By Bhuvaneswari Ravindran
In a recent WEBINAR, the Resource Person, Dr. K.S. Vimal Kumar, underscored Ayurveda’s stress on immune modulation and increasing immunity level of our body. While on enhancing immunity, emphasis was on the need to follow good food habits and healthy lifestyle, at the same time taking preventive measures. Of course, observing social distancing, use of masks, washing hands, etc., are mandatory in handling of this Pandemic.
Firstly about good food habits, which was explained as consuming “quality food”, in “correct quantity” and in a “timely manner at regular intervals”.
Fruits and vegetables with high fibre content, sprouts, pulses, dry fruits and also food which have starch and a little fat etc. are “Quality food”. Including Ginger, pepper, coriander, curry leaves, cumin seeds, as also buttermilk in our food help in digestion and boosting immunity. In fact, our food itself becomes medicine when we include immuno-modulators like Turmeric, goose-berry, garlic etc.
Equally important is to try and avoid oily and fried stuff, junk food, Curd (not buttermilk), carbonated drinks, sour and refrigerated drinks, bakery items etc. which have lesser nutrients and disturbs digestive processes, inviting diseases.
We generally relate overeating to obesity and control our food intake just to stay slim and trim. But, overeating and frequent/untimely intake of food exerts extra pressure on our digestive system and our digestive juices just cannot handle such intakes, leading to non-absorption of required nutrients and reduced immunity level. Therefore, for scaling up our immunity levels, taking the correct quantity of quality food, in a timely manner is important.
Some healthy drinks were suggested for us to try, which will also help build up immunity to fight Coronavirus, like:
- Buttermilk with crushed ginger, curry leaves, gooseberry and lemon juice;
- Warm and diluted milk with a bit of turmeric powder once or twice a day; and
- Hot “Dry ginger coffee” (Chukku Kappi) once or twice a day.
Our body should be kept hydrated by drinking lots of water – at least two litres a day – preferably, boiled and cooled water, but not cold. Medicinal herbs or spices such as Basil (Tulsi) leaves, dry ginger, coriander, Ajwain (Carom seeds/Ayamodakam), Mint/Oregano leaves (Panikoorkka), Jeera etc. are good for the body and any of these can be added while boiling the water.
(The author is Director (Retd), Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India, Delhi. Views expressed are the author’s own.)