Before I start tying bridges of benefits of Vitamin C, let me be very clear that the Corona diet has not been documented anywhere per se but just some pointers about inclusions and exclusions in your diet to help strengthen your immune system to stay diseases free. Also, folks, this diet is no guarantee but an effort that a person stays disease-free which can only be effective with mutual determination.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a part of several cellular activities, even to the defense cell’s contribution to the human immune system (both innate and adaptive). You must already be aware of the defense cells of the human body comprising of leukocytes (innate) and antigens, B cells, T cells (adaptive). Leukocytes are further classified as granulocytes and agranulocytes. The granulocytes, which include neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils. The agranulocyte consists of lymphocyte and monocytes. Vitamin C mounts up in neutrophils catalyzing its defense action
- Production of reactive oxygen species, and eventually microbial killing
Therefore, it is of utmost importance to include citrus fruits in your diet like:
- Gooseberries (amla even dried or pickle)
- Red bell pepper (Vit C + Antioxidants)
- Tangerines (Keenoo)
- Limes (Mausambi)
- Brussels sprouts (++)
- Strawberries and the like.
- Make neembu paani your staple beverage and fruits your staple lunch. The best part is as Vit C is water-soluble, excess of it is excreted out with urine.
- Garlic – Garlic has a high concentration of sulfur-containing compounds allicin that is reported to be of help in strengthening the immune system. In Ayurveda, garlic has balya which is supposed to be hot useful for cough, asthma, body strength, and immunity.
- Similarly Ginger – Even from ancient times the role of Ginger in fighting a sore throat, nausea, and digestive issues has been well-known. Ginger holds gingerol, an imitative of capsaicin. Ginger stimulates regular production of inflammatory markers strengthening the immune system as well as promoting strong circulation and inflammatory reactions.
- Yoghurt – Plain unflavored, sugarless yoghurt with active cultures is great for the immune system along with an abundant supply of Calcium and Vit D for healthier bones.
- Turmeric – Using Turmeric is yet another natural approach to help shore up the immune system by enhancing the immunomodulating ability of the body. According to Ayurveda, it set alight ‘Agni’ (digestive fire), helping reduce Kapha and Ama (toxins) relieving the symptoms of cold and flu.
- Green Tea – Not just to enhance your metabolism during these floppy times of lockdown, green tea takes extra steps towards facilitating your T-cells essential for immunity. Green Tea is rich in epigallocatechin gallate and L-Theanine both of which are known to enhance your immunity.
Apart from Vit C, antioxidants too are essential to maintain a healthy weight; of course in conjugation with a balanced diet and lots of physical activity.
Tips to follow:
- Binge on snacks
- Divide your meals every two hourly
- Try and make healthy choices like idli or dosa over samosa and kachori, poha over parathas
- Get into the habit of starting the day with sprouts
- Try drinking more than 8 glasses of water every day
- Include complex proteins like Rajma, Chola in breakfast
- Dinner should be the lightest
- Limit the intake of packed food, fine flour (maida), cold drinks, ice creams
- Even if with the worst craving, try making it all at home, I know this seems like an incredible task but believe me I tried some, and most of them were enjoyable.
I understand that in this lockdown, food is the most positive external stimuli of your day but you got to keep it balanced and crisp…
Dr. Gaurav Jain, Consultant – Internal Medicine, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi