Health has captured the imagination of the Indian populace like never before. Diets are not just a passing fad anymore; they are being followed diligently by an ever-growing number of health enthusiasts. But while dieting has become a norm in every nook and corner of the Indian society, perhaps more so in the metropolitan hubs, doubts still linger in people’s consciousness regarding the right diet.
Unfortunately for the uninitiated, the multitude of diets strewn across by genuine health experts and self-proclaimed bogus experts leads to confusion. So, it is imperative to choose a diet that suits an individual’s needs. Times have changed, and so has the perception of the negative and positive impacts of different foods. What was once considered healthy might not be considered as such today. Read the article for a detailed account of the Indian diet that works in 2021 for immunity and weight loss plan.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the importance of a robust immune system. The statistics paint a clear picture of the role of a robust immune system in the survival of those afflicted with the disease. Not surprisingly, weight loss is also connected with the immune system’s effectiveness to ward off any infections. It has been long known that obesity leads to several health issues, including weakening the immune system. A diet that can help you lose weight while simultaneously strengthening the immune system is the need of the hour. In a country that is plagued by the devastating effects of the coronavirus and increasing rate of obesity, a diet plan for weight loss and improving immunity is of utmost necessity.
The idea of dieting sounds enticing, but it is far from a cakewalk. Starting a diet journey can be easy but maintaining consistency is a whole different ball game.
While many Indians look towards the west and new trendy diets, traditional Indian diets can be a very well balanced diet when properly cooked. This diet can assist in weight loss, while the myriad spices and herbs commonly found in Indian kitchens and meals have been known for their immune-boosting properties since ancient times. The fresh herbs and vibrant spices used widely in Indian cuisine are nutritional powerhouses that have the potential to boost the immune system and fight off various diseases. The traditional Indian plant-based diet helps prevent several chronic diseases and helps in losing weight.
The first thought that pops into anyone’s mind while losing weight or gaining it is a healthy diet plan. The same goes for strengthening the immune system. Many people even experiment with extreme diets such as keto. While there is no denying that diet plays a crucial role in boosting immunity and losing weight, other factors also contribute to achieving these goals. The best way to lose weight and to strengthen the immune system is a combination of a balanced diet, workout and adequate sleep.
There are foods that help in losing weight, and then there are foods that improve the immune system. There are also several types of food that help in both weight loss and strengthen your immunity. Let’s look at some of the foods that help build immunity powers and help lose weight.
The year 2020 saw the COVID-19 pandemic sweep across the globe and wreak havoc. The world, as we know it, will never be the same again. This pandemic has brought to our attention with renewed vigour, the importance of a healthy immune system. We cannot be completely immune to all diseases, including the COVID-19. Still, we can certainly boost our immunity to provide our body with enough strength to fight off any invasion by harmful microorganisms.
Vitamin C is known for its infection-fighting properties; hence, health experts advise most people to consume high amounts of vitamin C when down with a cold. Although there is no evidence yet that vitamin C can protect against the coronavirus, its immunity-boosting properties could help the body fight any attacks.
Your body requires a daily dose of vitamin C since it doesn’t produce or store it. Consume fruits rich in vitamin C regularly to strengthen your immune system and fight off diseases. Some of the most popular vitamin C rich fruits are:
Berries are rich in antioxidants, fibre and many other nutrients. Berries are good for the skin; they may help lower cholesterol level, help fight inflammation, and improve blood sugar and insulin response. The most popular types of berries are:
Indian Ayurvedic herbs and spices have been known for their healing properties and immune-boosting powers since ancient times. These herbs and spices are commonly found in Indian kitchens and are part of the daily diet. Whole fresh herbs and spices not only strengthen the immunity but is also an excellent way of making dishes taste better. These herbs and spices are also safe to consume and are readily available, making them an excellent source for boosting immunity.
Some of the most common herbs and spices used in Indian cuisine are:
Garlic has incredible infection-fighting properties. For centuries, it has been used as a food ingredient and medicine. Garlic can help the body fight cold, flu and also prevent heart disease. Not only does garlic reduce the risk of falling ill, but it also reduces the duration that one stays ill. The way garlic is prepared can change its beneficial properties. Cooking it for long could reduce its beneficial effects.
Ginger is another herb that is extensively used during the flu season. It reduces inflammation, nausea, sore throat, and it could also lower cholesterol. Ginger is commonly used in Indian cuisines; it can also be eaten raw or added to tea.
Turmeric is one of the most commonly used remedies in traditional Indian cuisine as well as medicines. It is often used to treat wounds and even added to milk to boost immunity. It is used in almost all Indian dishes. Its roots and leaves are known to have anti-bacterial properties. It helps in relieving joint pains, liver problems and arthritis pain. And it is also good for the skin and has cancer-fighting properties.
There are several other spices like cinnamon and black pepper that help strengthen the immune system.
Doctors often advise the inclusion of leafy vegetables in the daily diet for optimal health. Dark green leafy vegetables are a reservoir of nutrients and have the properties to fight several diseases and improve immunity. You can include the following leafy vegetables to your daily diet:
There is a reason why Broccoli is known as one of the healthiest vegetables; it is packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. But to ensure that you get all the benefits of this super-healthy green vegetable, you must cook it as little as possible.
Spinach is a rich source of vitamin C, beta carotene and antioxidants. There are several ways to cook spinach, and it can also be added to other dishes. The best way to eat it with all its nutrients intact is to cook it as little as possible.
While there are several types of healthy tea, including black tea, green tea is often considered the healthiest tea version. Green tea is packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. The high amount of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a powerful antioxidant, is what makes green tea so unique. This antioxidant is known to strengthen the immune system.
A low-carb diet, as the name suggests, is a diet that limits the intake of carbohydrates. This diet plan focuses more on the consumption of protein and fat. Studies have shown that the low-carb diet for weight loss can cause weight loss and also improve health. There are many low-carb diets out there, but before you choose any, please consult with a doctor, especially if you suffer from diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
The reasons for a low-carb diet are:
A low-carb diet usually stresses on consuming the following foods:
It also means limiting or avoiding:
While limiting carbohydrate content can be good for the heath, extreme carbohydrate reduction can cause severe reactions. It is important to note that a low-carb diet is followed with advice from a doctor and does not try to avoid it altogether.
If you get the occasional hunger pangs between meals, try out some healthy snacks:
It is always wise to be mindful of what you are eating. Eating a low-carb might also have some side effects. Be careful of the choice of protein and fats and do not try to go to extreme lengths to avoid carbs. And, always consult your doctor before trying any new diet plan.
Exercising and consuming food that assists in weight loss alone cannot help you achieve your weight loss goals. To see good results, you must stay away from foods that can increase your weight and cause other health issues. Avoid these foods if you wish to lose weight:
Sugar is widely considered to be one of the unhealthiest additions to any food. In low to moderate levels, it still doesn’t cause much damage to your health, but if you have a high amount of it on a regular basis, it could be extremely harmful to your health. Sugar is found in many foods and beverages all around us, so avoiding it can be a little tricky.
Sugar-sweetened beverages are amongst the prime reasons for unhealthy weight gain. To achieve your weight loss goals, you must either considerably reduce your sugar intake or altogether avoid it.
Fried potatoes, potato chips and french fries are incredibly high in calories and are responsible for unhealthy weight gain. Potato on its own is not harmful; it depends on how you cook it. Instead of frying it, try boiling it next time.
Junk foods are very high in calories and provide little nutritional value. They are usually fried, made from refined flour, high in processed meat, and also contain high amounts of sugar. Pizzas and burgers are perhaps two of the most popular types of junk food.
If you wish to eat them, but avoid its harmful effects, try making them at home with healthy ingredients.
Ice creams are delicious and hard to ignore, and while occasionally indulging in them will not cause much harm to your health, regular consumption can. It is very high in calories and more often than not is high in sugar.
It is easy not to notice the amount one has consumed and thereby this leads to weight gain.
Try healthier versions of ice cream instead.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of a robust immune system. Weight loss is also closely associated with immunity since being overweight could weaken the immune system and increase the risk of falling ill to diseases. While there are many ways to strengthen your immune system such as exercising, perhaps the best way to do it is through a proper diet. This article has taken a look at the only Indian diet that works in 2021 for immunity and weight loss. An ideal diet plan for weight includes a lot of healthy whole grains, vegetables and fruits. A low carb diet plan is also effective in the weight loss plan. If you wish to improve your immune system and ward off diseases, you might want to follow a comprehensive diet plan and follow it consistently.
Devi Gajendran is a Post Graduate in Nutrition (University of Madras, Tamil Nadu) and has tons of experience in Fitness and Nutrition. She is the chief advisor and full time contributor at the Fit Indian and has the final say on all the segments under the Fit Indian paradigm, such as beauty, fitness, home remedies, diseases, diet tips, weight loss, weight gain and so on. A foodie herself, she believes in the Hippocrates quote,” Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” A fitness enthusiast, she believes that the combination of diet and exercise can work wonders. When she is not sharing her valuable knowledge about food and fitness, she likes to spend quality time with her family members, do some healthy baking and listen to soft soulful music.