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Plan a healthy diet to build immunity for the post-lockdown era
24 September 2020
With the announcement of Unlock 4.0, the streets have become busier, malls and gyms are (cautiously) opening, and even resorts are welcoming guests. Nonetheless, the world still continues to grapple the Covid-19 crisis and it is your responsibility to safeguard yourself from getting infected. The importance of fitness and healthy lifestyles have risen tremendously. The reason is quite simple - weak immune systems are easy targets. Therefore, everyone’s immediate concern now is to boost their immune systems and improve health.
While it is true that exercise plays a key role in building strong immunity, following a healthy diet is a deciding factor. And with just a few additions to your daily food intake and some alterations in your grocery shopping, you can drastically enhance your immunity.
Here’s a guide to help you out:
Among vegetables, red and yellow bell pepper are loaded with vitamin C and are known to rapidly increase immunity levels. Red bell peppers have the highest levels of vitamin C followed by yellow and green. Did you know that the colour of the bell peppers suggests when they are plucked? Accordingly, green ones are unripe, yellow is at the intermediary stage and red is fully ripe and rich in vitamin C.
Make it a habit to squeeze lemon juice into your food to get an additional boost of vitamin C. Even sweet lime, oranges and cucumbers are great sources of vitamin C.
Red is not just an attractive colour, in vegetables and fruit, it denotes the presence of beta carotene or vitamin A. Consumption of vitamin A lowers the risk of heart attacks, cancers, high cholesterol, and hypertension, and improve health of your brain. Carrots, sweet potato, beets, red bell pepper, tomatoes, pomegranates, watermelons, plums, cranberries, raspberries are great sources of vitamin A.
Dark and microgreen vegetables should be your go-to fix for a good dose of minerals and vitamins. They contain iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. And among vitamins, they are rich in vitamin K, C, E and the B. So, try including greens like spinach, kale, turnip greens, broccoli and other leafy vegetables which also contain folate and manganese. These will not only enhance immunity and even improve health of eyes, skin, bones and hair.
⚫ Superfoods such as avocado contain vitamins and glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps build immunity needed for lymphoid cells.
⚫ Eggs are loaded with proteins, vitamins and minerals and vital amino acids. Hence, it is prescribed in the diet of Covid-19 patients to boost immunity and aid quick recovery.
⚫ Yoghurt’s probiotic nature boosts immunity and kills certain pathogens.
⚫ Kiwis contain double the quantity of vitamin C and have a nutrient density double than that of apples. It aids digestion, boosts immunity, protects against vision loss, treats asthma among many other benefits.
⚫ Apple skin contains quercetin, a flavonoid that enhances the immune system. They are storehouses of antioxidants, vitamin C, flavonoids and polyphenols. Besides, apples benefit the heart, prevents cancer and reduces diabetes. Now with reduced activity, if you’re putting on weight, include an apple in your daily diet as it aids weight loss. Note that reducing obesity stimulates immunity and improves bone health.
⚫ Watermelon comprises almost 90% water and is rich in antioxidants, potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C, and contains a good amount of fibre.
With a diet packed with these nutrients and some regular exercise, you can improve your immunity significantly. Besides these, having an updated health insurance policy is the need of the hour. With rising medical inflation, hospital expenses, treatments and other medical expenditure can prove to be a financial burden. Therefore, you must sign up for comprehensive health insurance coverage. Addressing the current pandemic, Max Bupa’s Corona Kavach is an insurance plan specially designed for Covid-19 care. Here you have the option to opt for the Corona Kavach family floater that covers up to two adults and four children. It covers pre and post-hospitalisation expenditure, home care expenses, and other useful features. You can also avail e-consultations and shield yourself and your family in case of an unfortunate incident. Most importantly, having health insurance goes a long way at easing unwarranted health emergencies.