As the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage, there is once again a renewed focus on immunity boosting foods and supplements. Nutritionists across the world recommend that people should consume a balanced diet inclusive of vitamins, zinc, minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates in order to maintain optimal health. Vitamins and Zinc are especially important as they aid the body's immune defence system. Below are some foods that are naturally rich in vitamins and zinc and can easily be incorporated into meals.
Here're 7 Vitamins And Zinc-Rich Foods For You:
Oats provide many important vitamins and minerals, and they're linked to a reduced risk of heart diseases. A half-cup of oats provides 1.5 mg of zinc and it is loaded with fibre, beta-glucan, vitamin B6 and folates. Oats help to regulate cholesterol levels and promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Like legumes, oats (and other whole grains) also contain phytates, which can affect how well the body absorbs minerals.
Cashews are an excellent source of natural plant-based zinc. Whether eaten raw or roasted, they provide about 1.5 mg of zinc. They are rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, copper, folate, and healthy unsaturated fats. Eating cashews can thus reduce the risk of getting heart diseases and promote healthy cholesterol.
3. Citrus Fruits And Berries
It is said that vitamin C helps increase the production of white blood cells, which are keys to fighting off infections. Almost all citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Oranges, lemons, pineapples, sweet limes (mausambi), grapefruit etc- you get a lot of options to choose from. The body doesn't produce or store Vitamin C; hence, loading up on vitamin C on a daily basis is of utmost importance. The recommended daily amount of vitamin C for adult women is 75 mg and 90 mg for men.
4. Broccoli And Spinach
Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fibre and many other antioxidants, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables to put on our plates. On the other hand, spinach is not only rich in vitamin C, but is also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene - both of which increase our immune system's infection-fighting capabilities. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients
5. Oily Fish like Tuna and Salmon
Fish contains high levels of nutrients and protein, particularly oily fish, such as salmon and tuna. They provide vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, zinc, and iron and are also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which help in improving muscle activity, immune function, digestion and fertility.
Yogurt is great for our body's immune defences and gut health. Yogurt gives us good bacteria for a healthy gut and also provides enough zinc for the body. A cup of curd/ yogurt contains 1.5 mg of zinc. It really is one of the best options to aid digestion and to help boost immunity. Yogurt is also a great source of vitamin D and can help strengthen our bones.
Besides being a good source of vitamin C, ginger also contains beta-carotene. This is converted in the body into vitamin A that helps boost one's immune system. It plays a crucial role in providing decent level of antioxidants to our body. It can be considered as our very own bodyguard, protecting us from oxidation and disease. Ginger also increases one's metabolism and stabilizes the blood sugar level in the body.
It is essential that we fight to break the chain of transmission during this deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and one of the best ways to do this is by keeping our bodies and minds healthy. Apart from adding the above foods to your daily diet, include moderate exercise, limit alcohol consumption, quit smoking and get adequate sleep.
About The Author: Rohit Shelatkar is an expert in fitness & nutrition with over 15 years of experience.
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