COVID-19 pandemic has been an extremely challenging situation for everyone, and it’s not something that we were equipped for. There was no dietary checklist ready to follow in order to avoid or beat the virus smartly. All we knew was to eat immunity-boosting foods and go back to the basics of having Vitamin C rich fruits, haldi, vegetables and multivitamin. But the fundamentals which I’ve realised while working during this pandemic with my clients is that it’s not just about immunity.
We need to make sure that we follow a holistic plan. Not withdrawing any nutrient is the key to maintaining immunity. The idea is to eat well and not follow unrealistic diets during this unpredictable phase.
Every nutrient should be included in UR diet in specific quantities during UR day. So, let me highlight some of these vital nutrients and give you a generic guideline on how to include them through your day:
Nuts & Seeds: are high in magnesium and good fats. They can be consumed anytime in the day
Dal, Pulses and Sprouts: are good sources of fibre and a make-up for the protein source for vegans in their major meals.
Non-vegetarian Foods: might be difficult to get due to unavailability during the COVID times. Also, some people are apprehensive about consuming any animal protein during COVID. But if you can manage eggs, fish and lean meat, they are a great source of protein in your major meals.
Greens: Spinach, green beans, amaranth leaves, colocasia leaves, coriander, fenugreek leaves, mint leaves and arbi-ke-patte all of these are rich in fibre, iron and vitamins.
Fresh Fruits: All seasonal fruits are great sources of vitamins and minerals and should be added as a meal once or twice a day.
Dairy Products: like yogurt, kefir, buttermilk and lassi make up for good source of probiotics for UR gut flora.
Grains: Barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millets, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, whole grains are great sources of energy
Snacks: Makhana (fox nuts), nuts and steamed sprouts are great guilt-free snack options.
Is there anything like over binging on immunity foods?
At times we overdo eating all the immunity-boosting foods all at one go, which makes it ineffective. Spread these foods through UR day and don’t have it all at one time. Food’s such as haldi, ghee, flaxseed powder, jeera paani, black pepper, aloe vera, moringa powder, honey and Vitamin C, all of this works when taken consistently over a long period of time. It will eventually help you build a good immunity but it’s not going to overnight double UR immunity. The trick is to eat the right variety of food and create a good sustainable habit.
Let food be thy medicine.
While no foods or dietary supplements can prevent or cure COVID-19 infection, but following healthy sustainable diets are essential for supporting immune system. A good mix of nutrients which includes carbohydrates, protein, fat, fibre and fluids can help you attain a balance in nutrition, making your body stronger, one step at-a-time.