By Nina Figureido

COVID19 has undoubtedly put all of us in a disturbing situation. This infectious disease is especially dangerous for the elderly as they are more prone to getting affected by it. Older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others as their immune system is already compromised.
It’s a proven fact that good health and nutrition go hand-in-hand. A diet rich in certain vitamins and minerals can create a protective wall of immunity. You can include fruits and vegetables that are rich in beta-carotene (sources include green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, etc.), vitamin C (oranges, sweet limes, amla, tomatoes) and vitamin E (almonds, peanuts, cashewnuts) and even zinc (whole grains, legumes, nuts & seeds, seafood, lean meat, eggs and dairy products).
Staying hydrated is very important. Eight to ten glasses of water are recommended daily and also include liquids like coconut water, fresh fruit juices, buttermilk, etc. Fruits like oranges, sweet limes, papaya, kiwi, and guava are rich in vitamin C and should be included in the diet. Also, veggies like eggplant (brinjal), bell peppers (capsicum), beetroots, spinach and cauliflower are known to be quite rich in vitamin C and are good for immunity.
Some of the immunity-boosting herbs are garlic, black cumin (jeera), methi seeds, curcumin(turmeric), ginger, etc. Include them in the diet in the form for tea or by adding them in food. This will not only enhance immunity but improve the gut function as well. A pinch of turmeric and ginger can be added to a glass of warm water and consumed or else turmeric can be added to a glass of warm milk.
Take a teaspoon of methi (fenugreek) seeds and boil them in water for 3-4 minutes, strain and drink it warm. You can have one to two cups in a day. It breaks down mucus, which your body expels later.
Deposited mucus makes your body a breeding ground for germs, pathogens, bacteria or viruses. Breaking down mucus as quickly as possible is the best way to keep your lungs healthy and these changes in the diet will definitely help in building and strengthening immunity and surely help fight any infection.

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