As the cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across India, it is important to take necessary precautions like observing social distancing washing your hands, exercise daily, and take good and enough sleep, to stay safe. The virus is dreadful among people especially senior citizens and those having weak immunity. Even the prime minister appealed to follow guidelines issued by the Ayush Ministry to boost immunity. If you really wish to give your immune system an edge, then you should also pay attention to your diet. A healthy gut microbiome translates to a healthy immune system, and making minor modifications to your diet can help you fight diseases better. Here’s a list of immunity-boosting foods you should incorporate in your daily diet.

Broccoli – One cup of broccoli is enough to take care of your daily requirement of vitamin C, a compound that is necessary for fighting free radicals and reducing inflammation. The beta carotene in broccoli is converted by the body to vitamin A, which are an antioxidant and an immune booster. It is also rich in potassium, which helps maintain a healthy nervous system and promotes optimal brain function.

Chickpeas – These tiny legumes are an excellent plant-based source of both zinc and copper, i.e. the minerals that are essentials for the proper functioning and growth of the immune system. Since it has a low glycemic index, they are a good choice for diabetics. The richness of fiber and protein promotes satiety and helps you stay away from high GI (Glycemic Index) foods.

Garlic – Garlic contains allicin, an organo-sulphur compound that gives garlic its distinctive aroma. When crushed, allicin converts into a series of other sulphurous compounds. These compounds are known to boost the disease-fighting response of the white blood cells when they encounter pathogens.

Mushrooms – Staying cooped up all day also means that you do not get adequate exposure to the sun, which is our primary source of vitamin D. If you want a vitamin D rich food in your diet, then mushrooms are a perfect choice. Apart from improving your bone health, vitamin D supplements also protect you from respiratory diseases.

Yogurt – Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics which contains good bacteria known as lactobacilli that promote healthy gut function and support the immune system. Recent studies have also shown that probiotics are effective in fighting flu-like respiratory infections. Choose plain yogurt over its flavoured counterpart, and top it with fruit and honey.
Complement it with yoga

Exercise helps the immune system fight pathogens by improving circulation. It also reduces the level of stress hormones in the body, protecting it against illnesses. While the current restrictions on mobility rule out outdoor exercise as an option, yoga can still be practiced indoors. Here are the benefits of a few simple asanas that can be practiced indoors. Trikonasana – It stimulates the nervous system, and opens up the chest and shoulders. Considered a classic pose to help stretch and strengthen the spine, abdominal muscles, thigh muscles, and pelvic ligaments. It also provides relief from indigestion, gastritis, acidity, and flatulence.

Gomukhasana – Sitting asanas are excellent for inducing a state of relaxation in the body. This pose alleviates back pain, tension, tiredness and anxiety, and provides power to your thighs, ankles, shoulders, deltoids, and chest.

Naukasana – Backward bending poses turn your body outwards, expanding the chest and encouraging inhalation. This particular pose stimulates the circulatory, muscular, digestive, and hormonal systems, apart from toning your organs and easing nervous tension.

Matsyasana – The fish pose helps in balancing and distributing oxygen by improving the blood circulation and stretching the lungs. It provides relief from respiratory disorders, stretches the muscles of the neck and upper back, stimulates the abdominal muscles, and improves digestion.
It is recommended to practice these asanas under the tutelage of a trained yoga instructor until you master them. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, please consult with your physician before you start practicing.

Input-By Dr. G.Prakash – Dy. C.M.O, Jindal Naturecure Institute