaghetti, it make an excellent and satisfying main course. Another healthier alternative to polished rice is by making rice out of cauliflower. One can simply grate cauliflower and use that as a substitute for rice. One can cook it by boiling the grated cauliflower in hot water. You can make a pulao out of it or add flavouring as per your choice. Extremely healthy and nutritious I must say.
No meal is complete without dessert, and my go-to favourites are carrot cake and beetroot halwa. Both are healthy and guilt-free sweet dishes, guaranteed to satisfy the sweetest of tooths. After all, a little sugar never hurt anyone.