At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, we heard of several mixtures that some people boasted could either cure or prevent. From pungent garlic to salt and water mixture to turmeric and the good ‘Ol ginger.
As ridiculous as these theories and concoctions sound, some food ingredients have their benefits in the fight against COVID-19 as they help boost your immune system, even though they cannot cure or prevent infection with the virus.
Staying safe and adhering to COVID-19 precautions is still the surest way to protect yourself. However, keeping your immune system in top form is also essential. It is your body’s best shot should you come in contact with the virus. Your body’s immune system is a defence mechanism against infections. A robust immune system protects you from viral and bacterial infections which come with symptoms like flu, fever and colds. When your immune system is weakened, your risk of getting these infections and falling sick will increase.
Boosting your immune system involves adopting a healthy lifestyle and eating the right foods. Some foods can give your immune system a more substantial fighting chance and increase your possibility of survival.
Foods that boost the immune system during COVID-19 include:
Citrus fruits contain high amounts of Vitamin C and help build the immune system. This is why most people who have caught a cold or are generally sick are advised to eat them. Citrus fruits include oranges, lemons, grapefruits, lime, tangerine and lemons.
Garlic is both a food ingredient and a medicine. It contains compounds that boost the human immune system. These compounds enhance the response of some white blood cells in the body and their ability to fight viruses that the body encounters, especially the ones that cause cold and flu.
Ginger is rich in gingerol, which contains a lot of antioxidants. It helps fight inflammation and maintains a healthy immune system. Ginger is used as a home remedy for conditions like the flu, stomach aches, vomiting and the common cold. Apart from strengthening the immune system, it can also help digestion and keep your blood sugar and cholesterol level within the normal range.
Yoghurts like Greek yoghurt, can help build your immune system and help fight infection. Yoghurts are also a great source of Vitamin D. You can add fruits and honey to your plain yoghurt to provide more flavour and even more nutrients to boost immunity.
Vegetables (Carrots, spinach, Broccoli):
Vegetables, especially colourful ones like carrots, contain a high amount of vitamin A, which is known to be an infection fighter. Sweet potatoes, pumpkins and dark leafy green vegetables should also be significant and frequent in your diet to boost your immune system against COVID-19.
Turmeric contains a high amount of curcumin which can help improve your immune system. Turmeric also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help remedy inflammation of the sinuses.
Poultry products like chicken and turkey are rich in vitamin B6, which helps support biochemical reactions in the immune system. The protein in poultry can also help improve your immunity.
With the cases of COVID-19 steadily increasing, it is imperative than ever to have a functioning, healthy immune system. A proper diet is essential for maintaining and strengthening your immune system. Although these foods or other supplements will not cure the infection, they will help your chances of recovery. Other tips that will boost your immune system and increase your chances include staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and getting a lot of rest and sleep.
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