The coronavirus pandemic has brought the whole world to a virtual standstill. While scientists and researchers are making strenuous efforts to find a vaccine or a cure, governments across the world are trying to contain the adverse impact it has on livelihoods and economies.

In India, nearly 60% to 70% positive cases are asymptomatic which means that for every one person with visible symptoms, there are two who don’t show any. These asymptomatic patients are referred to as “silent carriers” because they themselves do not know that they have the infection. Exercising caution is the safest option.

Diet & hygiene

Building immunity is one of the most important steps you can take to keep yourself safe from the virus. Consume healthy, nutritious, and well-balanced foods with enough proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Stick to whole grains and include at least five fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Nuts are also an excellent source of dietary fibre and provide a range of nutrients, including B group Vitamins, Vitamin E, and minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, selenium and copper.

Sprouts of moong, fenugreek, and alfalfa are excellent sources of plant-based protein. You can consume them in salad form and add a little ginger, lemon, and salt. Drink amla juice mixed with orange juice twice a day as it provides plenty of Vitamin C, which is a must for defending the body against viruses.

Zinc is one of the most critical trace minerals needed for optimal immune function.

Zinc deficiency can lead to a decrease in the number of lymphocytes and increase the neutrophil count. Zinc also slows down viruses on its own merit as viruses are allergic to zinc.

Foods high in zinc include nuts, seeds, lentils, yoghurt, oatmeal, cheese, pumpkin seeds and mushrooms, wheat germ, and beets. (The author is a naturopath)