Nutrition and COVID-19: Healthy Meal Plan to Boost Your Immunity and Stay Healthy Amidst the Lockdown

first_imgThe deadly outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected every part of the globe irrespective of class, caste, age and religion. People above 30 yrs, and those with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma and lung disease are more prone to the infection and have a tough time fighting off the virus. There is no vaccine till date for coronavirus. The only way is to avoid getting affected by social distancing and taking other measures, as covered by the governments time to time. Also our immune system can help us to recover and eliminate the virus from our body to a great extent. And the best way to boost our immunity is to eat healthy and exercise regularly.The lockdown has given us an opportunity to understand our body and our environment in a positive and healthy way, and to make permanent changes to the way we eat and exercise.So, the question on everyone’s mind is what to eat to boost up our immune system during this pandemic.Here, I will be sharing a healthy and an easy to follow meal plan, which has been planned, keeping in mind all the the immune boosting foods available in the market during the lockdown period. This meal plan is packed with proteins, healthy fats, vitamins such as A, B, C, D and E, and essential minerals. On the same side, this meal plan is low in sugars, salts and visible fats so as to provide maximum nutrition and avoid weight gain in the quarantine period. There are some important things which I would like to share before coming to the meal plan, which are-o Maintain hygieneo Cook the food thoroughlyo Keep the fruits and vegetables in saline water for atleast 3–4 hourso Eat plenty of fibero Stay hydrated. You can make infused water by adding 2 slices of lemon, 2–3 mint leaves, 3 slices of cucumber and 3 slices of carrot. This will boost your metabolism and make your normal water tastier.o Try to include atleast 7 superfoods from:-· Dark green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach)· Whole grains (oats, whole wheat, brown rice)· Tomatoes, beets, sweet potato, beans, pumpkin, garlic, ginger· Almond, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds· Eggs, green tea and turmeric.o Include drumsticks in your diet as they are good source of many vital B-complex vitamins and vitamin Co Eat good amount of proteinso Avoid alcohol and restrict smoking because smoking can cause respiratory problems and coronavirus is a respiratory diseaseo People above 30 yrs and those with any other medical condition should avoid having smoothies and shakes, because it increases the sugar intake and may spike the blood glucose levels. They should also try not to add salt in the soup or vegetable smoothies, so as to maintain their blood pressure levels.o Children are usually fussy eaters, so you can give them fruits in the form of smoothies and shakes, and try to add honey instead of sugar. Vegetables can be given in the form of soups.o You should have your dinner before 8 pm. It improves digestive health.o Avoid ice creams and refrigerated beverages.The following sample menu with three small, but balanced, meals and three light snacks throughout the day will give you an idea of what to eat for a healthy diet. You can mix and match the following as per your choice.Early morning (6:00 am — 7:00 am)1 glass lukewarm lemon water + 1 clove of garlic4–5 soaked almond and walnutsAfter 30 mins — — green tea -1 cup (without sugar or 1 tsp honey)Breakfast (8:00 am — 9:00 am)· Besan ragi spinach cheela- 2 (nos) with mint chutney and buttermilk (1 cup) Or· Vegetable roti/paratha (Carrot (grated), fenugreek leaves, coriander leaves besan and whole wheat) -2 (nos) with buttermilk Or· Spinach wheat and ragi dosa — 2 (nos) with sambhar (1cup) Or· Oats porridge (without sugar) with added dates (1), mango slice (1), chia seeds (1tsp), flax seeds (1tsp)- 1 cup Or· Vegetable omelette (1 egg white+1 whole egg) with 2 slices of whole wheat breadMid morning (10:30 am — 11:30 am)1 orange + 1 amla + 1 fruit (1 small apple,/ ½ cup pomegranate/ 2 slices of muskmelon or watermelon or papaya/ ½ cup grapes)Lunch (1:00 pm — 2:00 pm)Salad (1/2 cucumber + ½ carrot)Chapatti — 2 or rice — 1.5 cupDal — 1 cupVegetable (beans/ cauliflower/ broccoli/ nutri veg/ mixed veg) — ¾ cupCurd — 1cupEvening tea (4:30 pm — 5:30 pm)1 cup immunitea (sugar as per medical condition). Add tulsi leaves, clove, cinnamon, fennel seeds, cardamom and ginger to the tea.Roasted makhana/ boiled sprouts/ chickpea sundal — ½ cupDinner (before 8:00 pm)1) 1 cup soup (tomato soup/ spinach soup/ beetroot carrot soup/sweet potato carrot tomato soup). Do add drumsticks to the soup.· Whole wheat bread sandwich filled with paneer slice, lettuce, cucumber and tomato Or· Paneer bhurji + 1–2 chapati Or· Nutri +peas sabzi + 1–2 chapati Or· Oats idli + sambhar (1 cup)Post dinner (9:00 pm)Skim milk — 1 cup (without sugar) with ½ tsp turmericSo, Indulge mindfully in healthy eating. Exercise regularly or practice yoga and deep breathing for atleast 5 times a week (30 mins/day).Wait a second!! Please remember that the above given tips and diet plan is not a cure or remedy for coronavirus, but a way to boost up your immune system so as to fight against the infections.Stay indoors, stay safe and eat healthy and be responsible towards our country.last_img read more