• Deanne Pandey

Dietary Essentials- Plan for Lockdown or Life?

Our fight against the pandemic includes the necessity to boost our immunity in order to ward off the deadly virus and the strict observance of the practice of social distancing. Staying at home and restricted activities have led to unnecessary snacking and scarcity in variety of groceries available. This only proves our high dependency on food. It is often said, “We are what we eat”. Right from how our body looks to how our body fights off diseases, nutrition is the most important determining factor. That is why, is it imperative for us to look after our diet and eating habits with utmost care. Our nutrition alone, has the ability to reverse a disease or facilitate the transition from fat to fit. Naturally, the situation before us today, demands for nutrients that are not only really healthy but also immunity boosting. Our diet must indeed be adapted to such demands of our body. Although, maintaining such a diet can be highly effective, not just during the lockdown, but also in our day to day life. Making holistic changes in our dietary habits and attending to our body’s needs may take more effort, but it is far more rewarding. Making yourself aware about what your body requires, efficiently meeting those requirements and having the right nutritional knowledge is vital for everyone.

Here is a list of immunity boosting foods that won’t hamper your fitness goals and may be easily available-

DRUMSTICKS - Drumstick is one of the superfoods which helps in boosting your immunity and acts as a shield for any virus to grow.

COCONUT WATER WITH LEMON - Intake of Coconut water should always be fresh. When you add half a lemon to fresh coconut water, vitamin C shoots up by 10 times. Once everyday, for the next few days, having coconut water with lemon is a must. Kidney patients should avoid coconut water.

GARLIC , ONION & TURMERIC - These three are natural superfoods that will help kill the bad bacteria that thrive within us.

PUMPKIN SEEDS - Just by having 3-4 spoons of pumpkin seeds everyday can provide you with substantial quantities of healthy fats, magnesium and zinc which are vital for immune functions.

RED CAPSICUM - Vitamin C present in Red Capsicum is 3 times higher than the Vitamin C found in an orange. Ensure to have red capsicum in your salad everyday before meals.

FLAX SEEDS - Flax seeds are very high in fiber and provide good amounts of protein. They are rich in fat and one of the best plant-based sources of heart- healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

PANTA BHAAT- It is a natural probiotic which is excellent for a healthy gut. It is high in nutritional value and helps to strengthen the immune system. It helps in curing gastro issues. It regulates good bowel movement and cures constipation. Take 2 tsp cooked rice overnight soaked in one glass of water.

CUMIN WATER - It is an excellent way to detox and helps in cleansing the entire system. Cumin water is a healthy way to lose weight. Excellent for gastric issues & acid reflux. It helps in regulating blood pressure and lowers LDL cholesterol levels too. Add 1 tsp jeera in 1 glass of drinking water. Boil it for 10 mins. Strain and enjoy.

BROCCOLI- Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fiber and many other antioxidants, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate.

SPINACH- Spinach is packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may both increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.

BLUEBERRY- Blueberries contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin, which has antioxidant properties that can help boost a person’s immune system.

Minor Changes in Eating Habits-

Start with reducing the intake of cooked food. The nutrients fruits and vegetables can offer when partook raw, are far better than the ones cooked. Start your day with a fruit. Intake of fruit sugar empty stomach makes the system alkaline. Similarly, include a bowl carrots and cucumbers prior your meals. Try intermittent fasting as a lifestyle change. Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but rather a eating pattern. It is an eating cycle between periods of fasting and feasting. It helps to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. It induces various cellular repair processes. Helps to reduce insulin resistance and lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes. Intermittent fasting is great for the immune system and provides many potential benefits. These benefits include better cardiovascular health, better endurance, lower blood pressure, and reduced inflammation. Lastly, increase your fluid intake and avoid synthesised, fried and processed foods.

These dietary changes are not that difficult to include in our daily lifestyle. Along with these changes, include meditation and breathing exercises everyday in your routine. Self awareness and attentive eating can lead to healthy and holistic development of the mind and the body. So the choice is yours- to make these changes, only to ward off the pandemic or inculcate them life long?

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