Viral infections are responsible for global morbidity rates across the world. With the second wave of COVID-19 hitting the country hard, It has become an absolute necessity to focus on the treatment as well as prevention of the deadly virus. While the epidemic has already claimed more than 200,000 lives in the country, people are more aware of the immediate need to take precautions than ever before by focusing more on building one’s immunity as well as overall health. One of the key ingredients for good immunity is eating lots of antiviral foods.
Top Antiviral Foods For Good Immunity
- Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are rich in Vitamin C, B complex, Beta carotene and plant cyclotides. It reduces the risk of infection and reinfection and protects the respiratory system. So the intake of vegetables and fruits are highly recommended as a part of a balanced diet. Plant cyclotides prevent the T-cells malfunction as well. Citrus fruits like lemon, orange, mosambi are very rich in Vitamin C content. They boost immunity. All the fruits and vegetables are rich in Vitamin C. So, it is recommended to include at least 2 portions of fruits and 3 portions of vegetables in your daily diet. Green leafy vegetables provide much more vitamin C than Normal vegetables. Vitamin C also protects our body from oxidative stress.
- Spices and Herbs: Garlic, tulsi, neem, basil, cinnamon, ginger and black pepper are important spices and herbs. Neem contains lots of vitamins like vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and B complex. Curcumin, which is present in turmeric, has been used for centuries to treat various disorders. Curcumin is a natural polyphenol. Turmeric is proved to be effective against Herpes virus, Hepatitis, Chikungunya virus and dengue virus thanks to its antiviral properties. The lyophilized juice which is extracted from the ginger has been effective against Hepatitis. It reduces virus replication. Ginger also has an effect on Influenza viruses. Cinnamon is a popular spice. It contains 2 compounds – cinnamaldehyde and eugenol, which have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Studies show that the herbal extract of cloves, Eugeniin, has the ability to simplify the virus compound. Basil leaves, Garlic and Giloy also contain antiviral properties. So try to add these spices and herbs while cooking.
- Dairy Products: are rich in Vitamin D which help lower viral replication, reduce the infection rate and reduce the chances of lung pneumonia. Include any one dairy product such as milk, yogurt, cheese, curd or paneer in your daily diet. As we all know, curd is a probiotic so it can enhance the gut-lung axis related respiratory fitness also.
- Nuts and Seeds: are rich in immune protective phenolic compounds as well as Vitamin E, selenium and magnesium. You can add one handful of nuts in your daily diet. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium which helps to strengthen our immune system. Seeds like sunflower, sesame, pumpkin and nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans are rich sources of vitamin E. We can use these seeds and nuts in normal form as well as powdered form and can also incorporate them with dough, batter and salads.
- Dark Chocolate: contains large amounts of polyphenols and magnesium. Magnesium is involved in lots of biochemical reactions in our body. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits. For Diabetic patients, we can use sugar free dark chocolates.
Today many viruses remain without any absolute remedies and treatments and getting rid of these viruses seems hard. However, natural products and antiviral foods play a vital role in the protection against and prevention of life threatening disease.
We hope these antiviral foods help you build your immunity! Do let us know your thoughts in the comments below. For more on building immunity, check out Healthy Reads or tune in to experts on GOQii Play.
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Noel D'mello says
Thank you Tooney for the amazing writeup, in todays day everyone is prescribing medicines and multivitamins to boost immunity, the simplicity in this writeup is what our ancestors followed your food is your medicine and not medicine be your food. In todays hectic lifestyles this is a good reminder, thankyou.
Very informative article on immunity. Immunity is our first and last line of defence mechanism. It is essential t9 build a strong immunity for protecting ourselves.