Keeping the immunity system strong and fortified is one of the best ways to stay healthy and fit. If you take care of your immune system, you will be least bothered by the seasonal changes or the pandemic. Thankfully, there are ways to ensure the same.
Paying attention to what you eat is one of the essential aspects of staying healthy. Eating homemade food and following a holistic routine will keep you safe from the flu and the common cold.
Here are five simple ways to create an effective immunity-boosting meal plan:
1. Plan Your Meals
Typically, there are three major meals in a day. It should start with breakfast and end with dinner in the evening. These meals should be planned well so that you consume immunity-boosting ingredients. You should typically follow the points mentioned below:
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner should consist of green veggies, fresh herbs, and whole grains that are rich in proteins, adequate carbs, essential minerals, and fibers.
- Keep added sugar out of the three meals of the day. The daily consumption of processed sugar should be less than 1 tablespoon each day. This is because the consumption of increased quantities of added sugar increases sugar levels in the blood. This weakens the functional capabilities of the white blood cells or WBCs which are an integral part of the immunity system.
- Keeping out sugar doesn’t mean that you have to ignore the needs of your sweet tooth. Go in for fresh fruits to satisfy the taste buds, especially during dessert time. The best choice of fruits is the ones that are rich in Vitamin C like strawberries, kiwi, citrus, cantaloupe, etc.
- Throughout the day, you should consume sufficient Vitamin D. The ideal way is to stay exposed to ten to fifteen minutes of the sun’s rays. As far as food goes, you must include fatty fish like salmon and dairy products in your daily diet.
2. Focus on a well-balanced diet
Experts recommend keeping your plate well-balanced so that your health is taken care of comprehensively. Focus on proteins, fibers, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, minerals, and adequate less processed carbohydrates.
Meals consisting of brown rice, and non-starchy vegetables like cucumbers, broccoli, peppers, or Brussel sprouts are advised. Avoid red meat. Go in for fish and chicken instead. Use healthy oils like olive or avocado.
To boost your immune system, your prerogative should be to include at least one natural antioxidant in your daily diet. The easiest way to do this is to use herbs and spices for all your meals. Ginger, turmeric, garlic, basil, oregano, dried cloves, saffron, thyme, etc., are known for being rich in antioxidants. Makes these a compulsory part of your everyday meals.
3. Boost Your Gut Microbiome
While the white blood cells fight off viruses and bacteria and therefore help maintain the immune system of the body, the gut microbiome also strengthens the system. It is therefore crucial to include foods that are rich in living microorganisms like the Bifidobacterium and the Lactobacillus.
Make sure to make fermented foods like kimchi or kefir a part of the diet plan. You can drink probiotic yogurt or milk too. When consumed regularly, you will help maintain the microbiome balance in the gut and take care to fortify the immune responses of the body.
4. Each meal should be a mix of colors.
Naturally-colored foods should be the core part of your diet. This is because colored veggies and fruits contain phytochemicals like flavonoids, carotenoids, and anthocyanins. These natural plant-based chemicals are rich sources of antioxidants that keep the immune system strong.
A mix-and-match of naturally-colored foods will enhance the body’s ability and response to fight harmful bacteria and viruses.
5. Stay away from processed and fried food.
Natural food, derived from nature is comparably healthier than processed foods that contain higher levels of refined sugars and carbs. When you eat natural food, you ensure that your body’s daily need for nutrients is fulfilled. Such a diet acts as an anti-inflammatory while the intake of processed foods results in the increased production of cytokines that increase inflammation.
Some of the natural foods that should be a part of your everyday meals are:
- Almonds are a rich source of Vitamin E which is one essential vitamin that helps fortify the immune system. Vitamin E works as a strong antioxidant almost as strongly as Vitamin C. Almonds are rich in minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium. These also contain phytosterols, phenolic acids, folate, and flavonoids. They work together to improve immunity.
- Zinc-rich foods like bran, chickpeas, cashews, and oats safeguard the body from autoimmune diseases especially infections related to the respiratory tract. Consuming adequate amounts of zinc promotes immune cell production.
- Spinach is one of the best foods to promote and boost immunity. The anti-inflammatory properties and beta-carotene of spinach come with innumerable healing properties and fighting capabilities.
Ensure that you indulge in healthy eating habits but if you do not have a healthy sleep routine, and do not drink water in adequate quantity, then the immune system is going to weaken further. Exercise regularly, walk in the run, reduce your stress levels, drink plenty of water, eat right, and take help of meal plans in Dubai to fight germs and diseases with vigor and energy.