A bowl of healthy food

“Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food. “

–Hippocrates

The Size Zero Myth:

the size zero hippo in front of mirror watching its reflection to be thinner than it is

The coronavirus outbreak has been labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization. If I boost my immunity by following an immunity-boosting diet, I will not contract coronavirus even if I come in contact with someone who has it.

I should eat tonnes of oranges, Amla and other Vitamin-C supplements, which will boost my immunity and protect me against this contagious disease.

The Wise Hero Reality:

the wise hero tortoise with book in one hand and a beaker with chemical in other handIf you come in contact with a coronavirus patient, it does not matter how many vitamins C supplements you eat, there are high chances that you will get it, anyway.

Loading yourself with Vitamin C supplements and food groups, if you are not eating a balanced diet, is useless as excessive use of no food group is good.

When I suggest my clients, to make it a habit to add fruits like lemon, oranges or berries, veggies and lean source of protein in their diet, they assume that I am giving them a diet that is out of the box but what most people do not realize is that this is common-sense dietary advice which is enough to keep your immunity in good shape and you really do not require any superfood to gain benefits as your normal balanced diet is already beneficial.

A word of warning – If you are under any medication or suffer from an underlying illness, then consult a medical professional before making drastic diet changes.

Why is It Affecting Old-Aged People?

It has been noted that the fatality rate of people over the age of 60 is higher than young aged people; the reason being their immunity decreases with age, hence they need to be more careful than the others. Similarly, children below 10 years have not yet developed full immunity, hence they are at high risk too.

This does not mean that young people are safe, as the statistics have also revealed that even young patients have succumbed to this disease. The cause may be again low immunity as each one of us has different immunity protection hence you need to focus to improve your immunity which can be done at any age if you are taking the right nutrients.

Why Boosting Your Immunity is Essential?

The 2019-nCoV virus has originated from bat just like SARS, MERS, Ebola, and Marburg and is one of the worst virus outbreak we have some in recent years.

With panic spreading amongst people, the only solution to fight it back is by reducing its transmission hence we hear a lot about reducing exposure and staying home but you will not hear much about the significance of boosting your immunity so that even if you are exposed to the virus, your body can fight it back effectively. 

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Our immune system is designed to fight back such sickness but, unfortunately, due to the modern lifestyle which includes stress, overeating, sedentary life and lack of exercise, the immunity is worn down hence it is essential, especially now to eat the right nutrients to boost your immunity and if you follow these diet tips carefully, you can improve your immunity in 2-3 weeks of time.

People who have good immunity power will only have a few minor symptoms similar to flu if they test Covid-2019 which can cure on its own. 

Nutrition to Boost Your Immunity:

It has been confirmed that the coronavirus attacks the respiratory system causing various respiratory issues, hence we are going to focus on suggesting a diet that is going to strengthen your respiratory system.

1 Vitamin C:

It can also be called as the Avenger for the throat, as the Covid-19 virus affects the throat primarily. 

A bowl of orangesWhen the body is attacked by any oxidative stress, oxygen molecule in the body splits and forms single atoms with unpaired electrons and these electrons like to be in pair hence these atoms also known as free radicals start to seek for other electrons so they can become whole again. This process causes cell damage.

Once a free radical is formed, it starts a chain reaction as it pulls out an electron from a molecule, destabilizing it and turning it into another free radical and then this molecule takes up an electron from another molecule and domino effect starts which eventually damages the whole cell.

Creation of free radical from a moleculeAntioxidant comes to the rescue here, where it prevents these free radicals to disrupt other molecules. Antioxidants fill-up the electron deficiency in the free radical, hence stabilizing it so it does not disrupt the cell. While donating the electron, the antioxidant does not get destabilized itself, thus the free radical chain stops. 

Free radical neutralized by antioxidantHence antioxidants are used to clean up free radical waste in cells. Our body has the ability to produce some antioxidants on its own, but the amount is insufficient. Damage of cells occurs when there are too many free radicals and too few antioxidants.

When pathogens attack your body, vitamin C which is an antioxidant helps the immune cells known as neutrophils to the infection site that will defend your cells against free radicals. 

Hence your ability to fight the Covid-19 or any other virus highly depends on the response of your immune system that in turn depends on the vitamin C levels in your body. The only issue is that the body cannot make its own vitamin C or store it in the body. It is water-soluble hence any excessive vitamin C content will be flushed out in urine thereby you will have to intake Vitamin C rich food every day such as oranges, pineapple, and lemon. Berries are another good source of vitamin C and easily available in western countries.

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Berry milkshake

You will also need to take Vitamin C supplements as you may not get enough of it through your diet hence consume 1-2 grams per day of vitamin C through supplements and do not exceed this dosage or else there are a few side effects you will have to suffer from.

2 Vitamin E:

Vitamin E which is a fat-soluble nutrient acts as an antioxidant and helps to protect cell damage from free radicals which helps in boosting the immune system so it can fight off invading viruses and bacteria.

A bowl of almonds

As this is a fat-soluble Vitamin, it does not wash out of the system like water-soluble vitamin hence; it stores in the liver and can be used by the body as and when needed. This also means that the accumulation can reach toxic levels if you overdose on it, hence do not intake too much of Vitamin E supplements.

3Copper and Zinc:

Copper utensilsZinc and copper together make an enzyme in the body that provides natural antioxidants to the body, which acts as an immunity booster. Zinc also helps to maintain the integrity of mucous membranes that will help in keeping your respiratory tract healthy.

Zinc is found in seafood, meat, chicken, and nuts. You can also consume it in the form of supplements, as a regular diet may not give you the required quantity.

Copper supplements are not needed as you can get the required amount by drinking water through copper utensils.

4 Probiotic:

We are aware that consuming food rich in probiotic improves gut bacteria that improve immunity as gut bacteria can produce useful vitamins in the body that improves the digestive function and immunity but the intake of antibiotics (if you have been ill) kills gut bacteria hence you will need to consume it externally by adding probiotic-rich food to your diet.

A bowl of curdThe best source of probiotic that is also rich in vitamin C is Curd which can be added to your daily diet plan.

But many people are lactose intolerant, hence they need to avoid dairy and look for an alternate source to fulfill their daily probiotic dose. There are probiotic supplements available in the market, which can be consumed daily before your meal to aid your gut.

Probiotic also inhibits the growth of harmful gut bacteria along with promoting the production of antibodies in the body.

Studies have suggested that consuming probiotics regularly with your daily diet reduced the likelihood of respiratory infection. 

5 Proteins:

Proteins are made of thousands of smaller units known as amino acids that are attached to one another in the form of long chains. Proteins are needed for most cell functions and regulation of the body tissues and organs.

No one food can magically help in fending off any flu but certain nutrients combination is needed to help you protect from billions of viruses and bacteria. One such nutrient is protein, which is essential as antibodies that help in fighting diseases is made of protein. Also, several protein-rich foods are also filled with other immune-boosting nutrients, hence it improves your immune system.

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Meat such as beef, pork, and seafood contains protein as well as zinc, which aids in the production of white blood cells to fight infections. Nuts such as almonds and cashew nuts are also a good source of protein and magnesium, which boosts your immunity.

Vegetarian sources of protein

 If you are unable to find non-vegetarian options of proteins, then you can also resort to vegetarian diet sources of protein such as paneer, milk, curd, and cheese to fulfill your daily protein needs.

6 Fluids:

Fluids help in moving the Vitamins around the body so it can be absorbed wherever it is needed. If the body does not have sufficient fluids, then the blood thickens.

A bottle of lemonade

Hydration is an essential part when you are trying to receive from any illness but it is difficult to drink a lot of fluids, especially when you are sick as you will feel nauseated but again it is essential hence take it in the form of juices and soups if needed so that the fluid level does not go down.

When you drink plenty of fluids, the body flushes the toxins out, hence prevents toxins from building up and causing a negative impact on your immune system. It also thins your mucus so that your congestion improves. Fluid intake will also restore any fluid loss that may be caused because of any feverish symptoms.

Gluten-Free 7 Day Lockdown Meal Plan: 

Below is a diet plan that will help you gain the right nutrients to boost your immunity that will help you fight Covid-19 effectively.

A gluten-free diet is preferable to improve your immunity as many people are gluten intolerant and it can cause inflammation in their body tissues. Gluten provides no essential nutrients, hence avoid any food that contains gluten and replace it with other sources of carbohydrate such as rice.

Check out this great Immune-Boosting Lockdown Weekly Diet Plan against Covid-19 by a Certified Nutritionist.Click To Tweet

A girl wearing a mask

What people need to understand is that in such grave situations where the internet is full of myths regarding nutrition suggestions, they need to be vigilant and look for the right source of information. Following wrong nutrition advice will affect you more negatively than it will do any good, hence stay away from any source that suggests you a diet that has extreme of any food source. Remember, the best way to fight coronavirus is by social distancing, maintaining hygiene, and staying alert.

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