Now, people can stress less about missing out on nutrients in their diet, as they opt for this alternative source of nutrition.
As we are entering into the fourth month of this global pandemic called COVID-19, the world is still waiting eagerly for the news of an effective cure to it, or better, a vaccine to put an end to it, permanently. While scientists and health specialists across the globe are working overtime over how to make it happen, a segment of people is busy finding ways to “build immunity”. Today, if we ask, “How do you think we can prevent this virus?” anyone will say, “social distancing, hand washing, quarantine, and eating healthy food to build immunity.” Some would go a bit further and add that consuming Vitamin C can help in optimizing immunity. But that’s not the only nutrient you need to build proper immune function. There is nothing wrong with consuming vitamin-rich diets. They are high micronutrients. However, the immune function is an intricate system with multiple components involved, and we cannot just boost it by consuming vitamin supplements.
What works to boost immunity?
Now, one may ask, “Is there anything that works?” There is. Apart from maintaining proper hygiene, and a safe distance from people at all times, the secret mantra is- eat a balanced diet filled with all the necessary nutrients, not just vitamin C. Also, sleep well, exercise, and avoid getting stressed. When it comes to eating healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables top the charts. Apart from that our body requires a lot of other macro and micronutrients to stay fit and active all year round. But, since the world is currently dealing with a notorious pathogen, called COVID-19, let us, please focus on the importance of consuming micronutrients in our diet.
Micronutrients to boost immunity
Micronutrients are mostly composed of two major components, called vitamins and minerals. Human bodies are not capable of producing vitamins and minerals on their own; therefore, we need to obtain these components from our surroundings. These are the essential nutrients that are crucial in maintaining healthy bodily functions and thereby, good health. Although our body needs micronutrients in smaller quantity, it plays a massive role in maintaining perfect health.
All the micronutrients possess unique qualities, and lack of these nutrients in our diet can weaken our immune system, as well as, make us easy targets for pathogens. As humans, our menu should include dairy products, lean meat products, whole grains and millets, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables daily to avail regular supply of required nutrients.
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Apart from these macro and micronutrients, an adequate quantity of dietary fibre and water in our daily meals is significant for the smooth functioning of our body. It ensures good gut health, as well as hydration for the proper functioning of our bodies, especially our brains. The outcomes of home food fortification like Nu-Shakti Power beverage mix, which adds required micronutrients to the water and can be consumed as a refreshing drink, are available in the market. As it goes with everything, excess consumption can be counter-productive. It is always desirable to consult your dietician before altering your diet. Above all, eat well and remain safe.
(The article has been medically reviewed by Ramya Ramachandran Clinical Nutritionist, Lactation Consultant and Diabetes Educator, Chennai).
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