Does garlic cure or fight coronavirus? Can I immunize myself with “that food”? No doubt coronavirus has brought plenty of uncertainties with it. We are under risk here! Although no particular food can help prevent or cure the coronavirus. However, we can work to boost our immune system and make it stronger.
It is difficult to completely eliminate the risks of getting COVID-19. However, we can keep ourselves healthy and have a good immune system to prevent coronavirus. The best way to survive this pandemic is to stay healthy and strengthen your immune system. You already know that your immune system plays an important role to fight with the coronavirus.
Researchers say that better nutrition intake makes your immune system stronger. Vitamins like A, B, C, D, and E, and other minerals like iron, zinc, and selenium help in fighting infections.
Vitamin A helps in making antibodies to neutralize the pathogens causing infection in our body. Think about it like this- if fighting the infection was a game of football, then Vitamin A will be your forward line. It acts as a barrier and becomes the first line of defense for your body. Vitamin A maintains the structure of cells in the skin, respiratory tract, and guts.
Foods rich in Vitamin A- Egg yolks, oily fish, tofu, cheese, seeds, whole grains, and legumes. Moreover, vegetables contain beta-carotene that gets converted into Vitamin A once it enters your body. This compound is found in leafy great vegetables, carrots, pumpkins, etc.
This group of eight vitamins works together so that the body cells function properly. B vitamins work together but have a unique function to carry out individually. They help in converting food into energy (carrying out the metabolism process in your body). It creates new blood cells, maintains the healthy skin cells, and other tissues.
Foods rich in B Vitamins- Legumes, seeds, pork, whole grains, nuts, almonds, yogurts, oatmeal, avocados, beef liver, meat, etc. You do not have to eat them all at once in one day. Indulge in healthy and fresh foods as your vitamin B source. Do not depend upon supplements. They are not as efficient as food sources.
Have you heard your parents asking or some bloggers saying that drinking orange juice would help you boost your immune system? Well, oranges and every citrus fruit have vitamin C in it. Vitamin C is one of the essential vitamins that your body cannot produce.
Vitamin C helps in clearing up the cellular mess by producing specialized cells in case of an immune response. So, you remember, I mentioned fighting as a football game! Then vitamin C is like clearing the ground after the game is over. Vitamin C helps to reduce oxidative stress and improve immunity.
Foods rich in Vitamin C- Oranges, Lemons, Berries, Kiwi, Limes, Broccoli, Tomatoes, and capsicum. Other food items with vitamin C are like chili peppers, rose hips, acerola cherries, Kakadu plums, guava, thyme, parsley, etc.
Another vitamin to reduce the oxidative stress is vitamin E. If you are too concerned about your beauty, then you must know that vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects from cell damage. It is the best dietary supplement.
Know that vitamin E is fat-soluble, and hence the body stores it and uses it as necessary. Have you seen rust on your bike or car? Well, almost a similar process takes place in our bodies. Vitamin E also slows down the aging process.
Foods rich in vitamin E- sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, spinach, broccoli, kiwi, mango, tomatoes, etc. Apart from nuts, this vitamin is found in green leafy vegetables and vegetable oils.
Vitamin D helps the immune cells to destroy the pathogens causing infection. This vitamin is fat-soluble and present in most of the food items. It helps in fighting against infections and diseases. However, this vitamin cannot be created in our bodies. It has to be included in our diet.
Foods rich in vitamin D- eggs, fish, milk, cheese, beef liver, fortified milk, mushrooms, fortified cereals, and juices, etc. You can take up vitamin D supplements, but it is advised to depend upon natural resources of food whenever possible.
Iron, Selenium, and Zinc
Yes, vitamins are important and so are minerals. Our body needs an optimum amount of iron, selenium, and zinc for immune cell growth.
Iron aids in killing pathogens by increasing the number of free radicals that can destroy them. It also regulates enzyme reactions. Zinc maintains the integrity of the skin.
Foods rich in iron–meat, chicken, fish, legumes, and whole grains.
Foods rich in zinc- seafood, oysters, meat, chicken, nuts, and dried beans.
Foods rich in selenium- Brazil nuts, cereals, meat, and mushroom.