As India grapples with the Covid second wave and faces an all-time rise in active cases, there’s only one thing that’s on everyone’s mind. And that’s good health. So, if you plan to boost your immunity by bringing changes to your diet, then let’s help you in your endeavours. While you might easily add proteins, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to your meals, make sure you don’t forget zinc. Zinc is one of those nutrients that play a vital role in our bodily functions. It helps in boosting immunity, helps in the synthesis of protein and in our growth and development. Studies have shown that zinc has immuno-nutrient properties that help your body fight viral infections. So, here are 5 zinc and vitamin-rich foods that you must add to your diet to build immunity against Covid-19.
Vegetarians and vegans can’t find a better source of zinc than legumes. Chickpeas, lentils and beans are packed with zinc. Legumes are loaded with health-friendly protein, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. Moreover, legumes are low in calories and really good for your health. Whether you make creamy hummus, spicy chole or simple dal chawal, ensure you add legumes to your diet at all cost.
When you try to boost your immunity, you probably might not think of shellfish. But some kinds of shellfish are loaded with zinc. Oysters, lobsters, mussels and crabs are shellfish, that are great sources of zinc. While you can’t go to a fancy restaurant to devour this exquisite seafood, you can always order it at the comfort of your home and cook a delicious curry or pasta. Zinc is vital to help our immune cells function as they should.
Good ol’ dahi is important to not only improve our gut health but also build our immunity as it has a good amount of zinc. When you’re shopping for the right curd for your body, look for yoghurts with the phrase “live and active cultures” on the label. Greek yoghurt has cultures that may stimulate your immune system and help you fight diseases. Homemade dahi is also great to keep your immune system in check. Try to opt for plain curds instead of the flavoured ones that are packed with sugar. If you want to devour sweet curd, then you can always add cut fruits or drizzle honey in it.
4. Nuts & Seeds
One of the best ways to build your immunity against Covid-19 is to eat a handful of dry fruits like walnuts, almonds, raisins and seeds like pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Nuts and seeds are rich in zinc. You can add nuts and seeds into your oats, smoothies or just munch on them like a midday snack. Consuming nuts daily will also help manage cholesterol and control blood pressure. Apart from zinc, nuts and seeds are packed with iron, vitamin K, folate, Vitamin A, copper and magnesium.
5. Poultry & Eggs
Chicken and eggs are two of the best sources of zinc. So, make sure you include them in your diet. Apart from zinc, chicken is also rich in Vitamin B12. It helps in cell generation and keeps your nervous system healthy. So whether it’s scrambled eggs, omelette, chicken sandwich, chicken curry or tikka, don’t forget to eat them. However, keep in mind that animal-based foods are also high in cholesterol and fat, so eat in moderation.
So, these are 5 of the best foods, packed with zinc that will help build your immunity against Covid-19. Make sure you have a healthy, balanced meal, drink lots of fluids, exercise and stay physically and mentally healthy. Stay safe!