Diet And Nutrition During COVID-19 (Special Series 01): Understanding The Link Between Nutrition And Immunity

Dietitian Sharan Sodhi, Head Consultant Dietitian of Diet & Nutrition Department of Reach Out at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital,Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi

In this phase of Pandemic, let’s not stress ourselves, rather use this time at home to work on your Health and your body, improve your immunity and improve your gut health.

Good nutrition is crucial for health, particularly in times when the immune system might need to fight back. Limited access to fresh foods may compromise opportunities to continue eating a healthy and varied diet.
Here are few tips on eating healthy during this pandemic:
Immunity Boosters 
  • Vitamins and Minerals
  • VITAMIN A,C and E
  • MINERALS  : Iron, Zinc and Selenium
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6
Vitamin A,C E

Vitamin A,C E are powerful antioxidants that fights off any infection and are immunity boosters. Food sources of these include:

  • Vegetable oils (such as wheat germ
  • Sunflower, safflower, corn and soya bean oil)
  • Nuts ( such as almonds, peanuts and Hazelnuts/filberts)
  • Seeds ( such as sunflower seeds)
  • Green leafy vegetables ( such as broccoli and spinach)
  • Orange and yellow vegetables and fruits)
  • Cod liver oil
  • Citrus fruits such as orange, kiwi, lemon, guava, grapefruit, pappaya and berries
  • Egg
Iron, Zinc, Selenium
  • Iron helps the red blood cells to transport oxygen to all parts of the body.
  • It produces energy for our body so we won’t feel fatigued.
  • Zinc is needed for the body’s defensive system to properly work.
  • Selenium helps in preventing cell damage.
Food sources of these include:
  • Dark chocolate
  • Green Leafy Vegetables – Spinach, mint leaves
  • Flax seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Almonds, Cashews and Peanuts
  • Lobhia, Rajma, Dried Peas, Chickpeas
  • Pomegranate
Omega-3 and 6
  • Omega 3 and 6 are needed for our body to function normally
  • Helps our cells to function properly
  • It is great for our heart health
Food sources of these include:
  • Oysters
  • Flax seeds
  • Walnuts, cashew, almonds
  • Fish oil
  • Soyabeans
  • Canola oil
  • Salmon
  • Kidney beans
  • Leafy greens
  • Tofu

During this self-quarantined, we need not to be productive. But, we can’t ignore our health during. To understand more about the link between nutrition and immunity, and existing evidence on nutrient status, we have invited Dietitian Sharan Sodhi, Head Consultant Dietitian of Diet & Nutrition Department of Reach Out at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital,Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi, to write a regular column for us on this topic. She will be writing a series of articles on immunity booster food items. This is the first part of the series.

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