DURBAN – Our diet directly impacts our immune system – which is our “frontline” of defence against any virus or illness.
The degree of strength in our immunity will be the fate of our recovery or our death during this time. It is therefore very important to be nutritionally healthy and aware of foods that are risks and benefits .
Foods for immunity :
The main focus is making sure our immune system is working at its optimum rate. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods help fight free radicals. Free radicals are the breakdown products of digested food and toxins in our system, they can cause harm and damage to our body’s cells. The following foods are essential in fighting free radicals due to its high Vitamin C content, flavonoids and anti-inflammatory qualities. These food items should be a part of a balanced and varied diet plan:
- Lemon juice
- Blue berries – contains flavonoids
- Dark Chocolate – contains antioxidants
- Green Tea
- Spinach /broccoli
The immune system also requires its larger soldier foods like energy and protein to help fight any battle. Energy foods are the carbohydrates-which support more than 50% of our energy needs. It’s like coal in a steam train. These foods typically include breads, rice, cereals, porridge, putu/pap, samp, potatoes.
Proteins are our building blocks like the bricks of a house. These foods can vary from meat to soya products like chicken, fish, steak, legumes and tofu. Too much protein can also have an adverse effect on your body. So have in moderation.
Foods that slow down the immune system and make the body more prone to attacks are sugar, baked products, processed chocolates, sweets, fizzy drinks and alcohol. Avoid or have in extreme moderation.
In conclusion, a well balanced healthy plate will include protein, vegetables and a moderate amount of carbohydrates. Keeping our bodies balanced and maintained is essential in our daily lives as well as in a fight against a “virus”.
This article was in collaboration with Nessa Reddy, a Clinical Dietitian at Life Chatsmed Garden Hospital.
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