2020 taught us to take care of ourselves by making necessary changes in our lifestyle and eating immunity-boosting foods. Here are the top Immunity boosters from 2020 you should permanently add to your diet.
2020 has been tough! Coronavirus was declared a global pandemic by WHO early this year. Before people could understand the disease completely, COVID-19 upended people’s lives in a way they never expected. The microscopic villain ruined lives and took lives by destroying the immune system and wreaking havoc on people’s health. While countries were grappling with imminent dangers that the virus poses to humanity, people realised that boosting immunity is the best defence to counter the deadly disease.
While it is crucial to practice the necessary precautions, boosting your immunity is paramount. Although vaccines are now available to combat the disease, it is yet to reach every household. So, your best defence against coronavirus is foods that boost immunity and a healthy lifestyle. Today we look at the foods that suddenly rose to fame due to the pandemic. But first, you should know why boosting immunity is important.
Ms Pavithra N Raj, Chief Dietician, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur, explains immunity as a “defence mechanism against ‘foreign bodies’ that helps fight bacteria, viruses, parasites and infections.” Immunity can be divided into four parts, she added.
- Innate Immunity – in-born with some level of immunity fighting capability against infections
- Acquired immunity – which we develop as we grow
- Passive Immunity – developed with other sources like vaccines that need to be taken every year to fight viruses
- Immunizations – the vaccination at childhood
According to Dietician Pavithra N. Raj, many people worked towards boosting their immunity naturally with healthy foods like nuts and seeds. “Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds are all rich in protein and iron, both of which are essential to boost your immunity.”
The Bangalore-based dietician adds that people switched to healthy teas such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and pepper tea for boosting immunity. “Herbal teas have antibacterial and antioxidant properties that help strengthen your immune system.”
Intake of milk with turmeric and honey was also on the rise the past year. “The antigens and antibacterial properties not only boost your immunity but also helps relieve stress.”
Many other foods like rasam with garlic or hing tadka, hot soups, kadhas, became a necessary part of people’s lives in the year 2020.
Strengthen Your Immune System With Lifestyle
The key things that one should do to keep fit or improve the immunity levels include:
- Regular physical activity is a must. “Activities like yoga helps in breathing and expands the lungs with good oxygen support. Stretching and abs exercises help to keep the muscles toned along with some dancing and Zumba for cardio”
- Healthy and eating a balanced diet is essential
- Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Ms Pavithra recommends drinking around 3-4 litres of water to detox and removes toxins for the body
- Eat foods rich in vitamin C either in natural form or food supplement. “Amla is an excellent source of vitamin C, which will help boost your immunity, metabolism and prevent viral and bacterial ailments, including cold and cough”
- “Vitamin B6 foods is vital for supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system. It helps to maintain a healthy nervous system. Whole cereals – such as oatmeal, wheat germ and brown rice, soya beans, eggs in well-cooked form,” adds the dietician
- Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight infections