Do you think you have a weak immune system? Wondering how to boost your immunity against COVID-19? Everyone knows that a strong immune system could be the perfect solution to tackle COVID-19! But the question is how! How do you boost your immunity while staying at home?
ET NOW gets you tips on boosting immunity from a celebrity nutritionist who has trained many cricket stars like RUN MACHINE, from the current captain of Indian National Cricket team Virat Kohli, Captain of the Indian Women’s National cricket team, Mithali Raj to Bollywood biggies like Aamir Khan and Abhishek Bachchan.
Ryan Fernando, a Celebrity Nutritionist Counsellor & Founder of QUA Nutrition Clinics gives us key insights on the best dietary changes that can boost your health, the must-add ingredients to your daily diet, stress busters that you need to beat the pandemic anxieties & habits that promote healthy living. He shares tips that you need to implement for a healthy living.
Ryan believes that a diet which is high in protein and sugar will cause inflammation and subsequently release bad hormones in the human body. He recommends avoiding foods that come in plastic tins or processed foods as they may have been artificially flavoured to make the food titillating to the taste buds and can be extremely detrimental to your brain. He believes that vegetables can help in a big way to cleanse and detoxify the body.
TIP: One should consume good omega 3 oils which are extracted from Fenugreek, flaxseed, Chia Seeds or fish.
Natural foods or whole foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, beans and legumes are provided to us by nature. They are the perfect recipe for our bodies to thrive and survive. The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the extreme importance of strong immunity and the need to consume natural foods to boost it.
Ryan says that reducing sugars and fats can jumpstart the immune system. He adds, “During the on-going pandemic, alcohol, added sugars and high-fat diet can actually depress the immune system. For a heightened immune system, switching towards less sugar, less alcohol and less fat in the diet is instrumental. Stick to vegetables, fruits, dal and pulses. I also believe that eating less is more as in a heightened state of immunity, the body works best when the calorie content is slightly deficient. This keeps your immune system, specifically the Phagocytes and the Lymphocytes work well and stop the foreign invaders from entering your body”
Here’s the list of must-add ingredients to your daily diet to strengthen the immunity
– Black Tea
– A host of microgreens like Mustard seeds & sprouted fenugreek seeds
– Purple foods like Jamun, purple cabbage, purple grapes etc (contain a high amount of anthocyanin, which is known to jumpstart the immune system)
Apart from recommending the must-add ingredients, the celebrity Nutritionist also breaks the age-old myth of ‘Haldi milk’ and says to strengthen your immunity you need to eliminate dairy. He says, “To strengthen your immunity you would definitely need to eliminate dairy from your life. As it creates more inflammation, and the immune system gets depressed. Contrary to popular belief, please refrain from Haldi milk, instead, add turmeric to your regular dal or sabzi. Turmeric is known to have anti-viral replication properties, adding this ingredient to your diet will be great.”
TIP: Amla is 7 times more powerful than spirulina in the antioxidant department. It also has a good content of Vitamin C. If you can add Amla to your regular juicing regime it can boost your immunity.
Spices have been used for centuries in Indian culture as remedies for many simple ailments. They come with a host of health benefits, including boosting your immunity and keeping you protected from infections. Unlike supplements, you don’t need to “take” spices, instead, you can add them to your favourite dishes for a kick of flavour and increased immunity.
Ryan says that an ingredient that is found in kitchens around the world, Ginger, has gingerols which are known to boost immunity at times of cold. “Research has actually shown that gingerols prevent replication of the influenza virus. Turmeric has potent compounds in it. It has anti-viral replication properties, which means that when the virus attaches to a cell its replication power is reduced or diminished. In addition to this pepper, cardamom and cinnamon are all known to help the human body. Pepper is known to secrete more amounts of T-killer cell in the human body whereas cardamom and cinnamon both have fat-burning properties. When you consume spices, they help in maintaining lower fat percentage in the body.”
TIP: We have seen that all comorbidities or diseases like hypertension, diabetes, obesity, lung disorders, kidney disorders, liver disorders are highly susceptible to fidelity from COVID. Therefore, using spices like cardamom and cinnamon can help maintain weight or help people in weight loss and therefore push towards a healthier BMI.
The coronavirus induced lockdown has suddenly changed our daily routines and has turned our lives upside-down. Our sleep routines have changed, we are now working from home and this has caused us to snack more than usual. Who knew that what we eat also affects our stress levels equally.
Here is a list of foods that can help you manage the stress caused by the lockdown.
Ashwagandha: Buy Ashwagandha powder and consume quarter to half a teaspoon during dinnertime. It can be added to a veg cutlet or used as a salad sprinkle or mixed with a vegetable juice. It is known to have century-old Ayurvedic stress-reducing properties. Ashwagandha also helps people burn more fat by reducing cortisol levels in the human body.
Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds are known to lower blood pressure. You can make sesame ladoo or Til laddo and consume those.
Green tea/ Black tea: Black tea or green tea, with 3-5 drops of freshly squeezed ginger and for sweetening you can use a teaspoon of honey. If you are overweight, avoid honey.
Walnuts/Pineapple/Red cherries: Walnut, red cherries and pineapple contain melatonin. It is an amino acid which calms the brain and helps in getting a deeper/sound sleep. Sound sleep can lead to balancing blood pressure.
Healthy living means the right balance of both physical and mental health. Here are some healthy habits that can promote a healthy lifestyle. “I suggest yoga and specifically doing Yoga Nidra, in addition to this Pranayama will help in boosting lung capacity which is the need of the hour. Walking is also the best fat burning exercise; you can walk five to seven kilometres every day to burn fat and keep a healthy heart rate. In addition to walking I suggest if you are not overweight, do short interval sprints often up to thirty meters,’ specifies Ryan Fernando.