Boost Your Immunity with This Healthy and Nutritious Indian Meal Plan
- A nutritious and healthy diet can help prevent infectious diseases
- Healthy mid-morning and afternoon snacking reduces overeating
- Having an early dinner can reduce the <a href="https://www.bajajfinservhealth.in/articles/smoking-and-heart-disease-how-does-smoking-risk-your-heart">risk of heart diseases</a>
The current pandemic has forced everyone to reconsider their health and lifestyle habits. Internet searches have been populated with those ranging from COVID-19 symptoms, prevention, and medication. Following coronavirus protocols of social distancing and wearing a mask will help slow the spread. However, you need to take personal measures to reduce your risk of contracting Covid. One sure-fire way of doing so is by boosting your immune system. Studies have shown that improving immunity via supplements can help prevent and better manage COVID symptoms. This does not mean you are immune to the disease but that you are better equipped to ward it off. While supplements play a part, your lifestyle and dietary choices greatly influence your health and immunity. While you can exercise all you want, a healthy mind and body are primarily developed in the kitchen. Studies have shown that a nutritious diet is critical to maintain and boost immunity.
So, adding the right foods to your diet is of utmost importance. However, designing and maintaining a meal plan is the first critical step. Here is a diet plan to help you boost your immunity.
First thing in the morning
Starting your day by eating something healthy first thing in the morning will kick your digestion system into gear. As soon as you are out of bed, drink a glass of lukewarm water. Ensure that you don’t gulp it down. Drinking water immediately rehydrates the body in the morning. It increases alertness, jumpstarts the brain, and kickstarts your metabolism.
Also, consume a clove of garlic and 4-5 soaked almonds. Raw garlic consumed on an empty stomach has a host of benefits like reducing blood sugar and cholesterol. It strengthens immunity against cold and cough and regulates blood pressure levels. On the other hand, almonds are not only good for the brain but also the skin and heart. Almonds improve digestion and slow down aging.
Nutritionists recommend a big breakfast, but it does not mean a heavy breakfast. You can start your day with light Indian dishes such as poha or upma, or even 1 whole wheat paratha. You can also dig into South Indian breakfast dishes such as dosa, idli, and uttapam. Or you can go West and have a protein- and fiber-rich breakfast of eggs, whole wheat bread, and oatmeal. These foods help control blood sugar levels. Do not forget to add fruits to your breakfast. Ensure that your breakfast, though filling, is light enough to avoid lethargy or indigestion.
If you start your day early, you will be hungry by mid-morning. Most people avoid eating until lunch, especially when at work. However, this is detrimental to your health. Starving yourself causes more health problems than it solves and should be avoided. Moreover, large gaps between meals can cause hunger pangs, resulting in overeating.
One option is to have a bowlful of nuts on the go. They are rich sources of proteins, good fats, minerals, and vitamins. You can also opt for a handful of channa (chickpeas), kurmura (puffed rice), sprouts, soya sticks, ragi and nachni chips, and a khakhra. Ensure that none of these are too spicy, salty or oily.
This is your first big lunch of the day. It has to be filling and not heavy, especially if you work through the afternoon. A heavy meal can make you lazy, sleepy, and uncomfortable. So, keep it simple! Have a bowl of dal, a bowl of vegetable, roti, and curd. This ensures that you get a good serving of micronutrients like vitamin D and B12. Curd consists of good bacteria that improve gut health, reducing indigestion. You can also add a bowl of rice or pulao to your lunch. However, rice can make you sleepy and drowsy. Remember to choose between rotis or rice, as having both can be heavy.
Afternoon snacking fills the gap between lunch and dinner. A cup of tea or coffee is simply not enough. This may result in hunger pangs before dinner time or cause overeating. So, munch on healthy snacks like a spoonful of dried jaggery, cashews, khakhras, or rice chaklis. Along with your tea or coffee, you can opt for high-fiber and whole-grain biscuits or flattened rice/diet chivda. These foods also enhance your mood, reenergizing you. Another option is a fresh ragi dosa or moong chilla with some green chutney.
Having an early dinner, at least 3 to 4 hours before bedtime, has a host of health benefits. It improves digestion, sleep quality, and encourages weight loss. Early dinners also reduce the risk of heart diseases and regulate blood sugar levels. You can opt for a simple bowl of rice and dal or legumes, paneer, or eggs. These form a nutrient-dense diet replete with amino acids, vitamins, fiber, and proteins.
Have a glass of turmeric milk before hitting the sack. Turmeric milk boosts immunity and improves the quality of sleep. You can add nutmeg, dry ginger, and kesar to the milk to prevent indigestion and insomnia. They also strengthen bones and joints and improve skin and hair health.
Follow this diet in addition to making and maintaining other lifestyle changes. Ensure that you have your meals on time and do not starve yourself. Give yourself a day off to binge on your favorite foods, but do not overdo it. Making this effective lifestyle change will boost your immunity and ensure overall health and fitness. However, for immediate help with any health symptom you notice, book a doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health with a doctor near you.
Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.
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