Globally, we are all dealing with uncertainty during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. If you are feeling worried, you’re not alone. I wanted to take this time to reach out and share some actionable steps that you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe, healthy, and happy during this challenging time.
Did you know that you can find natural immune system boosters in certain foods? Here are some healthy foods that boost your immune system, while staying at home .
Beta carotene is the most familiar carotenoid. It increases the number of infection-fighting cells, and is a powerful antioxidant that helps slow the aging process. Carotenoids can also lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. Foods that are high in carotenoids and act as immunity boosters are carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, leafy veggies, beetroot, broccoli and tomatoes.
This group of phytonutrients aids the immune system by protecting the cells of the body against environmental pollutants and reduces cholesterol’s ability to cause clots in the arteries. A diet that contains a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, at least six servings per day, is all you need. Cherries, grapes, and true fruit juices, true teas (not herbal teas), grains, celery, parsley, oranges, apple skin, onions, radishes, tomatoes, broccoli, leafy greens, dried or fresh berries are common foods and fruits that contain bioflavonoids and help buttress your immune system
This valuable mineral increases the production of white blood cells which fight infection. Zinc also helps the body’s white blood cells fight more aggressively and can help fight cancer as well. However, since too much zinc in the form of supplements (more than 75 milligrams a day) can inhibit immune function, it is safest to stick with getting zinc from your diet and to aim for just 15 to 25 milligrams a day. Foods rich in zinc include sea food, red meat, chickpea, rajma, pumpkin seed, sunflower seeds, almonds, lentils and beans.
This pungent member of the onion family stimulates the multiplication of infection-fighting white blood cells. One clove of crushed garlic daily on an empty stomach is all it takes. Recipes with garlic can be easily found in most cookbooks.
(The author is a lifestyle coach and diet counsellor. She tweets @Bipasha1sugati)