In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, improving the immunity assumes a significant job in keeping up optimum health. Great nutrition is central to improving immunity. The immune system is the body’s protection against disease and virus and it has long been studied that few variables impact the capacity of
the immune system including stress and nutrition. Vitamins and minerals, known as micronutrients, are supplements required by our body for ideal function and frequently required in just limited quantities. These micronutrients are not delivered in the body and in this way should be acquired from the food we eat.
Immunity boosters are foods, fruits, vegetables, or even artificially designed supplements that help increase ability to fight against illnesses. Immunity boosters can help protect the body from various diseases and infections.They can replenish a lot of essential nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, etc. in the body. They help speed up our body’s healing process. They keep us energized and increase our capability to be more productive. They also assist in maintaining body weight, blood pressure, digestion, body growth, healthy cholesterol, and many other aspects of well-being.
An earlier clinical trial, published in 1753, James Lind fed it has been established that several micronutrients are essential to the immune system, and have synergistic roles based on their complementary mode of action . Eating a low-fat, plant-based eating habit may help give the immune system a boost. The immune system depends on WBCs which produce antibodies to battle against microbes, viruses etc. Vegetarians have been appeared to have improved white platelets as compared to non-vegetarians, because of a high consumption of nutrients and low ingestion of fat.
Likewise in the current situation there are many foods available in our kitchen which are rich sources of these micronutrients (ie) the vitamins and minerals which can be easily accessible to each one of us . But a proper emphasis on cooking methods can enhance their utility.
Vitamin A is often mentioned as the “anti-inflammation vitamin” as a result of its significant role in improving immune capacity. It has a focal role in the improvement of the immune system. Vitamin A – Animal foods like butter, ghee, whole milk, curds, eggyolk are a rich source of vit A whereas in plant foods it is present in the form of β carotene. β carotene is rich in green leafy vegetables like spinach, amaranth, coriander, drumstick leaves, curry leaves, mint , raddish leaves etc . Ripe yellow fruits like mangoes, papaya ,melons, tomatoes are rich in carotene. Vegetables like carrots,sweet potatoes, pumkin and cabbage also are good source of Vit A . Vitamin C This specific nutrient is a crucial member in the army ofimmunity. It helps to prevent the regular virus. Vitamin c is a powerful antioxidant and secures against harm induced by oxidative pressure. As to respiratory tract diseases a Cochrane review shows a fundamentally decrease in the frequency of infection when member were supplement with Vitamin C. Vitamin C is easily destroyed by heat and oxygen. Absorption levels depend on the amounts consumed. About 70-90% of vitamin c is absorbed. If intakes exceed 1000 mg/day, absorption levels drop to 50%. Vit C is widely available in plant foods particularly in fresh fruits and vegetables especially yellow and green colured varieties. Vitamin C( Ascorbic acid) gets destroyed by atmospheric oxidation easily when the Vit C rich fruits should not be cut and kept for a longtime they have to be consumed fresh. Dry grains contain no Vit C but when these dry pulses are allowed to germinate Vit C is formed in the grain and growing sprout. When fresh fruits and vegetables are not available then sproutedgrains can be used as a cheap and easily available source of vitC especially green gram sprouts. It would be ideal to consume the grain sprout with 1-2cm sprout size and raw not cooked. Fresh fruits like Orange, grapes, sweetlime, amla(gooseberries) and guava.
Vitamin D Research shows vitamin D supplementation may reduce the hazard for viral infections, including respiratory tract diseases, by diminishing creation of pro-inflammatory compounds in the body.Food sources of vitamin D incorporate fortified cereals and plant-based foods, milk and supplements .Our exposure to sunlight, given the right season and enough time in the sun, has an important role in determining the vitamin D status. With the help of sunlight, Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin from a precursor derived from cholesterol. Vitamin D exists as either Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) or Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin B12 B12 has an important role in immune modulator for cellular Immunity experts assume that about 50% vitamins B12 are absorbed by adults with a healthy digestive tract. Inadequate absorption occurs when there is not enough acid in the stomach or when a protein called intrinsic factors is not produced in the stomach. Conventional cooking methods involving high heat and long cooking times may result in some vitamin B12 losses. Sources of vitamin B12 Include mainly animal sources like shellfish, liver, fish , milk and milk products Zinc Practically all cells in our body contain zinc, an important supplement for development and improvement. The body firmly controls zinc levels. Stress and infections cause plasma zinc levels to fall .Zinc has a strong role in the immune system and wound healing. Foods rich in phytatelead to previously absorbed zinc being lost in the faeces. Protein may enhance absorption of Zinc. meats, shellfish, legumes, whole grains are some fortified cereal. Turmeric and garlic The bright yellow spice, Turmeric, contains a compound called cur-cumin, which boosts the immune function. Garlic has powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties which enhances body immunity. These are commonly used food sources available in every kitchen which can be used effectively included in our day today meal as immune boosters.
Dr.Shweta B. Nanjannavar
M.D.(Hom), M.Sc( Clinical Dietics & Nutrition)
Consultant Homoeopath & Nutritionist,
Deesha Healthcare, Ashwini Medical Centre,
Kolhapur Circle, Nehrunagar, Belgaum