According to Dr Vishnuraj Prakash, Head of Ayurveda, Vana Retreat, Dehradun. Our immunity fights or helps our physiological system to sustain from any bacterial or viral invasion. What you have to understand is that a balanced immune response is vital to ward off these infections and thus sustains our health.
Majority of viral infections turn serious either due to lack of immune response or else due to hyper immune response. The following practices and food choices help in modulating a balanced immune response and may facilitate a faster recovery from Covid 19 infection.
Hydrate yourselves – Drink at least 3 to 4 litres of water infused with a few leaves of tulsi and thin slices of ginger. Try to avoid sleeping in supine position as it can increase chances of chest congestion. Try to sleep in either a prone or lateral position.
Chew 3 to 5 raisins 3 to 4 times a day which can improve digestion and help in improving or bringing back your taste.
Always prefer to have light and easily digestible meals like a khichdi fortified with cinnamon and turmeric powder which can be assimilated quickly.
Taking a piece of fruit, especially a pomegranate or orange or an apple will be energising. Include asparagus, drumsticks, garlic, beetroot, celery, zucchini, cucumber, radish, mung bean in your diet. Always prefer to have warm and cooked meals.
Avoid cold foods, excessive sweet, spicy, sour, and salty foods during an active infection. Try moderation of all tastes in a meal.
Shingles, sometimes called herpes zoster, is the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 99 percent of American adults born before 1980 have had chickenpox, but only about 1 in 3 adults develop shingles in their lifetime. The chance for developing shingles increases as you get older.
Shingles typically causes a painful rash on one side of your body or face. The CDC says the rash contains blisters that scab over after 7 to 10 days.
Avoiding foods that impair your body’s immune system may help you shorten the duration of your shingles outbreak.
Some believe that increasing your intake of the amino acid lysine and decreasing your intake of arginine may also help your body clear the virus faster, though more research is needed.
Keep reading to find out which foods you should avoid eating if you’re having a shingles outbreak.
If you’re experiencing shingles, it’s a good idea to avoid foods that can impair your immune function.
High glycemic carbohydrates
High glycemic carbohydrates quickly break down in your body and create a rapid spike in your blood sugar. Spikes in your blood sugar trigger the release of inflammatory molecules and free radicals, which can stress out your body.
Including too many high glycemic carbohydrates in your diet can potentially compromise your immune system and increase inflammation. Even a single high glycemic meal can promote increased inflammation.
Some examples of high glycemic foods include:
candies and sweets
cakes and baked goods
Highly processed foods
Highly processed foods are often high in salt, added sugars, and omega 6 fatty acids that may trigger inflammation and weaken your immune system.
There’s some research that excessively high salt intake may impair your immune system. In a 2015 study, a group of six men ate:
12 grams of salt for 50 days
9 grams of salt for 50 days
6 grams of salt per day for 50 days
12 grams of salt for the final 30 days
The researchers found that, when the participants ate 12 grams of salt per day, they had higher levels of a type of white blood cell called monocytes in their blood. They also had high levels of IL-23, IL-6 and lower IL-10. Altogether, these markers indicate excessive inflammation and immune response.
Examples of highly processed foods include:
high-fat chips and snack foods
sugary energy drinks and sodas
cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries
high-fat, low-fiber breads and crackers
Alcohol has the potential to impair almost every aspect of your health, including your immune system.
Most medications used to treat shingles don’t contain specific alcohol warnings. But it’s still a good idea to avoid mixing alcohol and medications as much as possible.
Nutrient-dense foods, especially foods high in zinc and vitamins A, B12, C, and E, can help support your immune system. Consuming lysine may also help inhibit the virus.
Lysine is an amino acid that’s thought to inhibit the growth of some viruses, including herpes zoster.
Some people think eating a diet high in lysine may help treat shingles and other herpes viruses. At this time, there’s not enough evidence showing that increasing your intake of this amino acid can improve shingles symptoms.
There’s no cure for shingles. Usually, it’s treated with antiviral medications.
The following home remedies may help you manage symptoms:
Cold compress. Soak a cloth or towel in cool water and put it against your rash to help relieve itching and inflammation.
Oatmeal bath. An oatmeal bath may help soothe itchy patches and moisturize dry skin. Try mixing 1 cup of oat powder with lukewarm water, and soak in it for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Essential oils. You can try mixing about 15 drops of an essential oil with soothing properties — like chamomile, eucalyptus, or tea tree oil — with 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil — like coconut oil. Then apply it to your skin. Alternatively, you can add a few drops of essential oils to a warm bath.
Witch hazel.Witch hazel may help you reduce itchiness and inflammation. Witch hazel comes in different forms, like creams, gels, and sprays.
Calamine lotion. The CDC recommends applying calamine lotion to your rash to help manage shingles pain and itchiness.
Shingles is a reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox. It causes an itchy rash that’s typically on one side of your body or face.
Eating a balanced diet that’s low in high glycemic carbohydrates and processed foods can help your immune system fight off the virus.
There’s some research that decreasing arginine intake and increasing your lysine intake may help inhibit growth of the virus, but more research is needed.
When ill, one’s body undergoes a taxing time, as it is depleted of nutrition and energy in its battle against the infection. Not only is immunity compromised but overall health deteriorates as the body tries to overcome the disease and recuperate. The body’s response in the case where one has tested positive for the coronavirus is similar, with the infection affecting different people with different levels of severity. Also Read – Milkha Singh’s Wife, Nirmal Kaur, Dies Due To Covid-19 Complications
As the second wave of COVID-19 infections continues to sweep through the country, it has impacted thousands of people to date. With symptoms ranging from mild flu-like symptoms to severe cases affecting the lungs, respiratory system, heart, and even the brain, the short- to long-term impact of the virus on one’s body are pronounced. From debilitating weakness to the loss of smell and taste, the infection often leads to the loss of overall appetite. All of this, combined with multiple lockdowns imposed by the government to curb the spread of the infection and suggestions of home quarantine in case of mild to moderate COVID positive cases for otherwise healthy individuals might result in the alteration of normal food-related practices. With access to markets is limited, the accessibility to fresh produce too might be impacted leading to the potential of consuming more highly processed foods that are high in sugar, fats and salt. Also Read – Tamil Nadu Lockdown Eased, Unlock Process in 27 Districts From Monday | Check Details
At times like this, when one’s immune system needs to be stronger than ever, good nutrition is a must. Not only one must continue to be mindful of what they consume but planning a healthy and wholesome diet that meets the daily nutrition requirements of the body is absolutely essential. A balanced diet along with basic exercises to aid deep breathing and relaxation of both, body and mind, goes a long way in aiding the body’s fight against the COVID-19 infection and getting you back up on your feet. Also Read – Sputnik V Rollout in Delhi’s Indraprastha Apollo Hospital by Next Week
Shona Prabhu, Sports Nutritionist and founder of NutrifyMyDiet & Supporter of Right To Protein shares key factors to keep in mind while planning and managing your diet during COVID-19 infection which will boost your overall recovery process.
Known as the building blocks of the body, proteins help build muscles and tissue, repair cells and boost immunity. Proteins are essential to overcome the wear and tear of your body’s cells, which is especially accelerated when COVID positive, and it is critical to include adequate sources of protein in one’s daily diet during the recovery and post-recovery phase. In addition, proteins replenish energy, making them the perfect nutrients to overcome weakness, while improving gut health and overall digestion. Therefore, meeting one’s daily protein requirement is of the essence when affected by COVID-19. A daily protein intake of 1 g per kg body weight throughout the day on a regular basis can play a strong role in recovery.
Be it warm lentil or chicken soup to soothe a sore throat; milk and milk products such as cheese, paneer, and yogurt to whip up healthy salads and comfort curries; soybean products such as tofu and soy chunks to recreate flavoursome Asian stir-fries to satiate the tastebuds; baked fish casseroles such as salmon and mashed potatoes on the side for a balanced helping of proteins. Soybeans are also rich in vitamin C, folate as well as omega-3 fatty acids that help build and maintain a healthy body. You can make keema with soy granules or bake with a healthy twist of soy flour and soy milk, the options, are plenty.
While most of us count our daily intake of calories during other times, for those suffering or recovering from COVID-19, the absence of calories in one’s diet could actually cause more harm than good when your body is in dire need of energy. Important for the smooth functioning of the heart and lungs, the inclusion of calorie-dense foods in your diet is critical. Ensure that the calories being consumed are healthy – be it whole grains such as wheat, maize and rice, potatoes, cereals, bread, and pasta – add a daily dose of calories to your meals to recover faster. Including nuts and dry fruits such as almonds, walnuts, dates and more as mid-meal snacks when one’s appetite is waning can be beneficial. Also, a lot of these foods contain proteins in varying amounts; therefore they contribute to one’s overall protein requirements.
Along with a protein-rich diet, it is imperative to intake an adequate amount of Vitamin C during the course of recovery. It is key to the recovery process as it contains anti-oxidants and boosts overall immunity. With COVID-19 known to affect one’s respiratory system adversely, a daily shot of Vitamins C is crucial. Fresh fruits such as oranges, muskmelon, mango, pineapple, or even guavas, avocados, kiwis and grapefruit, which are also rich in protein are ideal sources of Vitamin C. Toss them into a healthy smoothie made of regular milk, soy or almond milk or create a rainbow-hued fruit salad – make sure you get your double dose of Vitamin C and protein.
With an adequate intake of protein to keep our immunity in order during COVID, it is equally important to consume a sufficient amount of fiber, and soy is one of those ingredients that can take care of both protein and fiber at the same time. Recently, The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India detailed the importance of adding soy foods to our diet. Soy foods are made from soybeans, a wholesome source of high-quality protein, making them a perfect option for those who follow a strict vegetarian diet.
In addition to all of the above, ensure that you remain hydrated throughout the day. Drink plenty of water as it contains zero calories and has proteins and Vitamin C – it is important that your body receives enough and more hydration. To further maintain a healthy diet, limit your sugar and salt intake and replace saturated fats such as butter and ghee with healthier and unsaturated fats such as olive, soy, or sunflower oil while cooking as recommended by the Government of India.
Exercise routinely, be it basic breathing exercises or meditation; follow all recommended medications; and eat healthy home-cooked meals to not only try to beat the COVID-19 infection but bounce back on your feet faster, not too worse from the wear. Stay safe, take all necessary precautions and be #HealthyAtHome!
As we emerge from our homes to embrace the warmer weather, fears of the “quarantine-15” have people paying extra close attention to their diets. Weight loss companies are seeing a surge in sales as a result and the global market for health and wellness foods continues on course to reach its projected value of $1 trillion by 2027. While excess weight has been found to be a risk factor for complications due to COVID-19, worrying about the number on the scale only adds more stress to our already-taxed bodies. As people have gained pandemic pounds, they’ve also become more anxious, depressed and sleep-deprived. Foods that nourish rather than deprive the body are needed now more than ever.
Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” And while the relationship between what we eat and physical health outcomes is well-known, a growing field of research known as nutritional psychiatry is finding that what we eat affects our mental health too. For example, foods that promote the balance of bacteria in the gut affect the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which regulate mood and play a role in the development of psychiatric disorders. As the pandemic has taken a toll on our mental health, treating our food as medicine is a self-care strategy that’s easily overlooked.
Unfortunately, it’s not so simple to put into practice. While food by its very nature is designed to fuel our bodies. The demands of modern industrialization and mass production have reduced the nutritional value of many shelf-stable foods. Promising minimally processed ingredients, plus added adaptogens or superfoods to boost nutrition, functional foods aim to fill the void. And people have been eating them up in quarantine—from the home chef experimenting with vitamin-packed spice blends to the busy mom who needs a quick brain-boosting snack. With such a wide variety of options on the market, it’s no surprise the pre-2020 trend is now booming.
“It’s not a fad. The superfood category has been trending for some time,” says Reno Rolle, founder of superfood company Boku. “With COVID, that trend has really gotten a shot in the arm with people’s increased awareness of the importance of building immune function. Food is fuel and thank goodness more people are starting to realize it.”
Whether you’re looking to boost the immune system, sleep better or feel less stressed, these functional foods go beyond nourishment to fuel the body and mind. Creative and delicious, they also represent some of the most innovative plant-based offerings on the market.
“It’s the idea of taking the best of everything around the world that I’ve tasted and putting it in a jar,” founder Ada Yarungsee tells Forbes. “Good food is good food, but good energy is magic!” This oil gets its “magic” from Ashwagandha—an adaptogen that calms the nervous system—and organic Thai chili peppers for a spicy kick. Made with extra virgin olive oil harvested using traditional methods, the smooth, tangy condiment supports small and independent farmers in the southern region of Italy. The functional food brand makes adaptogen-infused Umami Sprinkles and Maca Syrup too.
This popular superfood brand is using protein- and fiber-packed broad beans to make addictive snacks that deliver a nutritional punch. Claiming to boast five times the amount of fiber and triple the protein of your average potato chips, they make a satisfying vegan, gluten-free alternative to your typical munchies—and crunchy salad-toppers too. Fans of Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel seasoning will love this flavor, but with 13 others to choose from—ranging from Spicy Wasabi to Mesquite BBQ to Sweet Cinnamon—it’ll be hard to resist the best-selling Boom Box variety pack.
Antioxidant-rich blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are rolled with fiber-packed chia seeds, gluten free whole grain oats and dried coconut for melt-in-your mouth clusters that make a crunchy addition to smoothie bowls or a satisfying fruity snack on their own. Lightly sweetened with honey and coconut sugar, you would never guess the granola dishes up greens too—like spirulina, wheatgrass, chlorella and barely grass. The sweet snack also contains avocado and coconut oils for a dose of healthy fats.
Packed with 21 vitamins and minerals sourced from 10 organic plants (think, chlorella, kelp and maitake mushrooms), this is not your ordinary salt. Whether used as a grill seasoning or sprinkled as a garnish, Enspice blends—a diverse collection ranging from Taco Seasoning to Chipotle BBQ—add both flavor and nutrition to any meal. The food company takes meeting our daily dietary needs seriously—for every container sold, a meal is donated to a child in need through the Enspice Children’s Foundation.
With tiger nuts, almonds and hazelnuts as the main ingredients, these cookies are packed with healthy fats for fuelling the brain, plus agave fiber and apple cider vinegar for prebiotic gut support. While most low-carb, low-sugar treats rely on sugar alcohols, these sweet treats keep it simple with sugar sourced from apples and monk fruit. The dark chocolate chip is a classic, but the dairy- and gluten-free line makes equally delicious banana chocolate, sweet almond and blueberry shortbread flavors too.
With 20 medicinal mushrooms, three types of sesame seeds and fiery spices like cayenne and habanero—this umami-packed blend sure lives up to its name. Created by a father of three as a way to sneak vegetables into his children’s diet, the superfood seasoning was designed with nutrition in mind. Nutritional yeast serves up B-vitamins and 18 amino acids while turmeric tames inflammation.
While this beloved all organic, plant-powered brand is known for their cereals, bars and waffles made of whole grains, their latest innovation is a grain-free alternative made of chickpea flour, and protein from lentils and peas. Not only do the beans dish up a hefty serving of protein and fiber, they’re rich in vitamins and minerals like folate and magnesium. Lightly sweetened with monk fruit extract, the Cinnamon Vanilla infuses some cinnamon bun flavor into your breakfast bowl while the Dark Cocoa is the perfect snack for when the chocolate cravings hit.
These moist, soft buns swap your typical flour for flour made from almonds and coconuts, plus psyllium husk, for 20 grams of fiber per serving. Pumpkin seeds deliver a hearty dose of protein while flaxseeds and coconut oil offer healthy fats. Whether eaten as toast at breakfast or a burger bun at your next barbecue, the 100% plant-based buns are a versatile bread alternative that will satisfy vegans and non-vegans alike.
From the Rosemary and Maple BBQ to the Hibachi Teriyaki, every flavor of this jerky delivers the health benefits of kelp—a brown macroalgae rich in vitamins and iodine, a mineral that supports the thyroid and metabolism. The soft, chewy seaweed, available for purchase on functional mushroom marketplace The Multiverse, contains immune-boosting shiitake mushrooms and apple cider vinegar for digestion support too. The innovative food company is now using their regeneratively-harvested kelp to make kelp burgers too, with superfoods like nutritional yeast, mushrooms and coconut amino acids.
Each of Mycro’s three honeys contain a high-potency blend of adaptogens and herbs formulated to address specific needs. The Immunity combines elderberry—the fruit of the Sambucus tree commonly used to treat cold and flu symptoms—with medicinal mushrooms and Ashwagandha to reduce anxiety. Vanilla, cacao and rose give the sweet paste an earthy, fruity flavor, making it an uplifting addition to teas, toast or simply spooned straight from the jar.
Upgrade your strawberry scone with these soft baked bars, which swap regular flour for almond flour for a hit of plant-based protein. They also support the digestive system with prebiotic apple cider vinegar and fiberous organic chia seeds. The high-protein, cookie-like bites are available in eight flavors—think, chocolate mint and blueberry cashew—while they’re new Savory Bites harness the power of pumpkin, hemp and sunflower seeds for a functional, gluten-free alternative to crackers.
This vegan Smartfood alternative delivers all the satisfaction of cheesy popcorn, with none of the corn or dairy. Instead, nutritional yeast—a protein alternative packed with amino acids—replicates that umami mouthfeel. For a zestier bite, the gluten- and dairy-free snack line also makes the cauliflower florets in a guacamole flavor made with lime juice and Jalapeño.
Maya Moon blends whole bean cacao, sourced from small farms in Ecuador, with organic turmeric to make a hot chocolate-meets-golden milk fusion that warms the body and soothes inflammation. Coconut milk powder offers the brain healthy fats while ginger and black pepper support digestion—when combined, the three ingredients activate the curcumin in turmeric for maximum absorption. Free of dairy and lightly sweetened with maple syrup, all you have to do is add hot water or milk.
From energizing red maca root to antioxidant-rich goji berries to fibrous chia seeds—there are no shortage of superfoods in these chewy bites. Lightly sweetened with raw honey and coconut sugar, each cluster offers seven grams of plant protein. Available in six flavors—like Dragon Fruit Lemon Zest and Pineapple Ginger Fusion—everything is dehydrated, rather than baked, to maintain all the flavor and nutrition of Supernola’s powerhouse ingredients.
Whether it’s relieving menopausal symptoms, stimulating milk production or quieting the mind before bed, Eat Gold Organics has a dark chocolate for seemingly every need. “The one for doing it” is made with libido-boosting cayenne and strawberries, plus maca for energy and medicinal mushrooms for reducing stress. Lightly sweetened with organic coconut sugar, the 70% fair-trade chocolate makes an indulgent snack that is better suited to the bedside table than the kitchen pantry.
Third generation sauce and spice maker Felicity Chen pays homage to her heritage with a functional spin on shrimp chips—a popular snack in many Asian households. Each bag delivers 10mg of CBD through the inclusion of Potli Hemp Olive Oil, made from cold-pressed, single origin olives infused with broad spectrum hemp. Launched in honor of AAPI month, this soothing savory snack is the latest from the brand known for their hemp-powered pantry staples, like spicy CBD-infused chili oil and a dreamy honey made with 6mg of melatonin.
Endorsed by Meghan Markle and Oprah, this line of latte powders has struck the perfect balance of function and flavor. Their latest release is a floral dark chocolate elixir, containing probiotics and 1000mg of mood-enhancing adaptogens, like dopamine-boosting Mucuna and energizing cacao sourced from regenerative farms in Ecuador. With oat milk and coconut cream powder as the base, all you have to do is add hot water for a foamy pick-me-up that can be sipped any time of day.
GoNanas easy mixes are ideal if you’ve still got early pandemic cravings for banana bread but don’t feel up to baking. Better yet, they support the body too. Eggs are swapped for flax meal while whole grain, gluten free oat flour is a high source of fiber and protein. This Crackly edition uses the prebiotic millet in place of walnuts, to give the nut-free bread some crunch and digestive benefits. Their recently released instant banana bread is the perfect pantry addition for solo dwellers and busy home cooks.
From reducing blood pressure and inflammation to promoting bone strength and endurance, mineral-rich watermelon seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. Made with just three ingredients, this sweet nut butter delivers all the benefits of the underrated seed, plus more protein than your average peanut or almond butter. The family-run business makes equally delicious and functional butters made of sunflower and pumpkin seeds, plus seed-powered bars, granola and dressings too.
This sweet powder gets it’s striking blue hue from spirulina—a powerful plant-based protein known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The minty vanilla flavor makes it versatile—a subtle, sweet addition to salad dressings, baked treats and of course, smoothie bowls. Inspired by the loss of her dad to cancer, the health-conscious founder Adelia Yolanda has tailored each of her colorful potions to serve specific functions—like the Mermaid, a bright purple potion that energizes with butterfly pea and acai.
Lil Bucks clusters use sprouted buckwheat as their base, an adaptogenic grain packed with protein, fiber and antioxidants. These spicy-meets-citrusy clusters relieve inflammation with turmeric from Diaspora Co.—a fair-trade spice company working to empower Indian farmers—and Australian Superfood Co. lemon myrtle, which supports Indigenous Australian communities. If you like this crunchy granola alternative, Clusterbucks makes a calming Chocolate Reishi and energizing Matcha Cookie Crunch flavor too.
These plant-based protein mixes easily transform fresh veggies into vegan patties, balls or crumbles—making them an ideal pantry staple for the busy, health-conscious cook. The Masala blend combines soothing ginger with anti-inflammatory turmeric to create an Indian-inspired meat alternative that’s as functional as it is flavorful. Containing 11 grams of pea protein per serving, the plant-based mixes also come in Original, Herby Roasted Garlic and Chipotle Adobo.
Inspired by a 10-year-long struggle with fibromyalgia, Rooted Life Foods founder and registered dietitian Ashleigh Fabian is using one of her favorite childhood snacks—peanut butter—as the delivery system for her go-to adaptogens. A rich, creamy addition to toast, oatmeal and desserts, this peanut butter goes above and beyond your average spread with the inclusion of organic Reishi mushrooms and Ashwagandha—two adaptogens known to reduce stress, inflammation and fatigue.
From energizing maca to mineral-rich sorghum to stress-relieving Sacha Inchi protein—these bars are packed with superfoods to fuel the body. Dates, dark chocolate and coconut sugar give the squares a fudge-like texture, making them more like a decadent dessert than a quick, on-the-go snack.
Mother-son duo Asha and Jai are bringing the Ayurvedic superfoods they grew up eating in India to the U.S. with their line of popped water lily seeds. Rich in fiber and potassium, the seeds deliver a nutritious boost without compromising on cravings for a crunchy snack. Spice-fans will like this flavor made with inflammation-taming turmeric, or the Chili Lime, while those with a sweet tooth won’t want to miss the Dark Chocolate, made with organic coconut sugar.
Inspired by the Finnish tradition of brewing mushrooms as a coffee alternative, Four Sigmatic infuses their coffee roasts and latte mixes with powerful adaptogens to energize the brain and body. The Mushroom Ground Coffee combines organic, Fair Trade Arabica beans with 250mg of Lion’s Mane and 250mg of Chaga mushrooms, for a dark, nutty brew that avoids the crash. It’s one of their bestsellers, but their non-caffeinated offerings, which swap coffee for cacao and herbs known to boost focus, are equally as energizing.
The latest release from this nut butter brand is a hot pink spread that’s as eye-catching as it is functional. Pitaya, also known as dragon fruit, supports the immune system while cashews, walnuts and macadamia nuts deliver healthy fats. The organic, vegan, sugar and gluten-free line makes several other functional flavors too, like Chocolate Reishi and Blue Dream—a striking butter made blue with protein-rich spirulina.
Growing up in Brazil, health coach Carolina Poli would regularly eat prebiotic-rich green bananas to help with digestion and clear her skin. Now, she’s on a mission to make gut microbiome approachable with her line of superfood prebiotic bites—available in three flavors. The Vanilla Almond blends almond butter, vegan protein and green banana powder with warm vanilla and date syrup, resulting in a gut-friendly snack reminiscent of grandma’s sugar cookies.
Born from a seafood restaurant in Singapore, this popular chip company is best-known for their use of salted duck egg yolk—an ingredient commonly used in Asian countries like Indonesia, China and Singapore. Irvins’ latest rendition replaces potato chips with salmon fish skins, a potent source of B-vitamins, marine collagen and omega-3’s. The rich egg yolk and salmon flavor is balanced out with spicy chili and aromatic curry leaves resulting in the perfect, umami-packed crunch.
This rich, dark chocolate bar features a powerful blend of Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs (think, astragalus and Reishi mushrooms) to support the body’s immune, nervous and respiratory systems. Made with fair trade cacao and organic, unrefined coconut sugar, each of Non Verbal’s five bars are designed with Chinese and Ayurvedic practitioners to target specific health needs—like stress, skin and focus.
Ten years of producing organic mushroom products have made this superfood brand a go-to in the functional food space. Their conveniently packaged, single serve broth blends—available in four flavors—are some of their best-sellers, and for good reason. Each umami-rich powder contains more than 2000mg of organic mushrooms—like Shiitake, Reishi and Lion’s Mane to support memory, focus and nerve health.
Filled with antioxidants and minerals, Sonhab’s ethically-sourced Tanzanian dark chocolate offers health benefits on its own. But add seven adaptogens, and you’ve got a sweet treat that promises to relieve anxiety and improve your mood too. Containing goji and longan berries for reducing stress, and mimosa bark to promote happiness, the handcrafted, almond butter-filled bon bons make for a unique fruity, nutty dessert.
Containing seven times the amount of calcium found in cream cheese, Seed+Mill’s organic tahini is a decadent, vegan alternative to your usual dairy spread. The star ingredient is roasted Ethiopian sesame seeds, which are known to encourage collagen production and reduce cholesterol due to their high protein, copper and zinc content. This pack pairs the tahini with two seasoning blends—togarashi and za’atar—to add some sesame seed-powered spice to the pantry.
This functional sweetener supports brain function, immunity and the nervous system thanks to the infusion of Chaga, Reishi and Turkey Tail mushrooms. Made with the sweet sap of Canadian maple trees, the organic syrup is perfect for drizzling on pancakes, sweetening desserts or simply enhancing a cup of tea.
Containing 1000mg of brain-boosting adaptogens, like Cordyceps and Gingko Biloba, these truffles are designed to improve mental performance. The convenient packaging makes them an easy quick bite, but with such a rich, velvety texture, they’ll more likely encourage you to slow down and savor the moment.
ROCKVILLE, Md., June 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S. food and beverage industry has been impacted heavily by COVID-19. In 2020 especially, more people looked to improve their health and boost immunity to prevent or lessen the severity of illness. Consumers are buying more supplements or vitamins to protect their immune system due to COVID-19, and some are also buying food and beverage products to boost their immune systems. 2020 turned out to be a banner year: the market for packaged foods and beverages with claims for gut health or immunity grew more than 50%, pushing sales to $59 billion, as reported by Packaged Facts’ new report Immunity Boosting Foods: Gut Health & General Immunity Improvement. Packaged food and beverage products in the scope of this report include those with prebiotics, probiotics, high fiber claims, and “superfood” claims such as “high in antioxidants” or “added vitamins/minerals” that may be beneficial for immunity or gut health.
Packaged Facts projects that sales in this market will decelerate over the next five years, although the pandemic boom in 2020 and 2021 will affect the market for years to come.
More than two-fifths of consumers report that because of the coronavirus, they are buying food and beverages products to protect their immune systems more, and these consumers are also somewhat more likely than average to express greater concerns about the pandemic and to have experienced more negative personal effects.
Additionally, the pandemic has led to more time spent cooking at home. Extra time in the kitchen has combined with increased interest in gut health to give rise to more recipes and cookbooks focused on the GI tract. Nonetheless, functional packaged foods that may improve gut health or immunity are an especially convenient way for consumers. Some fermented products that are naturally probiotic have experienced fast sales gains in the last year, such as yogurt, kombucha, kefir, and sauerkraut. Other products with ingredients that may provide gut health or immunity benefits continue to be released, such as sodas, nutrition bars, enhanced waters, and “super juices.”
For more information see the Immunity Boosting Foods: Gut Health & General Immunity Improvement report page. This report analyzes current retail sales, projects future sales, and examines trends across the U.S. market for functional foods and beverages with gut health or immunity claims, considering the current and longer-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Particular attention is dedicated to the market impact of e-commerce, the coronavirus pandemic, and better-for-you trends.
Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, the food and beverage market, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, and pet products and services. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased at our company website and are also available through MarketResearch.com.
For more essential insights from Packaged Facts be sure to follow us on Twitter (@packaged_facts), LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Get vaccinated. Practice social distancing. Wear a mask. Wash your hands.
These strategies can help prevent you from getting coronavirus and other illnesses. Boosting your immunity through food can also help maintain optimal health. While food isn’t a cure-all, adding certain foods to your diet can promote good health.
We spoke to Leslie Burman, RD, a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and licensed nutritionist in Boca Raton. She shared do’s and don’ts about foods that can help build immunity.
We know vitamin D helps build strong bones. It’s also one of the most important and powerful nutrients to support the immune system. Other vitamin D–rich foods, says Burman, are fortified yogurt and kefir. Vitamin D is also in oily fish, which benefits blood pressure and heart health. Aim for at least one serving a day.
Do: Sweet Potatoes
This orange-fleshed vegetable is one of the richest natural sources of beta-carotene. Your body turns that into vitamin A, an immune-boosting nutrient that helps the body produce virus-fighting white blood cells. Eat one sweet potato a day to reap its benefits. Other vitamin-A rich foods include spinach, carrots, butternut squash, acorn squash and broccoli.
Do: Green Tea
Cancer-curbing green tea is packed with flavonoids, an antioxidant that boosts immunity and holds anti-inflammatory properties. It also offers EGCG, another powerful antioxidant that enhances immune function. Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine, which may help produce germ-fighting compounds in your T cells (which are important to the immune system). Drink five servings a day, says Burman. Since this tea is caffeinated, avoid consumption near bedtime if you’re caffeine sensitive.
We know vitamin D helps build strong bones. It’s also one of the most important and powerful nutrients to support the immune system.
Don’t: Potato Chips
Chips are made with refined grains, which change your metabolic response and make you more susceptible to infections. They’re highly processed and low in nutrients, which may suppress the immune system when overeaten. “The bite leads to the bowl which leads to the binge,” Burman says.
Don’t: Excess Alcohol
A glass of wine at dinner is fine. Too much alcohol can be harmful. “Alcohol is truly a toxin,” says Burman. “It can truly exacerbate cancer.” It has also been linked to a higher susceptibility of pneumonia and sepsis. “Alcohol isn’t beneficial for the immune system.”
We have for you some Ayurvedic tips to improve your immunity and protect yourself from the second wave of COVID-19 by adding these foods to your diet.
COVID-19 has drastically changed the way we look at health. By wreaking havoc and panic of an unprecedented nature, it has knocked the significance of leading a healthy lifestyle deep into our psyche. It is fast dawning upon us that COVID-19, which renders our immune system less effective, can be fought against by strengthening one’s immunity.
Before moving forward let us understand what immunity actually is. Our immune system is the body’s natural defence system against illness and infections. It works non-stop in saving our body from diseases. A healthy immune system helps us go about daily life as we come into contact with germs and bugs from pets, people and the environment. It helps prevent diseases that could otherwise enter the body very easily and could have an adverse effect.
Ayurvedic texts suggest that prevention is an equally important aspect of disease management as a cure and thus, strengthening the immune system is a natural way to help the body fight against the disease-causing pathogens. Therefore, Ayurveda promotes the use of Rasayana (rejuvenating herbs) to enhance ojas and vyadhikshamatva (immunity). Furthermore, in order to combat infections that may enter the body, it is important to follow a good diet, exercise and sleep routine. Doing that not only helps boost immunity but also keeps our mind and body balanced and healthy.
As per Ayurveda, the below-mentioned foods can help strengthen and improve your immune system from within:
Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
It is considered to be a very rich source of vitamin C. In Ayurveda, amla forms an important part of numerous medicinal formulations. This green fruit contains ascorbic acid, as well as calcium, potassium, iron, and vitamin B-complex. Apart from all this, it is also rich in antioxidants, which aid in the battle against free radicals, helps keep hair colour dark, and acts as a bulwark against pathogens.
Khajoor figures high and often in the list of Ayurvedic remedies. Not only does it taste great, but it also has many immunity-enhancing properties. It contains minerals like iron, magnesium, selenium, copper, zinc and vitamins A&B, and is often prescribed to people suffering from anaemia due to its high iron content. Further, it can be easily incorporated into our diet as a snack.
Moong Beans (Moong Dal)
Do you sometimes feel drowsy, sleepy, or have erratic bowel movements, or do you have a thick white film on the surface of your tongue? Moong daal is recommended by Ayurveda for such conditions due to its high fibre content as well as other basic vitamins, proteins, and minerals. A staple in Indian households, moong dal khichdi is the most convenient way of making the most of Moong Dal’s nutritional benefit.
As children, whenever we would fall ill or sustain some injury, our grandparents would tell us to drink turmeric milk, a common time-tested and trusted home remedy. Turmeric is recommended because of its powerful anti-inflammatory property, which helps fasten the healing process. Besides, it also helps prevent heart diseases and increases blood supply in the body.
Ghee is used in Ayurveda for both medicinal and culinary purposes. Ghee nourishes the body internally and rejuvenates the body tissues. Butyric acid found naturally in ghee helps in boosting the immune system.
About the author: Dr Partap Chauhan is the Director of Jiva Ayurveda, is an author, public speaker, TV personality and Ayurvedacharya.
DID you know that there are foods that can strengthen your immune system and others which can weaken it?
Having a strong immune system is very important for your health so you are not as vulnerable to infections or viruses, so it is essential to eat foods which strengthen it.
Eating a varied, balanced diet, full of vitamins and minerals and steering away from ultra-processed foods will help to keep your immune system strong.
Vitamin C, found in kiwis, strawberries, grapefruit, broccoli, peach, cauliflower, tomato and parsley, among many other foods, is very important, as is zinc, an antioxidant and anti – inflammatory which can be found in red meats, legumes, nuts, and cheese.
Iron can help to prevent anaemia and is present in eggs, prawns, prawns, spinach, lentils or beans, among others.
Stick with natural, fresh foods for a strong and healthy immune system.
Meanwhile, ultra-processed foods, such as frozen pizzas or industrial pastries can weaken the immune system if eaten in excess, although that doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally indulge.
Selenium for a longer life
Selenium, the life-extending nutrient in red meat, fish, or whole grains, as well as some vegetables, is believed to protect against obesity and improve health.
A study published in the scientific journal eLife shows that this nutrient provides metabolic benefits and that its deficiency can increase the risk of coronary heart disease and some types of cancer.
Some foods work great in contributing towards a supercharged immune system, preventing you from falling prey to illnesses such as flu, cold and more. Here’s a glimpse of five kinds of nutrients that your immune system requires to function and which foods are full of them.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids come as a kind of necessary fatty acid recognised to contain the inflammation and keep the immune system healthy.
Try these omega-3-rich foods to bolster your health and immunity:
Oily fish like salmon, sardines, herring, tuna and mackerel
Similar to vitamin C, vitamin E is a great antioxidant. Studies suggest that keeping adequate levels of vitamin E is essential for having a healthy immune system, particularly among older individuals. To get your daily dose of vitamin E, try these foods on a daily basis:
Wheat germ oil
Zinc is a vital mineral associated with the creation of specific immune cells. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) advise that even moderately low levels of zinc may reduce your immune function. Here are some best food sources full of zinc:
Another kind of antioxidant, carotenoids are a group of pigments obtained naturally in a number of plants. Upon consumption, carotenoids are transformed into vitamin A (a nutrient that assists in regulating the immune cells). They are fully absorbed when eaten or cooked with fat.
Consume these foods to increase your carotenoids:
There’s ample proof that vitamin C may be especially effective in promoting the immune systems of individuals undergoing major stress. To improve your vitamin C consumption, add these Vitamin C rich foods to your diet:
An ever-growing amount of research points to the enormous role your gut plays in your health and well-being. In addition to assisting with digestion, the good bacteria in your gut help keep you healthy by producing vitamins, supporting the immune system and fending off harmful bacteria. In fact, more than 70% of your immune system resides in your gut.
Most people can enhance their gut health naturally through diet. Here are the types of food that boast the biggest gut health benefits.
High-Fiber Foods Like Beans, Oats and Fruits
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate found in plant-based foods, and it’s categorized as soluble or insoluble.
Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that’s consumed by gut bacteria, says Alicia Romano, a specialized clinical dietitian at Tufts Medical Center in Boston and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Meanwhile, insoluble fiber passes through your digestive tract largely intact and helps provide bulk to your stool. “This makes food pass more quickly through the GI tract, thus promoting regular bowel movements,” Romano says.
Both types of fiber help with gut health by assisting with digestion and preventing constipation. Eating high-fiber foods also helps protect you from gaining excess weight and developing chronic conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some kinds of cancer, according to a review of studies in The Lancet.
Good sources of fiber include:
Beans, dried peas and lentils
Bran (oat and wheat)
Dried fruits, such as prunes and raisins
Foods made with whole grains, such as whole-grain bread, whole-grain cereal and whole-grain pasta
Whole grains, such as barley, quinoa, bulgur and brown rice
Fresh fruits, especially apples with skin, pears with skin, oranges, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries
Vegetables, especially artichokes, broccoli, green peas, winter squash, and white potatoes and sweet potatoes with skin
Probiotic Foods Like Kimchi, Kombucha and Kefir
Probiotic foods contain living microorganisms like the health-promoting microbes found in your gut. Eating probiotic foods can help boost your body’s population of beneficial bacteria.
Common bacteria groups found in probiotic foods include Lactobacillus (often abbreviated as “L.” on food labels) and Bifidobacterium (abbreviated as “B.” on food labels). Probiotic foods are made by adding microbes to food and/or allowing a process known as fermentation to take place.
Examples of probiotic foods include:
Fermented soy foods, such as tempeh, miso and natto
Kefir (fermented milk)
Kimchi (fermented vegetables)
Kombucha (a fermented tea drink)
Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
Yogurt, both dairy and non-dairy
When choosing probiotic foods, check labels for live, active cultures, which indicates the bacteria in the foods are still living. For instance, when shopping for probiotic sauerkraut, reach for refrigerated brands with live cultures. Shelf-stable, pasteurized sauerkraut in a can or a jar—the type of sauerkraut your mother may have bought as a hotdog condiment—is unlikely to contain living microbes. Living microbes are beneficial because they join the community of living microbes already in your gut.
Probiotics are also available in over-the-counter dietary supplements. However, there’s mixed evidence of their benefits, and the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) does not recommend the use of probiotic supplements for most digestive conditions. If you do choose to take probiotic supplements, the AGA suggests that you do so with a doctor’s guidance.
Prebiotic Foods Like Asparagus, Bananas and Garlic
It’s not enough to eat plenty of probiotic-rich foods—you also have to eat foods that help keep these health-promoting microorganisms alive.
That’s where certain types of soluble fiber called prebiotics come in. Think of them as nutrient-dense food for your healthy gut microbes; when you eat prebiotic foods, you effectively feed the good bacteria that keeps your gut in balance.
Prebiotic foods contain compounds, such as fructooligosaccharides, inulin and galactooligosaccharides, which are types of soluble dietary fiber. “Prebiotics act as fuel for specific bacteria in the gut, thus having the ability to promote the creation of more good bacteria,” says Romano.
Good prebiotic foods include:
Synbiotic Foods Like Yogurt Paired With Blueberries
Synbiotic foods combine prebiotics and probiotics into a single, uber-healthy gut microbe-supporting meal. These foods provide the pros of prebiotics and probiotics at once, supporting existing gut bacteria and delivering additional living cultures to your gut.
Some examples of synbiotic foods include:
A banana smoothie made with kefir or yogurt
Stir-fry made with tempeh, asparagus, garlic and leeks
Yogurt with blueberries
To make these foods even better for your gut, add high-fiber ingredients, such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits or legumes.
Anti-Inflammatory Foods Like Fatty Fish, Flax Seeds and Walnuts
Inflammation occurs when your body releases white blood cells and other compounds to protect you from infection. This reaction benefits you when you actually have an infection, but sometimes your body goes into a type of inflammatory overdrive even when no infection exists, dispersing inflammatory chemicals such as cytokines when you don’t need them. This process can contribute to or worsen gastrointestinal conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Anti-inflammatory foods contain nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, that can help cool down inflammation. “These play a role in the natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pathways of the body, which may also promote the health of the gut,” Romano says.
Helpful anti-inflammatory foods include:
Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and anchovies
Fruits, such as berries and grapes
Vegetables, such as broccoli, peppers and tomatoes
A Varied Diet Improves Gut Health Naturally
Filling your daily diet with a range of foods is an excellent way to boost your gut microbiome—and your health as a whole. “An abundance of nutrients from a variety of foods is key to positively impacting your gut,” says Romano. “The more varied the diet as a whole, the more access the gut has to an array of beneficial nutrients.”
And don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water not only enables fiber to do its job properly in your gut, but also helps keep your digestive system—and the rest of your body—running smoothly. “Adequate fluid intake is essential for the health of all organ systems, as well as the health of our gut,” says Romano.