Want to boost your immunity? 10 easy ways to get started….
Frequently asked questions to dieticians nowadays are How to boost our immunity mam? How to prepare a protective bubble of immunity around us so that we can confidently go outside for work? How to use food as a first line of defense against corona virus?
So we can boost our immunity by including following diet and lifestyle changes in our life…
- Good Quality Protein = Both good quality and quantity of protein is essential for building immunity because immune cells are itself made up of protein. Proteins help to make T-cells and B-cells of immunity. Proteins such as gamma globulins serve to protect the body against foreign cells. Moreover it is important to include protein in all three major meals. Sources of proteins = Milk and milk products, legumes, meat, fish, eggs, oil seeds, soy, sprouting pulses increase protein quality by 30 %. About 1 gm / kg ideal body weight of protein per day is recommended.
- Vitamin D = Vitamin D is also called Sunshine Vitamin. Vitamin D is easily manufactured in the skin from 7-dehydro-cholesterol on exposure to sunlight. 7-10 minutes of sun exposure is essential. Vitamin D helps in boosting immunity as its deficiency interferes with T-cells mediated immunity. Sources of Vitamin D = Milk, cheese, butter, margarine, cream, egg yolk, liver, oysters and certain varieties of fish. 200-400 IU of vitamin D per day is recommended according to ICMR.
- Vitamin C = Vitamin C functions as enzymes, as antioxidants, helps in synthesis of hormones, formation of collagen, absorption of iron, formation of bone, healing of wounds, metabolism of cholesterol. It also reduces cancer risk and increases mucus secretion, thus increasing immunity. Sources of Vitamin C = Amla, guava, drumstick leaves, leafy vegetables, fruits such as melons, berries, pineapple, tomatoes, apples, banana, grapes. 40 mg of Vit C is recommended per day according to ICMR.
- Zinc = Zinc helps immune system to co-ordinate and signal. Zinc is required by T-cells of immunity cells, NK cells. Thus it is very essential for boosting immunity. Sources of Zinc = Milk, yoghurt, chickpeas, garbanzo, rajma, mushroom, dried beans, dals, legumes, pulses, lentils, chicken, meat, red meat, shellfish, prawns, full egg, oysters, hemp seeds, peanuts, cashew nuts, almonds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, whole oats, garlic, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, radish, rice, wheat etc. 7-14 mg of zinc per day is recommended per day according to ICMR.
- Water = Water, as we all know is very essential but overlooked nutrient for building immunity. Reduced water intake leads to weakened immunity as dehydrated body is ineffective body. 2-3 litre of water is recommended in hot and humid climate. One very important thing i want to mention is that never gulp water but drink water sip by sip as when we sip water, water is absorbed intracellularly.
- Regular hours of sleep = Both sleep quantity and quality should be good for increasing immunity. Nothing will work if sleep is not proper. It is the most important aspect of building immunity as it is very important for digestion, heart health, focus, concentration. Its like a food for mind. If our diet is balanced, sleep is also good. 6-8 hours of good quality undisturbed sleep is very essential.
- Turmeric = Active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin which has immunomodulating properties. Moreover, turmeric is antiviral, antibiotic, antibacterial, antioxidant and anti inflammatory. it is very important to take black pepper along with turmeric as piperine in black pepper increases absorption of turmeric. You can take turmeric in milk, turmeric laddoos, turmeric kadhas etc.
- Giloy, tulsi = Both giloy and tulsi can be taken fresh or in the form of tabelets. They both rejuvenate body and boosts immunity. Don’t give too much of tulsi leaves to kids as tulsi leaves contains mercury.
- Amla (Indian gooseberry) = Amla helps in boosting immunity as amlas are rich in Vit. C. Amlas can be eaten raw, in the form of chutneys, pickles, can be added in smoothies, doughs and vegetables.
- Wheat grass = Wheat grass is rich in antioxidants and B-complex vitamins, thus helps in building immunity. Moreover, it also helps in detoxification. Wheat grass juice can be taken. Always remember immunity cannot be build in a day or two. It is a long term process and is a result of healthy lifestyle and balanced diet. Healthy lifestyle comprises of good sleep, activity throughout the day, adequate hydration, balanced diet, daily workout and stress free life. So start working towards building your immunity now only and its not that tough. If you need any help, contact Dietician Neena, Msc (dfsm). Email – email@example.com.