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My Diet To Beat The Lockdown Blues

The nationwide lockdown is actually an opportunity for people to eat healthy at home, and build up their natural immunity against infections and other diseases, says Charupadma Pati.
Charupadma Pati | Mar 26, 2020

The coronavirus which has claimed more than 10,000 lives worldwide has led to a lockdown across the globe, with our Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting citizens to voluntarily stay at home for three weeks to ensure the virus does not spread. The heavily congested roads of Delhi, where I stay, are now empty, and people across India are scrambling to cope with this sudden dilemma. Work from home, washing our hands regularly and social distancing have become the order of the day.

I personally believe this enforced break from our daily routine is actually a blessing in disguise, because it gives us an opportunity to build up our natural immunity by eating healthy at home.Although some restaurants and eateries are still delivering food, relying on home complete home cooked food is the safest option. Foods rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, along with some regularexercise, are the best way to build your immunity.

While I never really ate fruits on an everyday basis, the pandemic has pushed me to consume fruits everyday. I usually prefer oranges, which is a good source of vitamin C, known for it’s ability to guard against various kinds of flu, including cough and cold which is increasingly common during the change of season we are going through now. As we know, the coronavirus is associated with symptoms of cough and cold, including severe respiratory infection, eating citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and berries help build immunity against such infections. Amla or the Indian gooseberry is another fruit which boosts immunity and improves metabolism, and nutritionists recommend having one three of four times a day for best results. I also have a glass of lemon juice every morning, usually on an empty stomach.

Most Indians are familiar with the incredible benefits of turmeric. Consuming milk mixed with turmeric is traditional practice across India, particularly in rural areas. Loaded with antibacterial and antifungal properties, turmeric helps in fighting several infections and helps boosts immunity. As news of the widespread death due to the pandemic started to surface, I made it a point to consume turmeric every day.

Another item found in most Indian households is honey. Rich in antioxidants, it helps fight several diseases and helps maintain cardiovascular health. Honey and ginger is the first thing most of us reach for when we have a cough and cold, or even a sore throat. As news of this pandemic spread, I started having honey with a couple of almonds on an empty stomach every day. Almonds are known to check cholesterol, control blood pressure and other ailments. Together with honey, it is a powerful combination which ensures protection against all viruses and infections. In fact, a handful of nuts of any kind are a fantastic source of health.

Green leafy vegetables are another must in our daily diet. While at home, I always have made it a point to consume spinach in my diet. Rich in vitamin A and C, it helps our mucous membranes to repel several bacteria and viruses. Spinach and other leafy vegetables also promote good eyesight and help buttress our body’s natural immunity. Regular consumption pulses is another must, since they counter several health problems and ensure that we get our daily dose of protein.

So the next time you step out to buy your daily rations, remember to stock up on these easily available items, and ensure that your daily regimen also includes at least half an hour of exercise. And instead of cursing the virus and the lockdown, use this opportunity to build up your body’s natural resistance, and to inculcate habits which will stand in you good stead for the rest of your life. So stay safe, and stay healthy.

(The author is a part of Team Poshan)