Monsoon diet: 7 nutrition tips to strengthen your immune system and stay fit  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- It’s important to steps that can help strengthen your immune system as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and head into monsoon
- A well-nourished diet and healthy lifestyle can help improve your immunity and reduce your risk of infections
- Here are some immunity-boosting foods you can eat to help you stay healthy
New Delhi: A strong, well-functioning immune system will help you stay healthy, fight off infections and diseases. It will also help you recover more quickly if you do fall sick. A healthy immune system can reduce your risk of contracting viral infections such as the one caused by the novel coronavirus. Perhaps, as COVID-19 crisis continues to be grave this monsoon, people are looking for ways to improve their immunity, stay healthy and fit.
A healthy lifestyle that includes eating a nutritious diet, staying physically active, practicing good hygiene – such as frequent handwashing, good sleep, stress management – is your first line of defense, which will eventually decrease your risk of contracting viruses, bacteria and other invading pathogens. Talking about nutrition, eating a colourful diet consisting of plenty of fruits and veggies packed full of antioxidants can help strengthen your immune system. So, what should you eat to boost your immunity this monsoon amid the pandemic?
Foods to include in your monsoon diet for strong immune system
The fact is, there’s no specific food that’s been clinically proven to boost the immune system – all on its own. Rather, including a variety of nutrient-dense foods in your diet will ensure that your immune functions are running smoothly.
“The food you are eating can also play a key role to improve your immunity and overall health,” said Ms Arpita Chakraborty, Nutritionist, Apollo Clinic HSR, Bangalore, adding that there are certain methods to improve our immunity which is paramount at this juncture.
She said people over the age of 60 and those with a pre-existing illness like hypertension, diabetic, respiratory issues have lesser immunity, inclreasing their risk of developing complications from infections such as COVID-19. However, you can help to improve your immunity by improving your diet.
Here are some foods you can in your daily diet to strengthen your immunity and keep your system full charged:
- Vitamin C: First and most important is vitamin C (found in fruits like oranges, grapes, bananas, carrots, apples, gooseberries) that we all know will help to boost our immunity and prevent common colds. This vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant and can help reduce severe infection, including sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
- More fruits and veggies: Consume more fruits and green vegetables which are rich in beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, iron. Mushroom, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, tomato are good options to build resistance in the body against infection.
- Herbs: There are several herbs like garlic, ginger, basil leaves, etc, which can help boost your immunity. Garlic contains allicin which helps to fight against germs and boost the immune system. You can add it to your soup and curries. Anti-inflammatory gingerols and shogaols in ginger will help to relieve sore throat and also act against rhinovirus which causes cold in the first place. Add in your tea to warm up on a cold day.
- Healthy fats: You can also have omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids by eating foods flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, nuts and fish which may help to boost the immune system by enhancing the functioning of immune cells.
- Low-carb-diet: Eating a low carb diet can help control high blood sugar and pressure.
- Probiotics: Include yogurt and curd in your diet as probiotics promote the production of natural antibodies in the body. They also boost immune cell-like IgA-producing cell, T lymphocytes and natural killer cells.
- Iron: Add iron-rich foods (dry fruits, banana, liver, honey) to your daily diet which play an important role in immune cell proliferation and maturation, particularly lymphocyte associated with the generation of a specific response to infection.
A nutritious diet and an optimally functioning immune system can never go wrong. If you have a healthy immune system, your body can safeguard you from any disease even against coronavirus infection. The good news is, everything you need to try and improve your immunity is all within your reach. So, try to consume these foods and vitamins to develop strong immunity and, in turn, fight against infectious diseases and stay home to beat coronavirus.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.