Food that we consume in our diet has the capacity to heal or harm us. Building Up the body’s immune system is a lot dependent on the diet that we consume and in fact can improve the body’s capacity to handle infections and keeps our body fit and disease free.
There are various components in the diet that can help us to fight infection. A well-balanced diet is important to make your immunity strong and give you an adequate amount of energy. Keep an eye on all macronutrients you consume and the most important one is protein. Protein helps you feel energetic so you can keep yourself active throughout the day. It helps in building mass and also works best on faster muscle recovery. Not only that a healthy individual must add good quality of protein rich foods in his daily diet to stay away from infections.
Protein as a nutrient to build immunity
The protein is an important macronutrient in our diets and should be contributing to 15 to 25 % of daily calories requirement. So, an adult diet where the calorie requirement is about 2000 kcal protein should be about 60g to 75g, considering the variations in the age, sex and the level of physical activity.
Most of the vegetarian sources of proteins like the dals, pulses, nuts like almonds and walnuts and oilseeds like sesame seeds, peanuts, flax seeds and cereals are the class B that is they lack one or two of the essential amino acids exceptions in these are the soybean protein, soy isolate and protein from Quinoa are the class A contain all essential amino acids in the vegetarian sources. A classic way of combining the class B proteins is mutual supplementation like consuming dals and rice together or paneer paratha or curds and rice etc.
The class A sources of protein are milk and milk products like curds, paneer, buttermilk, eggs, meat, fish and poultry.
Since the Indian diets stress a lot on carbs rich diet and the protein falling short, as a nutritionist we always make it a point to educate people the importance of protein in the diet and the ways to improve the protein intake in the diet
Here are some of the ways that it can be done successfully
- Try to serve protein compulsory for the main meals i.e the breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. For example, you have a cup of milk or curds along with your breakfast or eggs, sprouts, chutney made with flax seeds or til alongside meals, dal or sprouts compulsory for lunch and dinner, and enriching your cereals like chapati with soy granules.
2. Certain protein rich nutritional drinks which can be added either to milk or consumed along with water. Protinex is one such healthy nutrition drink which we recommend to make up the protein requirement of the day, along with natural protein sources. This has high protein which provides 34g per 100gm that meets the additional protein which our body needs. It is low in fat which is just 0.5g per 100gm. Plus, it has 25 essential vitamins like Vitamin A, C, D and many others with minerals like Zinc and Calcium that makes it a balanced nutrition drink for Indian adults & gives you all day energy. And since it has a chocolate flavour, it has a great taste as well. One should have a mug of Protinex Tasty Chocolate with milk daily, to see best results. Some of my clients prefer replacing their evening tea with it, you can also choose to do the same or have it in the morning with breakfast. Protinex not only provides you all-day-energy but also keeps you away from infections due to its perfect blend of high protein and essential vitamins and minerals
3. Your munchies between the meals also can be protein based like almonds and walnuts, buttermilk, roasted chana, makhanas or seeds mixed and consumed as a midmeal.
Let’s discuss the power of other foods that can boost immunity
- Coloured fruits and vegetables
The appealing colour of the fresh fruits and vegetables gives us a wide variety in the diet. But it’s just not adding colour to the diet but each colour has a colour pigment which is significant in its own way to give the phytonutrients which will help our body to build immunity and fight against infections. The colour pigments in the fruits and the vegetables like the chlorophyll in green leafy vegetables, the anthocyanins, anthoxanthins, lycopene in the red colour and purple coloured fruits and vegetables like beetroot, jamuns, grapes, tomatoes, watermelons or even the white coloured pigments in radish and cauliflower are powerful antioxidants which fight infections.
Ghee contains short chain fatty acids which help in the growth of the good bacteria. Consume 1 tsp of ghee on an empty stomach in the morning to coat the gut lining which will help the body in many ways. If not then make it a point to consume ghee added to your dals or curries, in the rice or smear your chapatis with the ghee.
3.The antiseptic power of turmeric
Turmeric contains 3-7% curcumin which has tremendous healing power. The change in the weather makes our immune system compromised and it’s an age-old remedy to consume turmeric added to milk as an immunity booster. Cucurmin also helps to reduce the body’s inflammation which is also a root cause of a lot of allergies, intolerances or even metabolic diseases like diabetes, CVD and arthritis.
Consuming these foods containing magical nutrients and having a daily physical activity like yoga, walking or a simple home workout that you enjoy makes your immunity strong and provides inner strength to fight against infections.
Let me know how you take care of your immunity? I’d love to hear from you.