Individual responsibility to battle corona

Dr Gracedalyne Rose Shylla Passah, Priya Longjam, Shimpam Ngashangva and Rinchuiphi Rino
Contd from prev issue
Colocasia: a high level of vitamin A, vitamin C, and various other phenolic antioxidant found in taro roots, rhizome and leaves boost our immune system.
Chayote (squash): chayote is an excellent source of vitamin C which is well known for its immune system benefits.
·All seasonal vegetables and spices such as green beans, leeks, chives, lemon basil, broccoli, corn, roselle, sponge gourd, bottle gourd, fox nut (thangjing), ladies finger, cucumber, garlic ginger, onion, cilantro, bitter eggplant, pea eggplant, perilla seeds, black sesame seeds, mustard seeds, pumpkin seeds are rich sources of multiple micronutrients and antioxidants that aid in immune function, regulate gut microbiota and reduce inflammation.
·Every part of banana is packed with nutrition and health benefits.
Banana fruit: bananas are respectable source of vitamin C. It also contains rich amount of vitamin B6 and B12, as well as magnesium and potassium, which can aid our immune system, assist from red blood cells, ensure a well functioning nervous system and help protein metabolism.
Banana plant pseudo stem:   The juice of the banana stem helps in flushing out toxins from the body. It is one of the most effective ways to cleanse the system from ailments.
Banana blossom (Musaceae): it represents a valuable source of potassium, vitamin A, Vitamin E, minerals, flavonoids, essential and non essential aminio acid, tannins and steroids. It is a good source of antioxidant.
·Curd, fermented bamboo shoot (shoibum), fermented soybean (hawaijar) are rich source of many nutrients, improves gut health by regulating gut bacteria; aids immune function and reduces inflammation
·Legumes (fava beans, winged beans, lima beans, chickpea, soybeans, kidney beans, mung beans, green gram, black gram, lentils, urad dal (sagol hawai) and peas) provide many nutrients such as protein, fiber, iron and Zinc.
·Millets are good sources of multiple micronutrients and fibre( finger millets, barnyard millets, job’s tear)
·Flesh foods provide many nutrients including iron, zinc and essential amino acids
·Fish are rich sources of protein, vitamin A, Vitamin E and essential fatty acids
It is prudent to obtain these nutrients through a good balanced diet. But two important points are to be noted – firstly, though deficiency of one or more of these nutrients can increase the frequency and severity of infections, supplementation of nutrients among healthy (not deficient) population does not confer any additional benefit; secondly, some of these nutrients in excess can increase susceptibility to infections. Therefore, a balanced diet is the key!
In conclusion, there is no single mantra or magic bullet or vitamin or specific herb or supplements or nutraceuticals that gives one a full-proof immune boost. It is complex and more study may be conducted. Adapting a healthy lifestyle is one way to support and boost the immune system.
The authors are the faculty and PG students from the Department of Allied Health Sciences of Martin Luther Christian University, Shillong, Meghalaya.