Healthy eating habits help a person to maintain strong immunity in the longer run. A balanced diet helps in a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And in the times like these, when coronavirus pandemic is spreading like a wildfire, it is more necessary to maintain your immunity. While following a healthy diet plan surely does not mean a guaranteed protection from COVID-19 but these can be considered as the ways to make viral symptoms less problematic.
Certainly, the best way to protect yourself from getting contracted with COVID-19 is to stay at home, practicing social distancing and following all the hygiene guidelines. But these foods can help in a great way to strengthen your immunity.
Here’s what you must eat for a healthy immune system:
1. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits etc are rich in Vitamin C. Most people turn straight to Vitamin C when they have caught cold. That’s because it stimulates the production and function of white blood cells which help to fight infections. In this way, Vitamin C helps a great deal in strengthening one’s immunity.
Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables one can put on their plate. It comes equipped with several vitamins and minerals. It is rich in Vitamin A, C and E, fiber and contains potent antioxidants like sulforaphane. Nutritionists advise that it is best to have steamed broccoli as it has all the nutrients in tact. Consuming broccoli regularly can help a person to develop a strong immunity.
The green leafy vegetable spinach is famous for its several health benefits and can also be very helpful to boost Immunity. It contains various essential vitamins like A, C and E, has flavonoids which help in preventing common cold and is also packed with numerous antioxidants. The phytonutrients present in spinach have several anti-inflammatory properties which help keep the diseases and germs at bay. Therefore, spinach is great for one’s immune system.
4. Dark chocolate
No matter how surprising it sounds but studies have shown that dark chocolate with at least 50 to 70 percent of cacao can act as an immunity booster. Dark chocolates contain an antioxidant called as theobromine which helps to alleviate coughing. Nutritionists say that cacao found in dark chocolate and the phenolic compounds present inside the cocoa can strengthen our immune system and up our body’s defenses.
5. Sweet Potato
Sweet Potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, a plant based compound and an antioxidant which gives these potatoes their orange flesh. Beta carotene is converted into Vitamin A in our body which helps to support immune system and also one’s gut health.
Turmeric is one of the most common food ingredients of Indian kitchens and is used in almost every recipe. This golden spice contains powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin which not only provides turmeric its vibrant orange-yellow color but also activated the production of T-cells. These cells are like the soldiers of immune system in fighting infections. Curcumin also acts as an antioxidant and boosts body’s natural antioxidant capacity.
7. Green Tea
Green Tea is known to have powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties and can fight off infections very well. It has the power to alter the structure of virus itself which suppresses its ability to cause infection. It also contains flavonoids, an antioxidant that helps to boost Immunity.
The above mentioned foods are readily available and are very affordable. Including them in one’s day-to-day diet can be very helpful. But one should know that though following a healthy diet can be good for immunity but one’s lifestyle and habits too contribute a lot in supporting one’s health. Also, if anyone faces a prolonged illness or any other health problem, it is always advisable to avail medical help by consulting a doctor.