As the world comes together to fight this global threat of COVID-19, we at home continue to fight our individual battles with health and fitness. It is becoming increasingly important to focus on our fitness goals as being obese or overweight increases our risk for contracting the infection. It is time to up our fitness quotient to keep our immune system strong. People are indulging in binge eating on unhealthy foods due to increased stress, anxiety or just out of boredom. Since the time of lock down, everyone is turning chefs in our own little fancy ways to keep our foodie-souls happy. Surveys conducted have shown that sales of ingredients for baking have gone up during the lock down period as everyone is baking cakes and cookies . While it’s great to keep oneself busy we have to be conscious of the fact that cakes and cookies are made from refined flour, sugar and fat and if eaten in excess can prove detrimental to our health. This is the time to take stock of our health and work at improving our fitness levels and prevent ourselves from getting lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, etc.
Celebrity chefs are helping people with easy-to-make recipes via various social media platforms which is proving to be a boon to people who do not know how to cook.
Everyone is talking about ‘Immunity Building’ and ‘Mindful Eating’ to help us stay fit and healthy to fight this virus. It is important to make a list of ingredients in advance before going grocery shopping so that we pick up the right foods which help us stay fit and healthy.
According to some research, there is a growing demand for packaged foods with high nutrition value and health benefits and people are ordering them through e-commerce platforms. A lot of people are ordering healthy alternatives like green teas, green coffees, hi-protein soups with superfoods to keep them healthy and fit during these times. Here are 5 Simple Hacks to help you eat healthy and boost your immunity.
Switch to Green Teas / Green Coffees
While we work from home, we tend to take more and more of our chai-coffee breaks to help us get through the day. While we all know they both have their pros and cons, we can always switch to their healthier alternatives like Superfood Moringa Green Tea, it is formulated to give you all the benefits of green tea combined with the power of Moringa. It is packed with vitamins and minerals. It is rich in vitamin C and has antioxidant properties which helps boost immunity. It helps maintain bone & joint health, helps regulate metabolism and aids in weight management. For all the coffee enthusiasts, green coffee is really beneficial for immunity boosting. Green coffee is unroasted and hence has three times more antioxidant potential which is otherwise lost during the roasting process. Thus, making it a really helpful immunity booster and also enhancing your weight control plans.
Pick the Right Proteins
For the immune system to function at its best, it is important to consume good quantity and quality of protein in the diet. A quarter of your meal should always include the right protein intake. Incorporate protein rich foods such as eggs, curd, buttermilk, paneer, sprouts, dal, soybean, soy chunks, soy granules, lean meat, fish, chicken etc. in the meals. These days, you get instant-ready soup with superfoods; they are so nutritious that it has up to four times the protein content compared to regular soups available on e-commerce. It is a convenient and nourishing option to keep you warm and agile.
Increase Beta-Carotene Intake
Beta-carotene converts itself into vitamin A, which is an anti-inflammatory vitamin. Carrots, spinach, sweet potato, moringa (drumstick) leaves, and pumpkin are all good sources of beta-carotene. Consuming one cup of the above-mentioned foods (anyone) can give around 60-100% of the total daily dose of beta-carotene. Inculcating this habit into your diet will enhance your immunity with anti-inflammatory vitamins.
Make way for Magnesium
Magnesium in your diet can be a vital factor in boosting your immunity. Include millets like ragi, jowar, nuts like almonds and cashewnuts (unsalted, in limited amounts), pulses, green leafy vegetables and seeds like poppy, flax, chia and sunflower to boost immunity. 2 tablespoons of any of these seeds or one cup of veggies or pulses can fulfill 50% of the daily requirement. Ensure that all fruits and vegetables are washed thoroughly, particularly leafy vegetables, cauliflower, and broccoli as a precautionary measure.
Daily Dose of Vitamin-D
Vitamin D is an essential immunity booster and helps regulate the body’s immune response. Studies have shown that 55% of our population has low Vitamin D levels while it's 80% of the obese/overweight population. Test your Vitamin D levels and consult your doctor in case they are low. You can also go up to the terrace or to your balcony without sunscreen during the day to boost your vitamin D levels. To maintain healthy blood levels, aim to get 10–30 minutes of midday (11am-1pm) sunlight. This has become increasingly important in these days where most of us are working from home and staying indoors.
Sheryl Salis, founder, Nurture Health Solutions, is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and wellness coach.