Sitting by the Ganges in his home in Rishikesh amidst a nationwide lockdown, here are seven easy-to-find foods in India that give your body the much-needed immunity to fight the pandemic.
PEANUTS TO PUSH YOURHORMONES:
Nuts are amazing to bring your glands back to track. But amongst those, peanuts are the pioneers for pituitary gland which will help to bring all the other hormones in balance, including the human growth hormone (HGH) which boosts metabolism. When hormones are flowing well in the body, it also means better transport of nutrients, and better overall performance by the body. This surely has a huge impact on immunity cells, and keeps your immune system strong and ready. Roast them, boil them, add them to your poha or just munch on them.
CHICKPEAS FOR AN ENERGY BOOST:
Chickpeas is a wondrous food that helps the body’s furnace to glaze. Chickpeas are densely packed with a wide array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, that alongside metabolism, fill the body with enough energy to spare much for the health and nourishment of your immunity cells, gently bringing your immune system back to power. A cup of chickpeas contain 71% of folate and good amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6. Though all the B vitamins are important for the metabolic process, folate or vitamin B9 is very essential for the production of enzymes that drive our metabolism. So, chickpeas just loaded with folate are great for metabolism. Just 1/3 cup of cooked chickpeas, thrice a week is good to boost metabolism, and fortify your defences.
SWEET POTATOES TO STOP STRESS:
A major metabolism lowering factor is Cortisol, the stress hormone released by the adrenal glands. If you are stressed most of the time and your cortisol levels are ever high, they create an imbalance in blood glucose levels and keep them high, keeping also the insulin levels high. The result is low metabolism and weight gain. Not just that, cortisol slows down digestion and absorption, starving all the cells, including the immunity cells, of the required nutrition. So your immunity levels fall, leaving your body exposed to diseases. A cup of sweet potatoes has almost 65% DV of vitamin C. Vitamin C from your diet naturally lowers cortisol and insulin levels, boosting fat burn and metabolism. Vitamin C is also the ultimate nutrition to boost immunity. I eat my sweet potatoes grilled on charcoal. You can also grill it in the oven or just boil it and have it like a chatpata chaat.
FERMENTED FOOD TO LOWERINSULIN:
All fermented foods are acidic because of the acid-producing bacteria in them. These acids in the fermented foods slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and keep the blood sugar levels as well as insulin low. This allows fats to be easily released from fat cells as alternate sources of fuel, helping you to quickly burn off that excess fat. Fermented foods create a friendly atmosphere for the gut ensuring best absorption of nutrients. This allows all the cells, including the body’s immune cells to be well nourished and healthy. Enjoy the wide range of fermented foods, from all over the world, fermented pickles, kimchi, idli, sauerkraut, etc., every day in your diet to heighten metabolism, and nourish your immune system.
FENNEL TO FUEL THE DIGESTIVE FIRE:
Fennel seeds are concentrated with all that is good for the body. Just a tablespoon of fennel seeds has 18% DV of manganese that produces metabolic enzymes. It has more than 80 varieties of antioxidant essential oils that destroy free radicals, boost the digestive fire, improving digestion and absorption. In addition it is also a diuretic that flushes the toxins out. The free radicals and toxins create a huge load on all the processes and slow down the body. The nutrients are also absorbed well. The body gets much lighter after flushing out its toxins. So all the energy is utilised efficiently. This automatically drives metabolism. Simmer a tablespoon of fennel seeds in a cup of water for 5 minutes and have it warm as tea, about an hour after lunch or dinner to boost your digestion, metabolism and immunity.
GHEE TO BURN FAT WITH FAT:
Yes, ghee is good. Fats are a very good and stable sources of fuel, for a sedentary lifestyle like ours, as compared to carbohydrates. If you don’t do intense physical activity, all the extra carbohydrates that you take in, raises insulin levels, eventually leading to fatty liver. For our normal lifestyle that doesn’t include very intense activities, the slow burning carbohydrates are good enough. So having fats like ghee, satiates you and majorly reduces your carbohydrate intake. If carbohydrates are taken with ghee, ghee prevents the insulin levels to steep up in the blood, keeps you full for longer, which allows the body’s existing fats also to burn faster. Ghee also is a great digestive aid. It is rich in butyric acid that removes inflammation and soothe the intestinal lining, clearing constipation. Constipation can creating a breeding ground for the growth of microbes. The immunity cells come to rescue, by creating inflammation. So if you are constantly constipated, your immune cells exhaust themselves trying to protect you from inflammation. Just 2 teaspoons of ghee a day is enough to get your metabolism rolling, and improve your immune power.
EVERGREEN GREENS TO DETOX:
Green is just not rejuvenating to look, but it also rejuvenates you inside out. Nothing like green leaves and herbs like spinach, kale, rocca leaves, beet greens, basil, coriander, parsley and all the varieties of local greens available in your locality, when it comes to antioxidants and minerals. They are all loaded with the antioxidant Chlorophyll that gives them the refreshing green colour. Mitochondria, the furnace where metabolism takes place, with age, produces more free radicals which cause further disfiguration of the mitochondria, degrading the cell, till it dies, downgrading your body’s metabolism continually. But by destroying these free radicals, we can slow dow the degradation of mitochondria, which means your metabolism is better, your aging is slower. Nothing better than the chlorophyll, antioxidant and mineral rich leaves to do this job. Have a cup of leafy greens, raw, every single day, for your antioxidant dose. But make sure that you wash your greens really well and soak them in warm salt water for 10 minutes before eating.