The pandemic has made everyone acutely aware of the importance of strengthening one’s immunity by eating clean, sleeping well and exercising daily. Especially in the wake of the new and fast spreading Omicron variant, it has become crucial to give make health and well-being top priorities while following Covid-appropriate behaviour.
To help simplify the process and make a start, nutritionist and lifestyle coach Karishma Chawla has shared a simple immunity building diet plan to ensure good health.
Non negotiables for an immunity-boosting diet
*A diet that helps with blood sugar control.
*Remove food sensitivities, and add foods that help with gut health (70 per cent-80 per cent of the immune system lives in the gut).
*Add foods rich in antioxidants.
Healthy morning routine
*Begin your morning with a glass of lukewarm water with a few drops of lime.
*Follow that with a green veggie smoothie (can add a high fibre fruit like apple or orange to naturally sweeten the smoothie instead of sugar ). *You can also add camu camu powder (1 tsp) which is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants to boost immunity.
For breakfast, a combination of complex carbs and protein with good fats works best for stabilising blood sugar levels. You can try these healthy breakfast options to begin with-
🍳Brown rice poha/moong dal chilla with eggs/protein supplement (vegan or milk protein- subjective to gut tolerance).
🍳Almond bread/jowar bread with eggs or veg sandwich.
🍳Quinoa upma with eggs.
For post-breakfast snack, munch on a high fibre fruit like apple, orange, papaya. You can make it healthier by adding 1 tsp cold pressed coconut oil, a pinch of black pepper and turmeric powder as a tasty and healthy dip.
Before having lunch, try cinnamon water or apple cider vinegar in lukewarm water. This cleanses the stomach and your palette before a big meal.
After this, start with soup or salad with some whole grains such as jowar, rajgira, brown rice with dal along with some green veggies and salad to add to your fibre intake.
Add 1-2 tbps of fermented veggies like carrots, cucumber, cabbage, cauliflower. These are loaded with beneficial bacteria. The fibre acts as the food for the gut’s healthy bacteria that help in building immunity, compounds, certain vitamins and reduce inflammation.
You can have eggs, paneer, or other protein supplements with a salad. The salad can be of your choice — sprouts, nut salad, avocado salad, chana salad. You can also add some almonds, walnuts or Brazil nuts on the side for extra crunch.
A vegetable soup with a portion of complete protein like eggs or chicken along with brown rice or quinoa makes for a delicious, wholesome meal.
A calming way to end the night would be with a cup of chamomile tea before bed.
If you find it hard to hydrate often, try something new like chia water, lime water, basil water or herbal tea with turmeric, pepper and ginger. You can also try infused water with fruits or vegetables of your choice. These help with strengthening immunity and keep you hydrated through the day.
Foods to avoid
PS: This is a sample diet plan. One should only follow necessary dietary guidelines or have one under guidance.