Stay home, Stay healthy
Updated: Feb 10
As it is known to most of us Health is defined as “A state of complete physical, mental and social well – being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" by the WHO.
And in times like these where we are practicing social distancing due to the COVID – 19 pandemic, looking after our physical and mental health becomes even more necessary. When we talk about health, our diets have a very important role to play and now, more than ever, that we have enough time, we can utilize it in incorporating small changes in our diets that will help us fight diseases and make us healthier. So here I am sharing a few of my ‘go-to’ and favorite ingredients and recipes, hoping to help people shift towards a healthier lifestyle. • Some foods that help boost immunity: 1. Citrus – Fruits Like orange, kiwi, tomato and many other citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C which helps in the production of many important antibodies and also helps to stimulate and produce WBC and therefore is important for our immune system. 2.Garlic – It has many antimicrobial and antiviral properties and is said to be a very common yet important ingredient to boost immunity and cure the flu. 3. Sunflower seeds (chironji) : Incorporating sunflower seeds in our diet is small but significant. Sunflower seeds are a good source of many essential vitamins and minerals, two of which are zinc and selenium. Zinc is important in maintaining the proper functioning of our immune cells. It also acts as an antioxidant. Selenium not only helps in improving immunity but also is important for one’s mental health. (Help prevent neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's) 4. Turmeric – It has curcumin. A study shows that it helps in activating the production of T cells, which are a very important part of our immune system. 5. Ginger (in the form of ginger tea), spinach and mushrooms are also said to help with immunity.
Breakfast is considered to be the most important meal of the day, so here are a few combinations of foods that are beneficial on an empty stomach: 1.Orange and milk – Eat an orange and after 15 to 20 minutes, drink a glass of milk. Vitamin C from the orange helps in better absorption of the calcium present in milk. 2. Curd and flax seeds – In a bowl of curd and about 1 tablespoon of powdered flaxseeds and eat it for breakfast. It is said to reduce the risk of disease, increases satiety. Flax seeds are rich sources of fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. 3.Anjeer and munakka (dried figs and dried grapes/sultana currant) – These can either be soaked in water overnight and consumed in the morning (usually preferred as it does not produce heat in the body) or can be boiled in a glass of milk and consumed. (Produces a bit of heat but can be good for a sour throat) 4.Garlic milk – Boiling 3 to 4 crushed garlic cloves in a glass of milk makes a very beneficial pre-breakfast drink. It is used in Ayurveda, it helps to treat and prevent acne and is also said to prevent bloating.
Finally, some recipes you might want to try at home: 1. KER SANGRI : This one is close to my heart as it finds it’s origin in Rajasthan. It is a typical Marwari dish. It stores well and is usually preferred to carry during the journey but people usually tend to overlook its nutritional values and benefits. Ker has been used as a traditional medicine for centuries. Sangri is rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and iron. There are also saponins in a moderate amount which helps to boost the immune system. It also has ingredients like kumatiya, Gunda and amchur which also have their own benefits.
INGREDIENTS • Mix Panchkuta, 100g • Dried red chilies, 2 • Garlic, 4 to 5 cloves • Hing, a pinch • Turmeric powder, ¼ tsp • Chili powder, 1 ½ tsp • Coriander powder, 1 tsp • Cumin (jeera), ½ tsp • Oil, 4 tbsp
METHOD • Wash the pachkuta and red chilies well and soak it for 3 to 4 hours • Boil the soaked ingredients till they soften • Wash the ingredients again and keep aside • Add oil in a pan, add jeera, hing, and crushed garlic. • Add all the dried spices in a bowl and add some water to make a paste (running consistency) • Add the paste in the pan. • Once the garlic is brown, add the boiled ingredients and mix well on low flame for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.
2. BROCCOLI SOUP: Broccoli is a rich source of folic acid, fiber, vitamin C and K. So for those who do not like to eat broccoli otherwise, chances are you will like this very simple and spicy soup.
INGREDIENTS • Broccoli, 50g • 1 small green chili • Black pepper, a few • Salt to taste • 2 glass water • Cream, 1 tbsp METHOD
• Boil all the ingredients • Cool and grind the contents • Drain out the soup • Add cream and serve hot.
3.AAM PANNA: It is one of my favorite refreshing beverage. It helps in boosting energy levels, helps ease constipation, is good for diabetes patients and improves resistance against bacteria.
INGREDIENTS • 1 small raw mango (totapuri) • Ginger, a cube of an inch • Soaked fennel, 1 tsp • Mint leaves, 1 cup • Cumin powder, 1tsp • Chaat masala / Jal jeera, ½ tsp • Powdered jaggery, 1/3 cup METHOD • Boil raw mango pulp, black pepper, and ginger in a cup of water, till the ingredients soften.
• Cool and grind the contents with jaggery and fennel
• Drain to remove excess pulp.
• Add 2 glass of water
• Coarsely grind mint leaves with a cup of water and add
• Add salt, jeera powder and chat masala, mix well. Serve chilled.
4.GREEN CHUTNEY: Curry leaves are said to be good for the eyesight and hair, while otherwise, we neglect them in our plates, this can be a nice way of consuming a good quantity of them.
INGREDIENTS • Curry leaves, 1 cup • Coriander leaves, 1 cup • Mint leaves, 1 cup • Garlic, 4 cloves
• Ginger, a cube of an inch
• Green chili, 3
• Black salt, ½ tsp
• Lime juice, 1tbsp
• Black pepper powder, a pinch
• Salt to taste
• 2 to 3 tbsp water
Grind all the contents and the chutney is ready to be served.
Do not forget to keep yourselves hydrated. Stay home, stay healthy and most importantly stay happy. - Ms. Meghana J Rajpurohit, Team Parikrama - Nutrition practitioner.