Fighting inflammation is important when it comes to handling not just Covid-19 induced illness but also other infections says Dr Shikha Nehru Sharma
The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed millions of lives since its outbreak and even after a year there is a lot about the virus that specialists are uncovering each day.
An important aspect of the problem brought on by the virus is that of a Cytokine Storm — an acute inflammation storm. This storm is generally witnessed due to the body’s defence mechanism where it tries to fight off the virus. Understanding how inflammation in the body can be managed and what can be done to prevent it can have a positive effect on overall health of individuals.
To better understand what dietary habits can be curbed to fight inflammation in the body Dr Shikha Nehru Sharma, Founder and Managing Director Nutriwel Health shares her thoughtful insights.
“In the Covid -19 crisis, the body’s immune system waged a war with itself by overstimulating the cells responsible for killing the virus and the body experienced dangerous blood clots forming everywhere inside the body, blocking blood supply and oxygen” says Dr Shikha.
Even in normal days people’s bodies suffer from inflammation that can be caused by poor lifestyle choices especially because of a poor diet. “Ready to eat, packaged foods have a cocktail of chemicals, fat emulsifiers, flour improvers, artificial sweeteners, stabilizers, carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate-80. These common emulsifiers are also used extensively in the bakery industry. Which means that we eat them in small quantities every day” says Dr Shikha.
Further she points to the researches in Israel and USA that found that when we eat foods which have these chemicals, they alter the gut ecosystem adversely and lead to dangerous changes which put us at risk of diseases due to the damage to the Intestinal Immunity.
To reduce inflammation Dr Shikha recommends the use of foods like Tomato which contains Lycopene that reduces inflammation by downregulation of cytokines, Cherries, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Avocado and Turmeric and Black pepper that contain curcuminoids which can be regarded as natural , safe and effective CR P-lowering agents. She also advises staying away from packaged and refined foods like break, maida, sooji, biscuits, kulcha, puri, fast foods and sugary drinks as they cause inflammation in the body.
Other foods that should not be overlooked when it comes to fighting inflammation are Coconut in all forms, Coconut chunks as snacks , coconut oil in cooking, Cruciferous Vegetables like Cauliflower, Broccoli, Leafy Vegetables like spinach, Karela as a vegetable.
Apart from fighting inflammation certains foods can also be consumed to lower the risk of infections like the black fungus. Such foods not only help in preventing infections but are also helpful in the recovery process.
Some of the foods Dr Shikha recommends for helping against infections are Ashwagandha 7 capsule twice a day with water, ginger 2 ml in a decoction with pepper and cinnamon, Turmeric a pinch per person per day in soups, or as a capsule. 7 pods of garlic per day with water, Lemon Grass Can be taken as a lemon grass tea or in soups and Neem Capsule 7 capsule twice a day.
She also recommends making changes to lifestyle like ensuring you take 5000 steps everyday, practise yoga and perform the Surya Namaskar which helps in stretching the body ensuring good blood flow.