Right now, the whole world is panicking, suffering and at a risk of falling apart. The pandemic COVID-19 has been spreading throughout the continents at a rapid pace, and the global death toll is nearing 6000 as we speak. Sri Lanka recorded its 19th confirmed case of Coronavirus and WHO has declared us as a country with community transmission. Therefore, it's quite crucial to follow the necessary steps recommended by the health sector to reduce your risk of getting sick or infecting others.
Food plays a vital role in times like this, especially because it helps to reinforce your immunity system. Luckily, the food items on this list can be easily found in Sri Lanka, and already contribute to a significant portion in our daily diet. However, they're not specifically equipped to fight COVID-19, but still very capable of boosting up your immunity; something that we all should be working on.
Fruits like grapefruits, oranges, lime, lemon, and tangerines are known for their high content of Vitamin C. Our bodies cannot produce the said vitamin on their own, hence we need to take it from outside to ensure the continued health. Vitamin C comes in handy to produce white blood cells, which is quite an essential element in fighting infections.
Garlic is bliss when it comes to treating a sore throat, nausea and inflammatory illnesses, and through all that, it is capable of boosting up your immunity system. When chewed or crushed, Alliin, one of the main compounds in garlic turns into Allicin, which is the main active ingredient in garlic. It is said that Allicin can improve the functioning abilities of some of the white blood cells in our body, especially in the events of fighting with cold/flu-related viruses.
A meal without a dash of turmeric isn't easy to come across in Sri Lankan household, and we should be thankful for that for two main reasons.
1) Turmeric adds a unique colour, flavour and aroma to the dish,
2) It has the ability to increase the immunomodulating capacity of the body.
Much like the first one, the second reason is quite important especially when it comes to handling cold/flu-related viruses. Rich with antioxidants, turmeric's main active element is known as curcumin, and it is very much capable of improving antibody responses, even at lower doses.
A strong antioxidant and packed with magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium, ginger is a cold/flu fighter. The main substance in ginger is called Gingerol, and it does a good job in lowering the risk of infections.
A super-leaf that's loaded with folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, fibre, magnesium, and iron, spinach encourages the production of infection-busting white blood cells. Eating it raw or lightly cooked will help you to reap more benefits.
With lots and lots of probiotics to boot, yoghurt has the power of protecting the body from respiratory tract infections. It also can reduce the severity of respiratory infections caused by influenza-like viruses.
Any mushroom can act as a turbo-shot for the immunity system. They generally have high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, which are important components in supporting the immune function. Shiitake mushrooms are highly recommended in this regard, as they contain beta-glucans; an antiviral compound.
A fat-free, cholesterol-free food that can be eaten without any guilt, sweet potatoes are filled with vitamin A and C. They are absolutely pivotal elements for the immune system.
Not only cinnamon adds an exotic odour and flavour to the food, but it is also well-packed with antiviral properties. Put a cinnamon stick into your daily cup of tea; an easy, simple method to infuse your body with its antiviral abilities.
Tea is rich with flavonoids, a powerful antioxidant. Plus, it can be infused with a ton of interesting other substances that are good at combatting viruses, such as ginger, cinnamon and turmeric. It adds more flavour to the tea while strengthening its medicinal capacity.
Filled with protein, fatty acids, and more than 10 vitamins and minerals, banana is essential to maintain a healthy immune response. The Vitamin B-6 in banana helps to produce cytokines and antibodies; two protein-based substances that are important to communicate between cells involved in the immune response and recognise intruders in the body. This is further enhanced by the folate in banana. Furthermore, banana is high with copper and vitamin c, which respectively do a good job in protecting the cells from damage during chemical reactions, and shielding white blood cells from the chemicals they release to kill pathogens.