Chef Sharad Dewan, regional director of food productions at The Park Hotels shares insights with us on how to combat coronavirus by eating right and including the right ingredients in our daily diet:
Coronavirus is taking a big toll on us in all possible manners.
My advice as a chef to everyone is to use nature, which has smartly put medicines in the food around us.
The best option is to prevent the infection by following all COVID protocols but the second-best option is to be fighting ready by having a great immunity-boosting system ready to defend your body with minimal damage.
But one should also remember that our body and its immune system is a very complex system, so it takes time to achieve the desired immunity levels.
Scientifically speaking we need a balanced diet of vitamins, proteins, minerals, probiotics and prebiotics.
Vitamins A comes from almost all red and yellow coloured vegetables/fruits also from green vegetables: carrot, pumpkin, papaya, mango, sweet potato, spinach, Kale. Vitamin E from seeds including sunflower, flax and from nuts like almonds and walnuts.
Vitamin C from citrus fruits and vegetables, capsicum, green mangoes, broccoli, potatoes, strawberries.
Minerals from meats, cereals, fish, milk and dairy foods, whole grains and their flours, pulses, seeds and green vegetables.
Probiotics from yoghurt, sour cream, kaffir lime, probiotic milk, fermented food like kadhi, curd rice etc and prebiotics from garlic, onion, wheat bran flour, barley and oats.
To know more, ook out for our special cover story on Friday May 21 Wellness on a Plate
Probiotics and prebiotics
A balanced meal having some elements of them is required to build a good immunity. But always remember never to overdo things.
During Covid your appetite is lost, you may have diarrhoea or nausea, you may have a loss of taste and smell.
But despite this, that you have to eat. For the first two weeks avoid non-veg proteins except eggs. Soup is fine. Focus more on vegetable proteins since they do not stress the digestive system.
A few items good for you if you are down with covid include sprouts, lentils, sesame, flaxseed, groundnuts (boiled is best), milk and milk products, ghee, citrus fruits and vegetables, greens, beetroot, watermelon pomegranate, nuts like almonds and walnuts.
Reduce intake of salt, sugar, oily and fatty items especially foods with trans fat. Increase fibre intake, have more fruits and vegetables. Milk and milk products, lentils, soy proteins are good.
Keep yourself hydrated, not just with water but herbal teas, giloy ka kadha, turmeric milk, fresh fruit juices, ginger honey water, Tulsi/ginger/cinnamon/clove and pepper ka kadha with honey.
Bengali cuisine has lots of key ingredients which are used in abundance culturally and are good immunity boosters like turmeric (raw and powdered), Omega 3-rich fishes, saag or greens round the year and chhena (cottage cheese).
But above all this is one very important thing, eat with a positive attitude, not with remorse or negativity.
To know more look out for our special cover story on Friday, May 21, called Wellness on a Plate