Innate system

Innate system

Nutrition not only supplies building blocks for building your immune system but also affects your gut microbiome, writes Dr Meghana Pasi

health

Its unlock time! But people are scared of getting infected while moving out and are anxious about what lies ahead in the future. Working from home has had its share of problems with complaints of weight gain, elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, sleeping disorders, binge-eating, increased screen time and issues with personal, social, and work relationships. Being mindful about our routine and eating habits is the need of the hour. Here’s how you can boost your immunity for a healthy body and mind:

Don’t skip meals. Three major meals and two small snacks each day will give your body constant fuel. Have a sumptuous breakfast. Choose foods rich in proteins, complex carbs, vitamins and fibre. Veg poha, paneer paratha with curd, eggs, toast, milk, fruits with cereals, idli and sambar are healthy options.

Avoid low-carb diets. Carbs are good for you when you eat the right ones. They help increase serotonin, a chemical that has been shown to have a calming effect on your mood. Increase intake of complex carbs available from whole grains, millets, pulses, vegetables, and nuts.

Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits of different colours. These are rich sources of Beta Carotene, Vitamin (C, K, E), folate and minerals like potassium, zinc, and magnesium, fibre, antioxidants and phytonutrients which help in increasing resistance against diseases by building our immunity. Include 5 servings of fruits and veggies in your meals.

Include one cup of any protein source (beans, pulses, eggs, milk, fish, chicken, nuts, and seeds, soybeans, quinoa) with each meal. They help in the production of antibodies which fight against infections.

Munch on chana, peanuts, fruits, sprouts, chikki, makhana at teatime. Include ginger in your tea or make a kadha (concoction) using tulsi, ginger, cloves and mint with honey. Spices like pepper, ginger, garlic, cumin, cloves, fenugreek seeds, turmeric contain chemical compounds and have antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial and antiviral properties. 

Indulge in any kind of physical activity — be it yoga, cycling, dancing, walking — at least for 30 minutes every day.

(The author is a nutrition consultant)

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