A New Food Plan To Reset Your Gut And Immunity
Delhi’s top nutritionist Ishi Khosla will share a daily plan with you so you can fight back infections easily
The food plan that I am about to share with you, starting tomorrow, will be geared towards boosting your immunity. It will help you be stronger and more resilient. You will find there are happy benefits of this—your blood sugar may get stable and you will also end up losing a few kilos. What’s more, you will flatten your belly and, your skin will begin to glow! The plan will include foods that will fight inflammation in your body and reset the overall functioning of your digestive system.
The digestive system in our body is where the immune system resides—more than 2/3rd or 80 percent of it resides in the gut, hence the gut is critical in boosting your immunity. Plus there are important nutrients—certain vitamins and minerals—that are important in gearing up your immune system. We know that vitamins C, B12 and zinc are very important in this respect. Vitamin D also has a lot to do with immunity and gut-function.
We will make sure your diet is essentially light: whatever you eat should be easy to digest. It’s common sense that when you are not well you need foods that are easy to digest, rather than complicated, highly-processed, heavy foods. Since we are trying to heal your gut and streamline your digestive system, your food needs to be simple, light but tasty. Yet, light does not mean low-fat or without fats. It just means you should avoid eating toxic fats and opt for “good” fats. These include desi ghee, virgin coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, mustard oil and sesame oil—so all of these will be integral to the diet. Snacking on healthy nuts such as walnuts and almonds, will also add to your good fats.
The other noteworthy foods we will include are grains. We know that millets and rice-based meals are easier to digest, compared to wheat. Since many people have been diagnosed with wheat sensitivity in recent times, we need to be careful. Inflammatory grains can hurt the immune system, hence we will incorporate millets and unpolished rice rather than wheat-based grains. I recommend millets such as bajra, jowar and ragi instead of wheat for you. You can also try new grains like quinoa that is grown in India currently. Make sure you avoid animal protein and dairy protein in excess, as they too can cause inflammation in the body.
So while basic routines in breakfast that are essential for everybody are, proteins, fats and complex carbs, vegetables and fruits also complement them. But what you eat should be based on individual needs—depending on your health condition, body weight and activity levels.
Plan-based diets are the healthiest, hence fruits and vegetables are a given in this food plan—everyone of you need to take them daily. And you already know that five to nine servings of them are ideal. This means one to two fruits a day are best, because too many fruits aren’t good for you. We have made a checklist for protective foods, including vegetables in the plan, so try to follow it as much as possible. Try to eat one carrot, one cucumber and one tomato or its equivalent daily. Then one lemon or one amla daily (or both amla and lemon if you can manage it), one seasonal green every day or, one seasonal fruit every day and a handful of nuts, seeds or channa.
If you like to eat egg, meat, fish or poultry I suggest you limit them to once a day and avoid processed meats as much as possible. Make sure you avoid excess tea, coffee and alcohol. It is prudent to avoid commercially prepared fried foods, bakery products and sugar. And do not forget to drink plenty of fluids and at least 7 to 8 glasses of water through the day.
Look out for the food plan starting tomorrow!