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COVID-19: 6 anti-viral foods to boost your immunity

By Dr Pramod Tripathi
March 17, 2020 10:10 IST

One of the ways to stop the deadly virus from spreading is to improve your immunity to fight infections, says Dr Pramod Tripathi.

Ginger and turmeric are great to boost your immunity

IMAGE: Ginger and turmeric will help you fight common cold and respiratory diseases. Photograph: Courtesy Pixabay.com

There has been an outbreak of Coronavirus, a large family of diseases that causes illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.

The number of patients is rapidly increasing day by day and currently there are no clinical treatments or prevention strategies available. 

The best way to stay safe is to follow the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization.

To fight the virus from spreading, it is important to prevent infections and build your immunity.

Here are some foods that will help you boost your immunity.

1. Ginger and Garlic

Besides solving gastric problems and helping keep your stomach clean and free from infections, both garlic and ginger are powerful against viruses.

You can switch to ginger tea or add a paste of ginger and garlic to your stir-fried curries and soups.

2. Star anise

This flower-shaped spice contains shikimic acid that is used as a base material for the production of tamiflu, which is used for influenza virus.

You can grind it well or add it whole while making curries, soups or broths.

3. Herbs

Herbs such as oregano, tulsi (holy basil leaves), dried thyme and turmeric have antiseptic properties which are great for building your immunity.

Consume a few leaves of tulsi or oregano to fight common cold, sore throat, cough and flu.

You can also have a warm glass of turmeric milk before going to sleep.

4. Coconut oil

There is reason why ancestors believed in the magic of coconut oil to cure ailments.

Lauric acid and caprylic acid present in coconut oil are essential for boosting immunity. 

5. Resveratrol

Foods rich in resveratrol such as peanuts, pistachios, grapes, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries and even cocoa and dark chocolate are helpful to fight fungal infection, ultraviolet radiation, stress and injuries.

6. Vitamin-C rich foods

Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant that also enhances how your body cells function. Lack of vitamin C makes you susceptible to infections.

Include amla, red peppers, yellow peppers and Vitamin-C supplements in your diet.

If you have symptoms such as fever, cough/dry cough, tiredness, body aches, nasal congestion, shortness of breath and so on, follow the tips below - 

  • Don't consume raw vegetables. Instead, have steamed veggies as salad.
  • Wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly before consuming them.
  • Stop long fasting and feasting on juices.
  • If possible, soak vegetables in one tsp of salt and turmeric for half an hour before cooking or eating them.


Dr Pramod Tripathi is a nutritionist and founder of Freedom from Diabetes, a change making community that is trying to reverse type 2 diabetes in Maharashtra. He can be contacted on ga@rediff-inc.com.


Dr Pramod Tripathi
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