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COVID-19: The 5 things to protect yourself.

With no definitive cure in sight for this infectious disease, the internet and various social media platforms are flooded with make-believe cures. Hence, instead of panicking and falling for fraud remedies and claims, it is time to focus on building your immunity and boosting your health.

While practicing basic hygiene is a necessity, it is also important to support your immune system to function properly. We list down some of the most potent anti-viral food items that you must include in your diet to boost your immune system and protect your body against infectious disease.

1. Garlic – Loaded with a compound known as allicin, the humble garlic is said to have the potential to ward off infections from within when consumed on a regular basis. For the uninitiated, allicin is a compound which is thought to fight viruses and boost immunity. It is formed when a clove of garlic is either chewed, crushed or chopped. Allicin is the same compound which gives garlic its unique odour.

You can take two cloves of garlic and consume them with warm water every day or make it a part of your daily meal by adding it to soups and hot stews for added flavor.

2. Cinnamon – Yes, this fragrant spice can do a lot more than just adding exotic flavour to your favourite delicacies. A preliminary study conducted by Touro College in New York found that cinnamon may contain antiviral properties. In addition to its proven ability to regulate blood pressure, as per these findings of the research, cinnamon may also protect the body against viral infections. You can simply soak a cinnamon stick in water overnight and drink it the next morning. In addition to cinnamon-infused water, you can add a pinch of the aromatic spice to your morning cup of tea or coffee for an enhanced flavour and a host of health benefits.

3. Yogurt-Probiotic is one of the main ingredients in yoghurt, which is said to lessen the impact of respiratory infections caused by the influenza virus. Moreover, according to research published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), probiotic consumption also appears to be a feasible way to decrease the incidence of RTIs (respiratory tract infections) in children.

Since it is available in various flavours, you can choose to eat it in the morning to prep yourself for the day. You can also swap your dessert with your choice or yoghurt, as it makes for a delicious yet healthy delicacy to finish off your meal.

4. Mushrooms – Shiitake mushroom to be precise are packed with beta-glucans which are known to be antiviral and antibacterial compounds. They not only help in giving a kickstart to your immunity but also appear to subside inflammation. You can enjoy stir-fried shiitake mushrooms by thinly slicing the mushroom caps and sauteeing in coconut oil.

5. Liquorice root (Mulethi) – Also known as Mulethi in Hindi, liquorice root has been used widely in traditional Chinese remedy from time immemorial. Infact, according to a paper published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the active compounds found in liquorice root “may possess many pharmacological activities, such as antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antitumor and other activities.” More often than not, liquorice can also be used to soothe sore throat and cough due to its antitussive and expectorant properties. You can simply boil mulethi in water and sip the concoction. You can also use this mulethi water to make yourself a cup of liquorice tea if you feel that you are coming down with a cold.