Coronavirus Prevention: Have low immunity? Here's a nutritional guide for a person with a poor immune system

Coronavirus Prevention: Read on to know if you have a poor immune system and which are the best foods to incorporate in the diet to boost immunity.
Health & Fitness,immunity,CoronaviruCoronavirus Prevention: Have low immunity? Here's a nutritional guide for a person with a poor immune system
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Amid novel coronavirus aka COVID-19 pandemic, preventive measures such as self-isolation, constant hand washing and avoidance of large gatherings have been advised. In a bid to stop the spread of the virus, India is under lockdown for 3 weeks i.e. 21 days from today till April 14. Aside from social distancing and regular hand washing, having a strong immune system to fight back viruses and germs is also important. If you often fall sick, feel fatigued, have cold and digestion issues often then you may be having a poor immune system. However, instead of worrying and worsening your health further one should work on it.

Mr. Luke Coutinho - Adviser of Integrative Lifestyle and Nutrition at Purenutrition.me, in an interview with Pinkvilla, helped us with a list of food items you should include if you have a weak immune system. He says, "With this pandemic posing a challenge for every single person globally and with India bracing up to stave off this crisis situation, it’s time each one of us get back to the essentials of – taking much necessary care of our immune system. The hectic lifestyle, irregular daily routine and the reckless attitude that we have been harbouring towards our health for all these years now… need a serious pondering."

He added, "Though our bodies are naturally designed to fight the viruses, pathogens and bacteria, people with a compromised immune system are more susceptible to infections than most other with good immune levels. Including certain foods in your diet can help keep your immune system primed during this difficult time and beyond."

Luke shared a list of food items that people with a poor immune system should include in their daily diet.

1. Ginger 

Ginger is a great antioxidant and contains compounds like gingerols that naturally boost your immune system and helps combat inflammation. Chop small dices of it or grate it and use it in your tea, food prep, etc. to enhance the immune function. 

2. Spinach 

Spinach packs a powerful antioxidant punch. However, what most people do wrong here is they have the spinach in raw form. Drinking raw green juice of spinach is not a healthy option as the spinach you use could be laden with plenty of pesticides, which will only harm your immune system, kidney and liver. 

So unless you are using organic spinach, you should wash the veggie thoroughly, blanch or steam it and then consume it. 

3. Yoghurt

Yoghurt (organic, good quality A2 milk yogurt) is a great probiotic as 80% of immunity lies in the gut. Now probiotic is gut-friendly and helps improve your immune system. If you are not lactose-intolerant, include this superfood in your daily diet. 

4. Almonds 

This noble dry fruit is high in Vitamin E, iron and protein that helps the immune system function. Eat a handful or 8-10 of almonds daily or add few chopped almonds to the salad or yoghurt to make a healthful meal. 

5. Turmeric 

Turmeric is yet another popular, natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory food ingredient. For a stronger immune system – take a teaspoon of crushed pepper, a teaspoon of cold-pressed coconut oil or pure ghee and half a teaspoon of turmeric, mix all the ingredients and have it daily.  

6. Green Tea 

Now when I talk of Green tea, I want you to take fresh Green tea and not green tea supplements or capsules. Green tea contains polyphenols that have immune-boosting properties. Brew some Green tea, have 1-2 cups daily, and see how lighter and better you feel inside out. 

7. Papaya 

This tropical fruit is rich in Vitamin C and low in calories. Eating once cup of fresh Papaya chunks daily helps improve digestion and boost the immune system. 

8. Kiwi 

This Vitamin C rich is an immune booster that helps ward off diseases. It has got DNA repairing abilities, that’s highly susceptible to damage because of excessive sun exposure, damage, chemotherapy, radiation, heavy drugs, smoking, pollution, pesticides.

9. Include Protein-rich food items 

Proteins help form cells that are essential for the optimum functioning of the immune system. Lack of protein in the diet can make your body’s defense mechanism weak, paving way for viruses to invade your immune system and destroy liver tissues, kidney tissues, etc. Also, people who have carb-rich or fat-rich food and often avoid protein develop health issues as their immune system is compromised. Hence, make sure to include little protein in your meal or snack.

10. Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds 

Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds are composed of essential fatty acids, nutrients, vitamins and minerals that help strengthen the immune system. Include them in your daily diet to fend off illnesses. 

11. Garlic 

Garlic contains allicin that has antibacterial, antiviral as well as anti-fungal properties. This natural immune booster is best eaten raw. However, if you don’t like the pungent taste of it, you can either sauté or boil it and have. Take some chopped garlic along with some grated ginger, broccoli or any other cruciferous vegetable to make a soup that not just tastes great but also boosts your immunity.

NOTE: Last, by no means, I would like to highlight that eating certain foods does not guarantee that you won't get the virus. A person with a stronger immune system may still be infected if he or she doesn’t follow the recommended hygiene rules and practice social distancing. However, a person with strong immunity will heal faster than rest others.

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