One of the essential recommendations of fighting against pandemics like the novel coronavirus is staying safe by taking adequate precautions including handwashing, social distancing and self-quarantine. But is it only about that? Even if there are no studies suggesting a direct co-relation between balanced diet and prevention of the disease, a good immunity level is said to be highly effective against such conditions.
An effective way of boosting one’s immunity is by including an adequate quantity of protein in one’s diet.
Nmami Agarwal, founder, Nmami Life shared, “In addition to standard recommendation, it is also advised to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle to
support your immune system, which is your first line of defence. Proteins are among those essential macronutrients that help to build a stronger immunity apart from contributing to muscle growth and development.”
How does immunity and protein intake go hand in hand?
*The immune system works through the usage of certain protein molecules called antibodies. These antibodies come into action as a response to harmful foreign substances like bacteria and viruses. Vaccinations also work by stimulating the release of antibodies in the body, whenever required.
*Cytokines, a group of proteins that are specifically secreted by the immune system, are used by the body to signal for regulation of immunity.
*Your gut is packed with 60-70 per cent of immune cells and these cells utilise branched-chain amino acids for fuelling themselves, making consumption of dietary protein necessary to boost or build immunity.
How to eat your protein
Ensure you consume at least one-fourth of the plate as protein-rich foods for every meal, as a general guideline to meeting the daily protein requirements. And in order to learn the various protein-rich sources of foods, you could simply look up an online tool called Protein Index, that helps list out relevant wholefoods. And in order to know how much protein you are already consuming daily, you can track this using the Protein-O-Meter, a freely available online protein calculator developed by Right To Protein Initiative to help Indians, across different age groups.
A protein-rich diet can make it easier for your body to combat acute or chronic diseases. To obtain your daily dose of dietary protein, you can rely on the following food sources:
*Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, trout
*Legumes and pulses like lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, soybeans
*Dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt
*Nuts like walnuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts
*Whole grains like buckwheat, quinoa, millets, oats
*Veggies like broccoli, yellow sweet corn, peas, edamame, kale, Brussels sprouts
Call to action
A healthy lifestyle can help build the foundation for well-being and help your body prepare for outbreaks. The first and foremost step would always be preventive measures followed by a healthy lifestyle.
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