Power your gut, keep diet alkaline to fight virus

Ishi Khosla

Our immunity is the special force that protects us from diseases and almost two-thirds of it resides in the gut. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

Some simple common sense can help guard against coronavirus. While a healthy diet is important, addressing digestion and gut health — the ground zero of immune defence — is critical. Our immunity is the special force that protects us from diseases and almost two-thirds of it resides in the gut. To fight any virus, one needs to provide the macrophages (defence cells) of our body with energy through ‘butyrate’. Found in traditional fats such as butter and desi ghee, butyrate helps rebuild the inside lining of the gut.

To strength our body’s defence forces, we can also follow some other simple measures

1. Eat a wide variety of foods, including root vegetables. Certain fibres present in psyllium husk, sweet potato and other tubers act as prebiotics, promoting the growth of good bacteria in the gut. A diverse range of colourful fruits and vegetables provide disease-fighting phytonutrients to the body. Fermented foods such as kanji, kefir, kombucha, and chhach also provide a medium for growth of good bacteria in the gut.

2. Consume high-quality pro-biotics. Oil pulling, traditional practice with virgin coconut oil or cold-pressed mustard oil, helps improve gut flora naturally.

3. Focus on boosting your body’s Vitamin C, D, B-complex, and zinc levels. Some preliminary research indicates that Vitamin D may be more effective than flu vaccine in flu prevention. Use supplements only after consulting a qualified professional.

4. Stick to an alkaline diet. Coronavirus survives comfortably at a pH level of 6.0, which is slightly acidic. However, some research suggests that the virus cannot survive in an alkaline state, even as low as 8.0. (A pH of 7.0 is considered neutral). To make your diet alkaline include plenty of fresh fruits, coconut water and vegetables. Avoid excess dairy, meats and sugar.

5. Include fresh garlic, organic honey, black pepper, ginger, basil (tulsi), cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, gilloy, fenugreek seeds and amla in your diet.

6. Drink plenty of fluids, including water and warm soups, to prevent dehydration.

7. Avoid excess sugar, caffeine, processed foods, GMO foods, and chemical additives, excessive alcohol and smoking.

8. Avoid excessive exercise, it can damage gut integrity. Moderate exercise, yoga and meditation are useful adjuncts to a healthy diet