FAMILY HEALTH

The Key To Boosting Immunity Is In Your Kitchen read

Feb 24 2021

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There’s no doubt that the recent pandemic has changed our lives in countless ways. But the most significant and positive change is the fact that it has made us a lot more aware about our health, and a lot more keen to do what it takes to improve our immunity. While many of us have started exercising, getting more sleep and watching what we eat, some have gone to extremes - following strict diets and making vitamin supplements & concoctions a part of their life.

Well, the good news is you don’t have to lose your sanity to boost your immunity. All you have to do is go to your kitchen!

Our everyday food has several immunity-boosting nutrients that can adequately strengthen our immune system. From Protein to Zinc to Vitamins like A, B12, C, D and more. Nutrients that our immune system uses to repair and build immune cells, restore our energy, fight toxins & infections and improve our resistance to disease, especially viral infections.

As the WHO corroborates, ‘good nutrition is crucial for health, particularly in times when the immune system might need to fight back’. Besides preventing Obesity and life-threatening illnesses like Heart Disease, Diabetes and Hypertension, good nutrition helps reduce morbidity and mortality in people fighting diseases like Tuberculosis, Malaria, Dengue and HIV.

Of all the good habits we can inculcate, eating food rich in nutrients is perhaps the simplest and easiest to adopt. So here are some of the nutrients that boost your immunity and familiar foods you should have every day to get them.

Protein helps build & repair tissues, fight infections and improve your overall energy. Not having enough protein in your diet may leave you weak, tired and vulnerable to infections.

Rich in Protein: Seafood, Lamb, Chicken, Turkey, Eggs, Beans, Peas, Soy Products, Unsalted Nuts and Seeds.

 

Vitamin A regulates the immune system and protects us against infections. It helps keep the tissues in our mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system in good health.

Rich in Vitamin A: Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Broccoli, Spinach, Red Bell Peppers, Apricots, Eggs and Milk.

Take it Easy: 1 Baked Sweet Potato or a Cup of Sliced Raw Carrot can fulfil your daily requirement of Vitamin A.

 

Vitamin C helps our immune system by stimulating the formation of antibodies to fight toxins and infections.

Rich in Vitamin C: Citrus Fruits like Oranges, Grapefruit and Tangerines, Red Bell Peppers, Papaya, Strawberries and Tomato Juice.

Take it Easy: 1/2 Cup of Sweet Red Pepper or 3/4 Cup of Orange Juice can meet your daily requirement of Vitamin C.

 

Vitamin D enhances the function of immune cells like T cells, and Macrophages, which protect against pathogens. Vitamin D deficiency can make us prone to infection and immune-related disorders.

Rich in Vitamin D: Oily Fish – such as Salmon, Sardines, Herring & Mackerel, Red Meat and Egg Yolks.

Take it Easy: 1 Cooked Salmon Fish fulfils 50% of your daily requirement of Vitamin D while 1 Tbsp of Cod Liver Oil provides even more.

 

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight infection.

Rich in Vitamin E: Nuts, Spinach, Fortified Cereals, Sunflower Seeds, Vegetable Oils and Peanut Butter.

Take it Easy: 2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter or a ½ Spoon of Canola Oil can help you meet your daily requirement of Vitamin E.

 

Vitamin B6 improves immune response to increase the production of antibodies and their function, specifically communicative interactions between cytokines and chemokines.

Rich in Vitamin B6: Chicken Liver, Fish, Nuts, Chickpeas, Whole Grain Cereals, Bananas and Potatoes.

Take it Easy: 1 Cup of Chickpeas or 3 medium-sized Potatoes can provide 50% of your daily requirement of Vitamin B6.

 

Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in helping the immune system function better. It also helps minimise the effects of protein malnutrition in the immune system.

Rich in Vitamin B12: Meat, Fish, Eggs and Dairy Products like Milk and Cheese.

Take it Easy: 1 Egg can provide 25% while a tin of Tuna Fish can provide 100% of your daily requirement of Vitamin B12.

 

ZINC helps the immune system work more efficiently and may even help heal wounds faster.

Rich in Zinc: Lean Meat, Poultry, Seafood, Milk, Whole Grain Products, Beans, Seeds and Nuts.

Besides these, there are several other nutrients like copper, folate, selenium and iron, which play a vital role in boosting our immunity, and are present in the food we eat. For more knowledge, watch our webinar with healthcare & nutrition experts (or follow us on our social media pages) and start eating your way to better immunity!

 

 

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