Food for thought: Go back to basics, cut addictions

Food for thought: Go back to basics, cut addictions : The Tribune India

  • May 18, 2020

Open House What steps can be taken to boost immunity in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic?

The number of Covid-19 cases is rising sharply. In order to ensure the virus doesn’t infect us, we have to eat healthy food and avoid junk food. We must include salad, fruits such as papaya in our diet and also drink milk. We should also make sure the vegetables are fresh. Nowadays people prefer eating junk food at home and do not perform any exercise to digest them. We have to give some time on our fitness to boost our immunity.


Switch to low-carb diet, avoid excess sugar

The food you eat plays a key aspect in determining your overall health and immunity. Eat low-carb diets, as this will help control high blood sugar and pressure. To stay hydrated we should drink up to 8-10 glasses of water daily. It will help us to flush out the toxins from the body and lower the chances of getting flu. We must exercise regularly. It will improve our metabolism and immune system. To keep stress away, we need to do meditation as it will have a calming effect on us and decrease anxiety.


Follow govt advisories, safety guidelines

We should take care of our health to boost our immunity. Balanced diet, proper sleep and exercise can increase your ability to fight the pandemic. Various governmental apps, advisories, programmes suggest different ways to help maintain good health. We must maintain hygiene, stay at home and follow proper safety guidelines to keep the

virus at bay.

Paneet Kaur

Take good sleep,

eat enough fruits

To boost our immunity to fight the deadly virus, it’s necessary to have a balanced diet. There are many natural ingredients as well as exercises which make human body physically and mentally strong. Our body needs adequate amount of nutrients that helps to perform our daily function which also ensures that our immune system is working properly. Another way that has been linked to more effective immune system is aerobic exercise. The survey also shows that the immune system goes hand in hand with being fit. For that we should start doing moderate exercise. We should include fruits and vegetables in our diet, get enough sleep, reduce stress to build up a good immune system.

Mehak Bajaj

Do pranayam, drink herbal tea to boost immunity

While being confined in your homes, you can increase your immunity by following the guidelines issued by the Ministry of AYUSH. Drink warm water in the morning. Prepare medicated ‘kadha’ by adding lemon, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon powder in boiling water and drink it after it cools down. These herbal spices are known for their ability to boost immunity. Daily practise Yogasana, Pranayama and meditation. Make it a habit for your whole doing yogic asans such as sukhasana, ardha matsyendrasana, matsyasana variation, uttanasana and viparita karani for strong immunity. Include more fruits and vegetables in your diet and reduce the craze for junk food. You can also take giloy, which is an ayurvedic herb. Wake up early in the morning and sleep early at night. One more important step is to stop panicking, because anxiety also reduces immunity. Learn to stay happy in every situation of life. You can also go for acupuncture as it helps boost immunity system.

Manmohan Kaur

Quit smoking, alcohol

To boost our immunity we should consume a balanced diet. We must eat home-cooked food and drink lots of water to keep ourselves hydrated. Quit smoking, alcohol and addictive substances as they harm our immunity. The minute we will stop taking these our body kick-starts its natural defense system. Another important thing is to have a sound sleep of 7-8 hours. Compromising with sleep can create hormonal imbalance which can hurt our immune system and mental health. One of the main things which have a negative effect on our immunity is stress. Stress decreases our efficiency and makes us vulnerable to diseases. To cut stress we can practise meditation. Don’t skip exercise

as it helps in getting rid of toxins and improves metabolism. We can limit our exposure to the virus by staying indoors, eating

healthy, and following basic hygiene protocol.

Ridhi Garg

Eat papaya, drink milk; avoid junk food

Following lockdown norms and government advisories is the need of the hour. Avoid eating junk food. Don’t venture out of your homes unnecessarily. Follow a healthy routine to strengthen your immune system. We must accept the new lifestyle. After taking fruits, vegetables etc wash them thoroughly and use them at home. We must include milk, papaya, amla, bitter gourd, orange in our diets.


Avoid sugar, consume healthy fats

Apart from staying at home and following social distancing, maintaining immunity is also important to keep Covid-19 at bay. If our immunity system is strong then one can easily fight with the virus. Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep can improve the immunity. We must avoid sugar from our diet and eat healthy fats. We must exercise daily and stay hydrated. To cut stress, we can watch positive videos online or play indoor games. Homeopathic medicines can boost our immunity. Eat always healthy food and eat vegetables and fruits to boost immunity so one may be able to keep away coronavirus.

Dr Mohd Saleem Farooqui

Increase intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts

To bolster our immunity we must take roughly 8-10 hours of sleep in a day and increase the intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts etc. in our diet. Obesity is the main cause of all diseases. We must exercise regularly to keep ourselves fit and cut the intake of sugar. One should not take stress also. In summers, staying hydrated is also necessary for our overall health. Some ayurvedic tips such as drinking warm water, gargling twice or thrice a day with hot saline water, increased use of garlic and ginger in our diet can also be followed to boost our immunity.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi

Stay hygienic, choose unprocessed foods

Keeping oneself in a positive state of mind plays a vital role in the overall well-being of a person. Positive thoughts reduce stress and inflammation, and increase resilience to infection. Choosing whole, unprocessed foods does wonders for overall health of a person. Allicin, a compound found in garlic, is well-known for its ability to boost the immune system. In addition, robust gut bacteria also protect us from infection. One should keep these bacteria healthy with prebiotics that contain fiber, specifically insulin fiber. And, excellent sources of prebiotics are Jerusalem artichokes, green bananas or plantains, Jicama root and asparagus. Vitamin C is also well known to boost the immunity and it’s better to get vitamin C from oranges, broccoli, kiwi or cantaloupe. Experts say that older adults who ate kiwi every day for a month had a significant decrease in the severity and duration of upper respiratory infection symptoms. Colorful fruits and vegetables including berries, carrots and spinach have antioxidants that protect us against oxidative stress, which translates to a stronger immune system. Don’t smoke and take 7-8 hours of sleep, do meditation for at least five minutes a day and try to be physically active. If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently.

Ravi Chander Garg

Eat right, be active

Try to consume vegetables and fruits rich in beta-carotene, ascorbic acid and other essential vitamins. Certain foods such as mushrooms, tomato, bell pepper and green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach are also good options to build resilience in the body against infections. Take minimum 7-8 hours of sleep to help your body build immunity, lesser sleep will leave you tired and impair your brain activity. Drink up to 8-10 glasses of water every day, to stay hydrated. A good diet should be followed by an exercise routine. It is recommended to exercise for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your stamina. Meditation is best way to relieve stress. Here are a few common supplements and superfoods that can help vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, elderberry, turmeric and garlic.

Vishali kalra

Boost immunity

for healthy life

Strengthening immune system can help you lead a healthy life. Drink warm water throughout the day. Take steam in case of cold or sore throat. Vitamin C intake should be increased. Use turmeric, cumin and garlic regularly in cooking. Golden milk, herbal tea with Tulsi, cinnamon and lemonade are natural immunity boosters. Regular exercise keeps the body fit and help counter diseases. Follow a balanced diet. Avoid junk food. Eat fruits and vegetables to stay healthy but make sure to wash them properly before consuming. Get sunlight for about 15 minutes early in the morning. Don’t take stress and spend quality time with your family.

Rashim Malhotra

Follow diet low in carbs

The food we eat plays a key role in determining our overall health and immunity. Eat low carb diet, as this will help control high blood sugar and pressure. Regularly consume vegetables and fruits rich in Beta carotene, Ascorbic acid and other essential vitamins. Certain foods like mushrooms, tomato, bell pepper and green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach are also good options to build resilience in the body against infections.

Jasmine Kaur

Follow government guidelines seriously

The Covid-19 has caught all nations off guard and become a grave danger to everyone. All researchers and doctors are trying their best to find a vaccine to cure it. Thus, in this time of crisis, it is our responsibility too to follow the guidelines issued by the government as well as the local authorities regularly. All necessary information regarding the pandemic is regularly updated on the official website of the government. We must follow social distancing, avoid unnecessary outing, sanitising or washing our hands properly if we go outside. Now, the government has given some relaxation so that our work is not affected, but guidelines must be followed strictly. Though officials are working day and night to contain the spread of Covid, some irresponsible people are not taking the government guidelines seriously. The situation is grim. If one person gets infected, his whole family and people residing nearby his residence may also face consequences. So we have to be extra careful and try to fight this battle against Covid together.


Practise mindful eating

The Covid-19 threat has forced us to stay at home, so our social activities and social interactions have been reduced. To boost up our immunity, we must eat healthy and take out some time for exercise. Also, our screen time must be reduced and spend more time with our loved ones.

Harshpreet Kaur

Don’t ignore your

mental health

We all know that physical exercise is important to lead a healthy life. But don’t ignore your mental health. Not only physical exercise, but brain exercise must be done to keep ourselves busy and to stay away from negative thoughts. Read good books, cook food, pour your thoughts on a paper. Don’t stress yourself in this period. Relax because a long-term break like this is not in everybody’s fate. To boost your immune system, follow a balanced diet that is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and essential fats. Sleep on time. Do not just train your body, train your mind too.

Smriti Chaudhary

Strong immune system can fight disease

There are many ways that can help you boost your immune system. Eat garlic, drink warm water and include more green vegetables in your diet. Do some exercise daily. Reduce sugar intake. Drink lots of water and do meditation or yoga. Sleep at least eight hours a day for a healthy life and strong immune system.

Khushleen Arneja

Stay hydrated to flush

out toxins from body

The food you eat plays a key role in determining your overall health and immunity. Eat low-carb diet as this will help control high blood sugar and pressure, and also slow down diabetes. Foods such as mushrooms, tomato, bell pepper and green vegetables are also good options to build resilience in the body against infections. You can have supplements rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for daily. Some neutral immunity supplements include ginger, gooseberries (Amla) and turmeric and there are several herbs such as garlic and black cumin that boosts immunity. Drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday. Staying hydrated helps you flush out toxins from your body and lower the chances of flu. A good diet should be followed by an exercise routine. Regular exercise of 30 to 45 minutes improves metabolism which has a direct correlation with body immunity.

Neha Chaurasia

Drink warm water, add spices to your food

Drink warm water throughout the day. Squeeze a lemon in your water to get your vitamin C. Practise Yoga aasanas, Pranayam or meditation for at least 30 minutes as advised by the Ministry of Ayush. Spices such as turmeric, cardamom, coriander and garlic are recommended in cooking. Use garam masala. Take a spoon of chavanprash in the morning. Drink turmeric milk. Add jaggery and fresh lemon juice in your food. Have honey for cough and use cloves and lemon in tea.

Jazi Arora

Eat home-made food, minimise stress

A strong immune system can help fight Covid-19. Everybody should eat homemade food. Vitamin C is one of the biggest immunity boosters. Consume foods rich in vitamin C such as oranges, strawberries, broccoli etc. Exercise or meditate regularly also boost your immune system. Get enough sleep and minimise stress.

Shivani Kumari

Prevention is better

than cure

Since there is no vaccine as yet to treat Covid-19, its fear of taking much higher death toll looms large. So only way to cure this disease is prevention and boosting your immunity. There are many ways to boost your immune system. Physical activity can give your immune system a great boost in a myriad of ways. Even sweating is good for immune health. One of the keys to a healthy immune system is eating right. When things are right in the gut, all is well with the immune system. Sleep reboots your mind and your body, so it’s no surprise that it also reboots your immune system. So these are some ways that can help you boost your immunity and stay safe from Covid-19.

Deepantika Jain

Practise meditation, yoga & get adequate sleep

Boost your immune system to fight against this virus. Practise meditation, yoga and get adequate sleep. Drink enough water to stay hydrated. Moderate exercise can reduce inflammation and promote healthy turnover of immune cells. Jogging, walking and swimming are great options to boost your immunity. Several whole plant foods contain antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, all of which may lower your susceptibility to illness.

Nidhi Kumari

Stay away from alcohol

As Covid-19 does not have any vaccine yet, it is vital that our immune system must be strong to fight the same. Intake of balanced diet is pivotal. Also as per medical experts, fruits rich in vitamin C are necessary. Stay away or reduce the intake of alcohol.

Maan Kaur Saini

Avoid travelling,

take proper rest

Excess of anything is harmful and so is staying indoors during the lockdown. It has resulted in depression and anxiety among people. But it is important to stay safe and accept what we have. Boosting your immunity is also crucial to fight this disease. Eating healthy food and stay hydrated. Take probiotics and practise meditation. Avoid travelling and take proper rest to keep your immunity strong.

Ishita Katyal

Stress, insomnia bad

for immune system

Every responsible individual must contribute his/her bit towards a healthier and Covid-free nation. While we are facing drastic changes all around, some little positive changes in our everyday routine can help us boost our immunity to fight the Covid-19. For a healthier immune system, one must adopt healthy eating. Include citrus fruits and green vegetables in your diet. However, supplementing with various vitamins and minerals, especially Zinc, can help in countless ways. Covid is known to affect lungs and TB majorly, so quit smoking. Drink 8-10 glasses of water to stay hydrated. Moreover, as we know stress and insomnia are two major factors for a bad immune system, so during the lockdown, we must make focus on these key components by adopting a proper 8-hour sleep schedule, meditation and yoga as a part of our everyday life.

Rhea Abrol

Use spices in cooking

Drink warm water throughout the day. Practise Yoga aasanas, Pranayama and meditation for at least 30 minutes daily. Use spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander and garlic in cooking. Drink herbal tea. Apply sesame oil/coconut oil or ghee in both nostrils in morning and evening. Harnoor Bagga

Yoga for better immunity

Prevention is better than cure, and in case of Covid-19, this needs to be practised religiously. Take steps to boost your immunity. Drinking warm water throughout the day, practising yoga asanas and include spices in your diet. Blessnoor Kaur

Don’t miss citrus fruits

Strong immune system is necessary for fighting against coronavirus. Yoga is the best way of doing this. There are various TV channels which telecast yoga practises every day. Other way is to meditate regularly to keep the mind calm and strong. Consumption of vitamin C is necessary for fighting against coronavirus. ritu priya

Reduce alcohol intake, exercise regularly

Enhancing immunity can be done by paying attention to nutrition absorption. To strengthen our immune system, we should drink a glass of milk with turmeric. Include broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach and ginger in our diet. Have blueberries as these have antioxidant properties. Include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Doing physical activities such as sports is also essential to maintaining immunity. Exercise should be done for 30 minutes at least three times a week with moderate intensity. Exercising will help improve body protection and maintain physicality. Do not smoke. Drink in moderation, if you are fond of it. Excessive drinking is harmful for immunity. Sound sleep of at least eight hours in a day is a must for good health. Eat foods rich in vitamin C such as oranges, gooseberries and lemons.

Farzana Khan

Drink medicated kadha to beat Covid

A healthy lifestyle as a whole is your best option to boost immunity. We can augment our immunity by eating nutritious food, especially fresh fruits, foods containing high amount of vitamin C and D and homeopathic booster such as Arsenicum album 30. Amid lockdown, low-priced fruits such as banana, guava and watermelon are a healthy option. Drink herbal tea (kadha) made from tulsi (basil), cinnamon, black pepper, sonth (dry ginger) — once or twice a day. Add jaggery to your taste, if needed. It is claimed that this drink increases immunity. As soon as you get up in the morning, drink warm water with aloe vera pulp in it. Practise yoga every day and drink turmeric milk to keep Covid at bay.

Gautam Dev


A fearful mind affects your body , weakens immunity

Minna Zutshi

Even as countries and communities across the world continue their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, no definitive treatment has emerged yet. However, there is one step, finding consensus among experts from various systems of medicine, and that is the preventive measure of boosting the immunity.

Experts emphasise on the importance of building immunity by focusing on diet and immunity boosters. The AYUSH Ministry has prepared a kit for distribution among the police personnel. Adequate sleep, rest and relaxation are equally important for building immunity, if we go by what the experts say. Interestingly, for all the fear psychosis that the pandemic has spurred, the experts are unanimous in suggesting that fear weakens the immunity. It diminishes the body’s disease-fighting capacity and makes one more prone to infection. In sum, immunity is not just related to body, it is also related to mind – a fearful and apprehensive mind affects the body negatively, and that in turn weakens the immunity.

What steps need to be taken to remain safe and healthy during lockdown 4.0?

Immune-boosting foods that fight the flu | Features

Immune-boosting foods that fight the flu | Features

  • May 14, 2020

We are all interested in keeping our immune systems healthy right now. Certainly getting enough sleep and some exercise will help, but health experts say what you eat has lot to do with it too.

The experts say you want to concentrate on foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and nutrients to keep your immune system strong. Look for foods with vitamin B6 like bananas and foods with probiotics like yogurt.

Oranges and grapefruits get all the Vitamin C glory when it comes to boosting your immune system. But did you know one cup of strawberries or raw broccoli gives you nearly 100 percent of your daily Vitamin C? And, a medium size red bell pepper contains nearly double the daily value.

Gena Lewis is a doctor at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland.

“I’m a medical doctor, and I prescribe medicine,” Lewis said. “But I always like to take the natural approach whenever possible, and food is medicine.”

Garlic and olive oil have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties which help fight off infection.

“There’s so much evidence that the more we eat that’s plant-based, that’s not processed, so fresh from garden to kitchen is the direction to lean in,” said Richard Seidman, chief medical officer at L.A. Care Health Plan.

You can also drink bone broth which contains a more concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. To give it some flavor, simmer it with ingredients like ginger or cayenne for an extra immune boost.

With ways to keep your immune system healthy and kick sickness to the curb, knowing foods to stay clear of is just as important. Avoid alcohol, caffeinated beverages, crunchy crackers and chips, which aggravate a sore throat, and processed foods which all weaken the immune system.


Let’s Talk Food: How can we protect ourselves with the help of food

  • May 12, 2020

Here is some information that has been out there for the start of the flu season, and might be helpful for the coronavirus.

1. Eat colorful vegetables and fruits, at least five a day. These foods contain vitamins and minerals that help fight a virus. These foods boost our immunity: broccoli, spinach, papaya, kiwi, citrus, red bell peppers, carrots and sweet potatoes. Even add a squeeze of lemon juice into your bottle of water. The scent of citrus has a calming effect and could reduce your anxiety levels. Eat a papaya everyday. We are lucky papaya grows so well here and we have a plentiful supply of them. They are an excellent source of vitamin C

2. Cherry juice has been known to help you sleep. A study in the American Journal of Therapy found that drinking 240 ml (about one cup) twice a day increased sleep time and sleep efficiency. Tart cherries have been reported to contain high levels of phytochemicals, including melatonin, critical in regulating sleep cycles in humans. Cherry juice increases tryptophan availability, which is related to serotonin, which makes your brain feel good. Several studies cite cherry juice may also reduce inflammation.

3. Try to avoid foods that burden the immune system such as too much sugar. With all our free time, we have been baking a lot more, and I know this may be difficult. I saw on Facebook that wearing our face masks at home may help to stop eating.

4. A Jewish mother’s remedy, Chicken noodle soup is good for upper respiratory tract infections. Researchers found that chicken noodle soup impacts the movement of white blood cells, which cause an anti-inflammatory effect. In addition the aroma helps clear the nasal passages. The carrots in the soup have vitamin A, important for boosting your immune system, the broth has zinc, which helps fight viruses, and chicken, which may help with the repair of body tissue and boost tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter.

5. I know during these times, this may be difficult, but try to avoid too much stress, which exposes your body to a steady stream of stress hormones that suppress the immune system. Meditate, or look at the bright side of things, if possible. My friend Rey got married a few weeks ago and I am sure this isolation works for him. Some positive things for me is that I feel so much closer to my grandchildren now that they are not in preschool and going to a babysitter.

6. Exercise, as it wakes up the immune system, although too much is not good either. Go for walks around your neighborhood. We go on walks after dinner most days.

7. Vitamin D in healthy levels can help keep your immune system healthy and boost your immune system, and protect against respiratory illnesses in general. Sunshine provides us in Hawaii with vitamin D.

8. At least 75 mg of elemental zinc within the first 24 hours of cold symptoms can shorten the length of rhinovirus colds, but more that 150 mg of zinc may lead to zinc toxicity, which could reduce your immune function, this is according to

9. Garlic contains compounds that help the immune system fight germs. It contains alliin, which contains sulfur, which boosts the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells in the body when they encounter viruses. One study, according to Healthline, cited a study of 146 healthy volunteers found the garlic group had a 63% lower risk of getting a cold and their cold were also 70% shorter.

10. Elderberries have antiviral properties, and can fight a virus once an infection has already occurred. In a study paper that appears in the Journal of Functional Foods, they found that substance present in elderberries can stop an influenza virus from entering the replicating in human cells.

11. An ancient Chinese remedy, ginger is a strong antioxidant and naturally helps boost the immune system, kills the cold virus, and detoxes the system by relaxing the intestinal tract. Certain chemical compounds in fresh ginger help the body ward off germs. You can’t overdose on ginger so buy a few large hands of them from our local farmer and make ginger tea. It helps with nausea also.

12. Miso soup is consumed in Japan at least once a day, sometimes at breakfast or as a side dish for lunch or dinner. It has been a part of their meal for more than a thousand years, ever since the Buddhist monks started making it part of their daily meal. It is said to boost your immunity due to the amino acids in the soybeans. The calcium and vitamin B can help ease stress, something we are all going through right now. My grandson Quentin loves cut wakame in his miso soup, which is rich in iodine, manganese, folate, magnesium and calcium. With us at home, baking and eating three full meals, it is good to know that wakame has been shown to promote weight control in animal studies. One study found that supplementing with wakame seaweed extract suppressed weight gain in mice on a high-fat diet. Another study found wakame showed anti-obesity effects in rats and was able to reduce fat tissue. If they do a human study instead on rats and mice, we could be part of this study, eating wakame would be great!

So basically folks, even if you are confined at home, eat healthy and please feed your children healthy foods. With healthier eating habits, we will all benefit from it when this is all over.

Email Audrey Wilson at

immune system coronavirus

12 foods to boost your immune system to fight coronavirus

  • May 3, 2020

Overall 1.1 million people have recovered from novel coronavirus or COVID-19 out of the 3.45 million people who contracted the virus globally and health experts believed most of them were able to survive the disease due to their strong immune system.

So here are some of the 12 foods you would need to boost your immune system to keep your body as healthy as possible.

Chili Pepper

The health benefits of chilli pepper are often underestimated. Chilli pepper is high in antioxidants and packed with vitamin C. It contains even more vitamin C than a lemon. You naturally wonder why they always say that vitamin C is so healthy. Well, vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells, which in turn ensures that your body builds up resistance.


Carrots are not only good for your eyes, but they also give your immune system a boost. Carrots are the best source of beta carotene. That is an antioxidant that is converted into Vitamin A in your body. This vitamin ensures that you always have enough white blood cells in your body.

Eat 10 carrots every day, and you already get enough vitamin A. Besides, your skin will also thank you by incorporating carrots in your diet. Carrots help achieve healthy and radiant skin.


Oysters work great to boost your immune system. They are packed with minerals like magnesium and zinc, which is essential for a well-functioning immune system.


Kale is a real superfood, but much cheaper than goji berries and chia seeds. By eating 125 grams of kale you achieve 90 per cent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C and 350 per cent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A

Furthermore, kale contains a wide range of minerals like manganese, copper and calcium.


Mushrooms are very healthy because they are low in calories and fat and rich in minerals, vitamins and fibre. Therefore, they also count as the recommended two ounces of vegetables per day.

Mushrooms are an essential source of vitamin B2, B3, folic acid and the minerals potassium and phosphorus, making them fundamental for your immune system.


Oranges are known to be packed with vitamin C. Vitamin C has an antioxidant function in the body and is necessary to maintain resistance. It protects our body against free radicals

Chicken soup

Chicken soup is a real classic when it comes to food when you are sick. Hot liquids such as herbal teas and soup make you feel a lot better when you are sick.


Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables of all. It contains many essential substances like sulforaphane, which activates antioxidants and enzymes in our immune cells. These immune cells prevent free radicals – aggressive substances that damage body cells – from doing their destructive work.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet Potatoes are not only very nutritious but also very healthy. Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin A, and a right amount of vitamin C. Besides, sweet potatoes contain beta carotene which can easily be transformed to vitamin A by our bodies.


Ginger has been used for thousands of years. Not only because of the specific taste but also because ginger has medicinal purposes. Modern scientific research has proven that the beneficial effect of ginger comes from more than 100 bioactive substances.

Ginger is anti-inflammatory and increases your resistance. If you are sick, you can drink a cup of tea with fresh ginger slices. Ginger also contains a substance that reduces nausea when you are sick.


Garlic is super useful for your immune system. Garlic can fight bacteria, fungi and infections. It is said to contain even the most critical antioxidants in existence

These antioxidants can help to protect the immune system against colds and acne.


Almond is now at the top of the lists of super foods. It is one of the healthiest nuts you can get. Technically, almonds are not a nut, but rather a seed. This nutritious tree nut, from the same family as peaches and apricots, is known for its many health benefits.

Read More: Scientists race to develop vaccine for new coronavirus

A handful of almonds every day, about 24 pieces, can help lower ‘bad’ cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Besides, almonds are very rich in vitamin E, and this is great for your immune system. A small handful of almonds per day already provides 40 per cent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin per day. Ideal for boosting your resistance.



Food for Mood, Thought, and for Staying Healthy

Food for Mood, Thought, and for Staying Healthy

  • April 30, 2020

Coconut Telegraph


Nutrition is a core protective factor to promoting brain health and fighting brain illness. Throughout our BRAIN HEALTH BOOST series, the Brain Health Initiative will provide information to support your brain health through nutrition. Today is nutrition part four and the focus is on the role of food in boosting immunity and fighting brain illness.

We all want to feel as good as we can during these times of uncertainty. So, you might be surprised to learn that certain nutrients in foods have been shown to enhance brain health and fight brain illness by spurring the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. We are feeling a lot of stress right now, and the unfortunate reality is that stress worsens feelings of low mood or angst, and it also suppresses our immune systems.

The Brain Health Initiative’s nutritional scientific and clinical expert, Uma Naidoo, MD, director of MGH Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry, recommends targeting immune-boosting foods that will have the dual effect of helping us feel less anxious and boosts our immunity. She suggests incorporating these foods into our diet as a way to include healthier options during this unusual time of stress and uncertainty.

We all have to eat, so attending to our nutrition is something we can all control, and then reap the benefits of an increase in brain health with an improved mood.


Dr. Naidoo says you can reduce anxiety and boost immunity by choosing:
Citrus fruit and red bell peppers (both rich in vitamin C, which in some studies has been shown to support your immune system).

Spices: ginger, garlic, turmeric, and capsaicin (from chili peppers) can be easily added to soup, stew, stir-fry, or salad dressing.

Foods rich in zinc such as oysters, clams, mussels, cashews, liver, beef, and egg yolks. You may recognize zinc as an ingredient is the cold remedy Zicam®, as zinc has some virus-fighting effects.

Magnesium-rich foods may help you to feel calmer and help support immunity. Stress can deplete our magnesium levels, too. Examples are legumes, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and whole grains.

Fatty fish like wild Alaskan salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids. A 2011 study on medical students was one of the first to show that omega-3s may help reduce anxiety.

Eat probiotic-rich foods such as pickles, sauerkraut, miso, and kefir.

Add some antioxidants to your anti-anxiety diet, which can support your immune system.

The bottom line: Staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for everyone, and the increased anxiety (and boredom) can cause us to abandon our healthy eating intentions and snack on whatever is around. But with a little thought and planning, we can continue to make good food choices and maybe even boost our mood and immunity.

Join them for a COVID-19 Webinar on Strategies to Successfully Manage Stress

4 ‘significant issues’ food systems must address in new COVID-19 era

4 ‘significant issues’ food systems must address in new COVID-19 era

  • April 24, 2020

The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic has created a new era. Its impacts on humanity, economy and, of course, food systems, are yet to be fully understood.

Since COVID-19 first hit Europe, ‘panic buying’ has challenged retail operations and consumers have questioned the security of food supply chains. The pandemic has also prompted labour shortages, which could have detrimental impacts on food availability in the coming months.

For Charis Galanakis, who works out of the ISEKI Food Association in Austria, Galanakis Laboratories in Greece, and King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, authorities must quickly identify the ‘most critical threats’ to the food system, in order to mitigate potential disasters.

At an industry level, the researcher has listed four ‘significant issues’ the food supply chain should address amid this new era, covering bioactive ingredients for functional foods, food safety, food security, and food system sustainability.

Availability of bioactive ingredients to boost immunity

COVID-19 belongs to the same coronavirus family as SARS-Cov and MERS, both of which have led to significant mortality among individuals with vulnerable or compromised immune systems.

As populations look to protect themselves from COVID-19, Galanakis suggests consumers will be wanting to adopt healthier diets to boost their immune system.

The availability of bioactive ingredients for functional foods may well become ‘critical’, he noted in a recent Foods​journal article, as the demand for these products increase.

Vitamin C, for example, is known to support immune function. Otherwise known as absorbic acid, Vitamin C helps develop and repair body tissues and can, under certain conditions, help reduce the risk of respiratory tract infections.

Vitamin A can also help boost immune function and lower susceptibility to infections. Supplementation with Vitamins D and E may also boost resistance to COVID-19, noted the researcher.

Bioactive lipids, such as arachidonic acid and other unsaturated fatty acids, may assist recovery from coronaviruses, Galanakis continued, adding that herbs and flavonoids used in traditional Chinese medicine have also been examined for their role in recovery.

citrus Malykalexa

Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, kiwi fruit and broccoli ©GettyImages/Malykalexa

“Dietary supplementation with the above vitamins, bioactive lipids, flavonoids, and herbs may be a tool to support the human immune system against COVID-19. However, as of 16 April 2020, there is still no substantial evidence that these [are]bioactive.

“Nevertheless, their ability to boost the human immune system highlights their prospect use in functional foods and presence in the nutraceuticals market.”

It is foreseen, that amid the COVID-19 era, consumers will increasingly seek products to boost their immune system, he noted.

Food safety amid a global pandemic

Food safety has attracted significant concern from consumers, who want to know whether the coronavirus can be transmitted via imported food​. Questions have also been raised as to whether the virus can be transmitted via COVD-19 carriers​ during the food production process.

Elsewhere along the supply chain, supermarket retailers are implementing measures – such as two-metre distancing protocols and the installation of protection screens between cashiers and shoppers – to limit the spread.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the virus is predominantly spreading between humans via respiratory droplets that infected people cough and sneeze, and that those without the virus may inhale.

However, transmission is indeed possible if an infected individual touches food, and shortly afterward, another individual collects it and touches its eyes or mucous membranes of the mouth or throat, noted Galanakis in the article.

frozen food belchonock

Other coronaviruses can survive freezing temperatures for up to two years ©GettyImages/belchonock

Concerning frozen food, transmission cannot be ruled out if fresh food is exposed before entering the freezer, the researcher suggested. “It is known that MERS and SARS-CoV-1 can remain infectious for up to two years in a frozen state.”

Therefore, the handling of packages should be followed by extensive hand washing or sanitising, stressed the researcher, to minimise any risk from touching food potentially exposed to coronavirus.

Food security in lockdown

It has been suggested that those already on the verge of food security, are now – amid a global pandemic – more likely to experience hunger and malnutrition​.

This can be linked to several factors, not least a lack of availability of food in stores, self-isolation measures hindering access to retail outlets, and economic vulnerability fuelled by employment disruptions.

On 29 March 2020, it was estimated that one-third of the world’s population was in lockdown, prompting increased global food security alerts, according to Galanakis.

While supermarket shelves are now, after an initial teething period, predominantly well-stocked, food supply could be heavily impacted in developing countries in the coming weeks. “To avoid massive food shortages, it is of the highest importance that countries should keep the food supply chains going,” ​noted the researcher.

At the same time, these days industry can leverage technology in the fight against food waste. Internet of Things platforms, Big Data, and artificial technology can all be used to collect data and ultimately, improve the communication between different members of the supply chain, he suggested.

“Apps using Big Data and artificial intelligence could be implemented to connect farmers and suppliers with markets and get acute responses if any alternations of demand occur.

“Similarly, information and communication technologies (ICTs) could be enacted during on-farm handling, postharvest, storage, and food transportation.”  

Sustainability of food systems in the new COVID-19 era

With lives lost, businesses failing and national economies taking a downward turn, the environment may well come out as one of the few winners at the end of the crisis.

Of course, food systems play a crucial role in environmental sustainability, and Galanakis believes there is much more we can do to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on limited natural resources in the sector.

The current food systems are not sustainable, he noted, citing global food waste (estimated at 1.3 billion tonnes per year) as a key flaw.

Further, as the global population rises – expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050 – food security may decrease. Under such circumstances, people in territories of high population density may seek food sources in ‘all kinds of’ animals and insects. And the safety and hygienic conditions of animal-based food sources during retailing and cooking of big local markets can be a challenge for authorities.

This may be case in point, if COVID-19 is successfully traced back to a so-called wet market in Wuhan, China.

The world, and subsequent food systems, must adapt in the new era of pandemics, stressed the researcher. “There is evidence that the likelihood of pandemics has increased substantially over the past century due to urbanisation, global travel and integration, intensive exploitation of natural resources, and modification in the use of land.

“As urbanisation and global population will increase over the next decades, this trend is expected to continue and intensify.”

wet market Kum Seong Wan

It has been suggested that COVID-19 first infected humans via a wet market in Wuhan, China ©GettyImages/Kum Seong Wan

Advocating for the redesign of global food systems, Galanakis pointed to the importance of their future resilience. “The current food systems are highly dependent on animal-based protein sources that are not suitable from an environmental point of view but also from a healthy and food security point of view.”

Should alternative proteins be further exploited as a means of feeding growing populations while simultaneously addressing environmental sustainability? According to Galanakis, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

“Cockroach milk and cockroach flour [for example] may play a pivotal role in the solution to the food shortage in the decades to come,” ​he noted, also citing plant-based examples such as quinoa, microalgae and artificial meat.

To achieve more sustainable and modern food systems, the researcher suggested increased focus on reducing the cost of aseptic lab-grown meat, reducing the cost of food waste recovery and reutilisation in the food chain, and developing new and large food supply chains based on insects and microalgae proteins.

Further, with the circular economy in mind, Galanakis pointed to food processing by-products from the meat, fish processing, or dairy sector. “[They] comprise a rich source of proteins and other valuable compounds (e.g. antioxidants) that could be recovered and reintroduced in the food chain.”

Boosting Your Immune System with Food and Supplements

Boosting Your Immune System with Food and Supplements

  • April 23, 2020
Use what you have in your fridge or cupboard


While there is no cure for the coronavirus, some health professionals are reminding people that now is the time to strengthen your immune system.

Some of the ways to do that can be found right in your fridge or cupboard.

Doctor Joel Kahn is a cardiologist in Michigan but offers his medical advice all over the country.

Kahn says a plant-based diet is one of the best ways to beef up your immune system.

He recommends eating three to four Brazil nuts each day because they contain selenium.

This mineral helps to lower cholesterol, regulates metabolism and thyroid functions.

However, Dr. Kahn says you can also turn to supplements.

“A lot of people are hearing about Vitamin C. According to this professor 500 milligrams twice a day might be a reasonable choice. A lot of people are hearing about Vitamin D and the university professor recommends 2,000 to 4,000 international units of Vitamin D-3”, says Dr. Kahn.

Dr. Kahn also says Zinc, Melatonin and lots of sleep also are essential in helping your body’s immune system fight off viruses.

Boost your immunity by eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals

How can you boost your immunity through food? The Dubai Health Authority has guidelines

  • April 21, 2020
Boost your immunity by eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals
Boost your immunity by eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals
Image Credit: Instagram/screenshot @dha_dubai

Dubai: Having a strong immunity is important in the fight against coronavirus. A stronger immune system allows the body to fight diseases and viruses. While some people can be born with a good immunity, others can build on it.

But how can you strengthen your immune system? According to the Dubai Health Authority, “nutrition” is the best way to start.

Eating the right foods will help boost your immune system and give you better defences against illness. From their official Instagram account #dha_dubai, the government authority listed foods that support the immune system for those looking to boost their immunity.

Importance of vitamins…

“Citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges, lemons etc enhance immune system’s responses against infections.” The government body also discussed “Amino acids”, which are organic compounds and are considered the building blocks of life. The human body uses amino acids to make protein, which helps break down food.

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients and must be a part of one’s daily diet. There are different vitamins that all contribute to the better functioning of different organs and body parts. They help heal wounds.

The post said that Vitamin A, found in liver, sweet potato and carrots, with Zinc, found in seafood and meat, help in “cell division and successful response in the immune system”.

People should consume Vitamin E, which is found in vegetable oils, and act as antioxidants, which slow the damage of cells.

Foods rich in Vitamin C like kiwi and bell peppers should be consumed. Additionally, “selenium” a mineral, which can be obtained only through food, acts as an antioxidant and can help boost immunity, reduce the risk of cancer and has many other benefits.

Other ways to help your immune system…

In addition to eating right and balanced meals, there are other ways to ensure you have a healthy body where all body functions are taking place normally.

According to the Harvard Health Publishing, media division of Harvard Medical School of Harvard University, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, maintaining proper hygiene are ways to boost immunity.

As we age, our immune system weakens and our capability to respond to infections gets slower. As a result maintaining a balance and following these guidelines helps create a stronger body that can sustain in the long run.

Boost Your Immune System With Good Food

Boost Your Immune System With Good Food

  • April 14, 2020

Hi there. This is a weird time for the world. We all feel it. I am a local small-business owner who has dedicated the last two decades to help people on their journey of feeling better than they did yesterday through exercise and healthy nutrition ideas.  I want to help where I can, so if you have suggestions regarding topics you would like to hear about, please email me at I welcome you to check out my website to learn more about me and how I can help.

Many of us are in search of tools, resources and a (virtual) hug during this difficult time.  

I am starting this new column by focusing on healthy nutrition as a key to keeping ourselves mentally and emotionally healthy during these stressful days.

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I went to the grocery store this morning and they were much better stocked than I imagined.  There were some half-empty shelves and some items were picked over as we have been seeing over the past few weeks.  This inspired me to my community by offering a few easy lunch/dinner recipes in this column since many of us are cooking more from home these days. While cooking our meals at home may typically be enjoyable for you; right now, without the ease of popping over for groceries, it can be very stressful.  

It’s of the utmost importance to boost our immune system as much as possible, so let’s fuel ourselves with nutritious food. Here are some ideas for inspiration:

1) Slow Cooker Black Beans and Rice

Rice and beans are two pantry staples that will take you far.  Even better, it is created in a slow cooker which will leave you able to do other things around the house and limit the mess in your kitchen. Quinoa can be used instead of rice here!

2) One Pot Taco Pasta

Tacos and pasta?  You bet. This is a hit for all ages and calls for dried pasta, canned goods and a few fresh ones. Prefer not to eat red meat or do not have any beef?  No problem: substitute black beans or lentils.  No onions or peppers?  That’s fine, simply omit and use what you have — it will still taste amazing.

3) Lentils with Kale and Cauliflower

This cozy dish relies on warming spices and pantry staples.  If you can’t find fresh produce any frozen produce will work here. As with all of these recipes, mix and match what you have on hand.

4) Coconut Lentil Soup

Lentils, rice, pantry staples and water are all combined to make this delicious soup.  Double and freeze to save time for a future lunch or dinner.

5) Brown Rice Noodles and Veggies

This simple recipe works well with frozen or fresh vegetables and any noodle you can find on the shelf.

Along with healthy nutrition, please get outside for a walk at least once a day and ensure that you create a steady bedtime and wake up time.  The more you control how you set up your days, the better you will feel during this time of crisis and the unknown.  It is more important than ever to understand how to take care of ourselves on every level: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  


Warm Regards,



Coronavirus: Experts say these supplements, foods may help keep immune system humming amid COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus tips: Experts say these supplements, foods may help keep immune system humming amid COVID-19 pandemic

  • April 13, 2020
LOS ANGELES — With so many staying home during the novel coronavirus crisis, there are concerns about staying healthy. People are moving less, not working out in gyms and may not be keeping up with healthy habits. How can supplements help?

To keep your immune system humming, most experts say your best defense is to get vitamins and minerals through food. But that’s not always possible. So turning to herbs, adaptogens and other supplements may be a good option.

Nutritionist Elissa Goodman is a fan of monolaurin.

MORE: Nurse explains how easy it is to spread germs, even while wearing gloves

“It’s derived from coconuts. It’s lauric acid, which is a very strong antiviral,” Goodman said.

The compound is naturally found in breast milk and helps babies fight infection. Experts suggest taking it at the first sign of feeling bad.

And while getting your vitamin C through foods is optimal, there are reasons to up this vitamin when feeling ill.

“It’s known that the white blood cells need 1,000 times more dose of vitamin C to help support. So we’re not dosing for deficiency. It’s actually to promote an enzyme reaction in the body,” said functional medicine specialist Dr. Alexis Daniels of Vitality Labs.

Chinese medicine has long used mushrooms like Reishi, Chaga and others to support the immune system.
“For immunity purposes I really like Chaga, the king of all functional mushrooms. One cup of Chaga equals about 30 pounds of carrots in antioxidants,” said Tero Isokauppila, owner of Four Sigmatic.

MORE: Simple exercise tips to stay fit at home during coronavirus pandemic

Since many are powders and pills, they offer coffees, smoothies and cocoa beverages that contain mushrooms, adaptogens and other ingredients known to reduce inflammation and boost the microbiome.

RELATED: How to stay healthy when ordering takeout from restaurants

Then there’s staying hydrated!

“There’s no amount of food you can eat or hand washing you can do if you’re not staying hydrated. When you don’t hydrate, micro-cracks can happen in your skin. Also your mucous membranes can get dried out. A lot of bacteria and viruses enter our body through our nose or mouth our eyes,” said Gelson’s dietitian Jessica Siegel.

And beyond supplements, there’s one more thing you can do to stay healthy: sleep!

“Between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. is when your immune system is most active and your immune cells are scavenging for the bacteria and viruses, so sleep is definitely fundamental,” said Daniels.

Here’s the foods you should eat to give your immunity a boost

Eating the right foods can be your best defense when it comes to keeping your immune system in fighting shape.

“What we want to do is give our body the nutrients we need so that our main system functions optimally so we can stay healthy and fight off any bacteria or viruses that we come in contact with,” said Jessica Siegel, a dietitian with Gelson’s.

Siegel says start with a wide variety of produce -that’s where you’ll get the nutrients your body needs.

“So mushrooms can have vitamin D in them which is an added benefit,but there’s these large carbohydrate molecules called beta glucans. They have been shown to help balance the immune system and if it give you some extra support,” she said.

Then go beyond oranges for vitamin C foods: Brussels sprouts, kale, strawberries, cantaloupe and leafy greens.

Foods with bright orange color also help. Carrots, sweet potato, orange tomatoes oranges those foods have vitamin A and carotenoids that are really great for your immune system.

Look to olive oil and and seeds to get vitamin E. And while there’s no clear cut answer why chicken soup is good for you, studies indicate it may thin mucous membranes, rehydrate and replenish nutrients.

And as you cook – Goodman says add in more herbs.

“Nature’s medicine right here in a nutshell. They’re antivirals. All of these things right here: basil, thyme, rosemary, you’ve got sage. When I make soup I’m consistently adding herbs,” she said.

Goodman has a line of products that include healthy soups and salads.

“Soup is an easy way to absorb nutrients so your digestive system doesn’t have to work overtime. Those nutrients can get right into the bloodstream and right into the cells,” shes said.

Wellness instructor Pamela Salzman says: Be mindful about other things you might be doing that might have a negative effect on your immunity.

“One of the things that’s important to keep in mind you can’t chase your bad habits with good food and then think you’re going to be covered,” Salzman said.

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