As lockdown eases in phases in some parts of the country, sale of immunity boosting foods have gone up and so have online searches for such foods. According to a report by Google, searches for immunity boosting remedies including ayurvedic home remedies, giloy and vitamin C has gone up six-fold. If you are still wondering what to fill in your grocery cart, here are foods recommended by experts that you can add to your diet to strengthen your immunity in the times of Covid-19 pandemic.
“Milk contains zinc which is important for wound healing and immunity boosting,” says Dr Namita Nadar, head nutritionist, Fortis Hospital, Noida. Milk also contains Vitamin D which helps immune cells identity and destroy bacteria and viruses.
Citrus fruits are a power house of Vitamin C, “which protects cells from oxidative stress, a product of infection or chronic inflammation,” adds Dr Namita. Take your pick from oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, guava or lychee, whatever tickles your tastebuds.
Almonds are a rich source of Vitamin E that protect you from oxidative stress. Dr Namita recommends almonds in your daily diet as they are rich in protein, fibre and zinc, which helps in prevention of common cold and flu.
Green leafy vegetables
It’s the iron found in green leafy vegetables that make them a go-to immunity boosting food. Iron aids in non-specific immunity explains Dr Namita, the body’s first line of defence. Add leafy vegetables to your salads, soups and sandwiches to reap the benefits.
The Vitamin A found in carrots, help regulate our immune response, explains Dr Namita. Other sources of Vitamin A include sweet potatoes, red bell pepper, black eye peas and mangoes.
Chickpeas are a rich source of Vitamin B6 that’s essential for supporting efficient reaction between different parts of our immune system and that’s why Dr Namita recommends them.
When it comes to treating a common cold, there’s nothing quite as effective as ginger. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help in combating a cold or flu. Inflammation can affect your immune system, so by countering that ginger helps to boost immunity.
This can be a great addition to your diet, if you are trying to prevent cold and cough. According to researchers at The University of California in Los Angeles, Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables help boost immunity. Sulforaphane, a chemical found in the vegetable, activates antioxidant genes and enzymes in specific immune cells, which in turn combat free radicals in your body.
This does more than satiate your sweet tooth. Researchers have found that dark chocolates can be effective in fighting off a cold. Theobromine, which is present in dark chocolate, is an an antioxidant that cures coughing.
Eggs, and especially the yolks, contain immunity-boosting nutrients. Vitamin D which is essential for strengthening immunity is abundantly found in eggs. Take a daily serving of eggs to avoid catching a cold or any other upper respiratory tract infection.