New Delhi: While Social Distancing, self-quarantine are the safety measures against the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), good Nutrition at such times is important to keep yourself immune. The immune system is your organs, cells, tissues, and proteins. Together, they fight off pathogens, which are the viruses, bacteria, and foreign bodies that cause infection or disease. When the immune system comes into contact with a pathogen, it triggers an immune response. The immune system releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kill them.
As you stay indoors for 21-days during the nation-wide lockdown, and try to fight the coronavirus infection, here is a diet plan to help strengthen your immune response.
1 glass of warm water + squeeze half lemon +[ (a pinch of Cinnamon powder) or (half tsp turmeric and a pinch of black pepper powder) or half-inch ginger piece or 1tsp wheatgrass powder].
Lemon helps cleanse the liver & cinnamon helps increase metabolic rate, reduces inflammation; regulates blood sugar. The chlorophyll in wheatgrass helps boost energy and aids detoxification. This alkaline mixture washes off the morning acidity and helps promote smooth bowels. A great way to kick starts the day!
1 Apple /banana/pear/papaya (medium-sized – 100 gm) or 1 bowl sweet potato with lime and pepper.
A pre-workout carb ensures a sustained supply of energy during the workout.
2 palm-sized Moong dal-ragi chillas with fresh homemade coriander chutney (Use 1:1 ratio of moong dal and ragi flour ) + 2 tbsp homemade curd. Or 1 Glass Sattu Shake – 2tbsp sattu mixed with 200 ml buttermilk; add 1tsp jeera powder,1tsp grated ginger, a pinch of salt and coriander leaves) + 1small bowl veg poha (add peas, carrot, onion, tomato)] or 1 bowl rice vermicelli upma (add ginger, garlic, peas, onion, tomato) Or A glass of beet juice (unstrained), mixed with 1tbsp Sattu powder Or 2 steam idli with veg sambhar. (For Non-veg egg omelette with a slice of Multigrain bread)
Using a cereal-pulse combination provides you with a complete protein and good carbs that are required for supporting muscle recovery post-workout.
Sattu (gram flour) powder is rich in plant proteins helps in muscle recuperation. Beet is packed with nitrates which is an excellent post-workout recovery drink due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property. It also provides carb and fibre. (a carb-protein combination supports muscle recovery post-workout)
1 bowl- 200ml
3-4 soaked walnut halves and 1 tbsp soaked pumpkin seeds Or 1tbsp flax seeds + 1tbsp sunflower seed + 3 Almond + 2 Brazil nuts Or 200 ml carrot beet juice with 1 date, dash of cinnamon ginger and rock salt for flavours
Walnuts are packed with Omega 3 which is known to reduce inflammation and keep the bad blood lipids in check. Pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts are packed with selenium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorous which are great for immunity and thyroid health. Flax seeds help get Omega 3. Almonds are packed with Vitamin E and Fibre.
Veg juice gives us the required amounts of fibre and keeps us full.
1 bowl carrot-cucumber salad sprinkled with ½ tbsp flaxseed powder or 1 bowl carrot and beet with 1tsp roasted black sesame seeds or 1 bowl cucumber n radish + 1 bowl cooked vegetable (preferably greens) or stir fry bell-peppers carrot and green peas with flax seed sprinkled or kale broccoli stir fry + 1-2 palm-sized jowar rotis or 1 cup cooked rice + 1 cup tadka dal or sprouted green or yellow moong dal. (for Non-Veg: 1 bowl chicken curry (using onion-tomato base –100 gm chicken) or grilled chicken or 1 bowl egg bhurji) Or 1 bowl masoor dal and rice khichidi 1:1 ratio + 1 bowl cucumber raita
1 cup = 100 gm; 1 bowl = 150-200gm. Keep yourself full of fibre from cooked vegetables and salad. Flaxseed-make sure they are unroasted, as roasting destroys the Omega 3. Sesame seeds are high on calcium.
1 glass lemon water with a tbsp. of ajwain-jeera-saunf mix.
This mixture helps to re-alkalize the body, supports the digestions and prevents bloating/flatulence. Lightly roast ajwain, jeera and saunf in 1:1:1 ratio and grind them into a fine powder. Store it in an airtight bottle and use when required.
A cup of Organic Green Tea(drop in a star anise/ a pinch of cinnamon powder or green tea with mint and dash of cinnamon or any Infused Tea like Tulsi-ginger. After 20 mins, 1 cup pomegranate sprinkled with black pepper or /2-3 slices of papaya/muskmelon. (for non-veg 2 egg whites)
Notes: Keep gap of 20 min between tea and eggs Green tea is packed with antioxidants (epigallocatechin), maintains blood sugar balance, neutralizes free radicals and acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Cinnamon/star anise – to boost its anti-inflammatory and metabolism-boosting effect. Mint – to keep body cool and alkaline. Eggs – packed with proteins which helps one keep full for a long time helping portion-controlled dinner. Tulsi- coolant
Ginger – packed with antioxidants.
1 bowl spinach soup/pumpkin soup (with a dash of ginger-garlic or 1 bowl tomato basil soup or 1 bowl bottle gourd-onion and tomato soup add a dash of ginger garlic. Sprinkle half tsp flax seed powder over soup or 2 cucumbers along with 1-2 jowar roti or nachni roti or besan chilla + 1 cup cooked green sabzi + 1 cup tadka dal or 1 cup homemade curd with half tsp black sesame seeds added to it (For Nonveg- 1 small bowl fish or egg curry)] Or
1 bowl boiled Rajma chaat with cucumber onion tomato carrot jeera powder rock salt sesame seeds lime and chopped coriander leaves + 1 bowl curd rice with tempering of ghee, mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves n red chilly
Keep the dinner light and balanced(fibre and protein combo with micronutrients. Flaxseed-make sure they are unroasted, as roasting destroys the Omega 3. Sesame seeds are high on calcium.
Post-dinner (after 30 minutes)
1 glass lemon water with 1 tbsp of ajwain-jeera-saunf mixture.
This mixture helps to re-alkalize the body, supports the digestion and prevents bloating/flatulence. Lightly roast ajwain, jeera and saunf in 1:1:1 ratio and grind them into a fine powder. Store it in an airtight bottle and use when required.
1 glass warm water with a dash of cinnamon powder or chamomile tea. Followed by 10-15 minutes of deep breathing and meditation using insight timer, with eyes closed.
To de-stress, unwind, disconnect from the day and ensure good sleep.
(Disclaimer: The author, Nutan Khimasiya, nutritionist and fitness coach, is a guest contributor and a part of our medical expert panel. Views expressed are personal)