As the weather changes, you might have noticed that all your health concerns just flare-up. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, normal cold, flu, and many such infections have started increasing gradually. At such times, it is vital to prevent the spread of such infections.
The saying, "prevention is better than cure", makes boosting our immune system more important now than ever!
Interestingly, a majority of Indian kitchens are filled with immunity-boosting ingredients that just need to be explored by you. So let us begin the journey to exploring immunity-boosting foods easily available in India kitchens. Here you go!
The yellow-colored Indian spice is the star of every Indian spice box. Right from healing wounds to curing dangerous internal diseases like cancer, turmeric is known to cure almost anything, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Additionally, turmeric helps in boosting immunity.
Effective Ways to Consume Turmeric:
- Mix it in a glass of hot milk and have it daily
- Mix it with lemon and water, have it like a healthy drink
Tulsi (Holy Basil)
Tulsi does wonders, acts as a natural immunity booster, and keeps infections at bay. The holy basil leaves extract increases the T helper cells and natural killer cells activity, boosting the immune system.
Effective Ways to Consume Tulsi:
- Consume Tulsi leaves directly
- Add it in tea and/or green tea while brewing
- Add it in kadha (an Ayurvedic drink) while brewing
Garlic contains a compound called alliin that helps the immune system fight germs. Studies suggest that garlic must be chewed, crushed, or sliced to produce allicin, which is thought to give garlic its immune-boosting properties.
Effective Ways to Consume Garlic:
- Garlic works best if raw garlic is eaten on an empty stomach
- Garlic must be properly crushed or chopped and used in various dishes
Yogurt is not only rich in nutrients but also is known to boost your immune system. Yogurt contains probiotics (good bacteria) that help improve the immune system's initial rapid response by increasing the activity of cells that ingest harmful particles.
Effective Ways to Consume Yogurt:
- Enjoy plain yogurt as it is
- Use it in salad dressings
- Mix yogurt with a little water and some sugar/salt and enjoy the tasty drink Lassi/ buttermilk
Every Indian home has a bottle full of jaggery (gur) stored in its kitchen. The natural sweet ingredient is a rich source of zinc and selenium that help in preventing free-radical damage caused by oxidative stress. Additionally, jaggery is rich in minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients, that help in keeping the body warm and boost immunity.
- You can eat jaggery after meals daily to improve your digestion as well
- Jaggery can be added in hot milk, tea, and/or desserts
- You can also consume jaggery turmeric together, it helps clear the throat
Along with these immunity-boosting foods, other fruits and vegetables must be consumed in the day-to-day diet. Moreover, it is important to stay hydrated, exercise daily for at least 20 to 30 minutes, have a proper 7-8 hour sleep, and distress yourself by meditating, practicing yoga, and so on.
To win the battle against COVID it is important to take care of yourself by staying indoors, practicing COVID-appropriate behavior, and consuming-immunity boosting foods.
Stay Healthy. Stay Safe!