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HOW TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
 
Eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep and exercising daily are important for your overall health and wellness.

Eat fresh foods

Eat fruits, vegetables, legumes (e.g. lentils, beans), nuts and whole grains (e.g. unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat, brown rice or starchy tubers or roots such as potato, yam, taro or cassava), and foods from animal sources (e.g. meat, fish, eggs and milk).

Daily, eat: 2 cups of fruit 2.5 cups of vegetables , & adequate amount of protein rich foods like fish, egg white, pulses , dhal, chicken and red meats in moderation For snacks, choose raw vegetables and fresh fruit rather than foods that are high in sugar, fat & salt.

Do not overcook vegetables and fruit as this can lead to the loss of important vitamins.
When using canned or dried vegetables and fruit, choose varieties without added salt or sugar.

Drink enough water

Water is essential for life. It transports nutrients and compounds in blood, regulates your body temperature, gets rid of waste, and lubricates and cushions joints.

Drink 8–10 cups of water every day.

Water is the best choice, but you can also consume other drinks, fruits and vegetables that contain water, for example lemon juice (diluted in water and unsweetened), tea and coffee. But be careful not to consume too much caffeine, and avoid sweetened fruit juices, syrups, fruit juice concentrates, fizzy and still drinks as they all contain sugar.

Eat moderate amounts of fat and oil

Consume unsaturated fats (e.g. found in fish, avocado, nuts, olive oil, soy, canola, sunflower and corn oils) rather than saturated fats (e.g. found in fatty meat, butter, coconut oil, cream, cheese, ghee and lard).

Choose white meat (e.g. poultry) and fish, which are generally low in fat, rather than red meat.
Avoid processed meats because they are high in fat and salt.

Where possible, opt for low-fat or reduced-fat versions of milk and dairy products.
Avoid industrially produced trans fats. These are often found in processed food, fast food, snack food, fried food, frozen pizza, pies, cookies, margarines and spreads.

Eat less salt and sugar

When cooking and preparing food, limit the amount of salt and high-sodium condiments (e.g. soy sauce and fish sauce).

Limit your daily salt intake to less than 5 g (approximately 1 teaspoon), and use iodized salt.
Avoid foods (e.g. snacks) that are high in salt and sugar.

Limit your intake of soft drinks or sodas and other drinks that are high in sugar (e.g. fruit juices, fruit juice concentrates and syrups, flavoured milks and yogurt drinks).
Choose fresh fruits instead of sweet snacks such as cookies, cakes and chocolate.

Other essentials Include immune boosting foods like

Garlic and ginger

It is a powerful anti-viral. It can be eaten raw, mashed or can be added to soups. chopped raw garlic and ginger with a tablespoon of raw honey boost your immune system,
Almonds Vitamin E in almonds will help to prevent colds and flu and is key to your immune .

Turmeric

The golden spice turmeric is known for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin, the compound present in turmeric is a very potent agent and aids in healing of wounds and infections. This is the reason, it is often suggested to have turmeric milk

Vitamin C – Citrus Fruits & Greens

Consuming foods high in vitamin C such as grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, sweet red pepper, broccoli, strawberries, kale, and kiwifruit are thought to increase white blood cell production, which is key to fighting infection.

Beta-Carotene – Root Vegetables & Greens

Beta-carotene converts into vitamin A, which is an anti-inflammatory vitamin that can help your antibodies respond to toxins, such as a virus. Carrots, spinach, kale, apricots, sweet potato, squash, and cantaloupe are all great sources of beta-carotene. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, so consuming foods with healthy fats will aid in its absorption.

Vitamin E – Nuts, Seeds & Greens

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is key in regulating and supporting immune system function. Foods rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds, avocado, and spinach.

Vitamin D – Sunshine, Fish & Eggs

Vitamin D is essential to immune function and helps regulate the body’s immune response. Vitamin D can be found in salmon, canned tuna, egg yolks, and mushrooms. Your body can also synthesize vitamin D with just 13-15 minutes of sunshine three times a week

Probiotics, Gut Health & Immunity

Yogurt, Tempeh (Fermented Soybeans), and certain types of cheese contain probiotics, which are thought to help stimulate the immune system to fight off disease.

Zinc – Shellfish, Poultry, and Beans

Immune system cells need zinc to function .Zinc is a mineral that our body does not store or produce. While oysters have the highest food content of zinc, there are several other options such as shellfish (crab, clams, lobster, and mussels), poultry (chicken or turkey), red meat and beans. Zinc is also found in fortified cereals and some breads, but the best absorption comes from animal-based foods.

All these dietary changes should also be coupled with good exercise and proper sleep.

ATHIRA. M.J.
DIETICIAN.KIMSHEALTH


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