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10 super foods to boost your immunity

September 25, 2020 12:39 IST
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Nutritionist Dr Siddhant Bhargava explains the importance of essential nutrients, probiotic food and vitamin C in your daily diet.

IMAGE: Begin your day with ginger tea. Include honey in your daily diet. Photograph: Kind courtesy

As the pandemic continues to spread at an alarming rate with cases soaring each passing day, it is quite reasonable for one to wonder how to prevent oneself from falling prey to the virus.

While following a wholesome diet is the first step and the foremost line of defense you can take to fortify your immunity, you can consider speeding up the process with certain edibles that are rich in immunity-boosting properties.

Although consuming these foods might not directly prevent you from contracting the flu or other infections, these will definitely help in mitigating the viral symptoms.

1. Ginger tea

When it comes to treating a common cold, ginger is considered to be one of the most effective foods offering relief.

Ginger root is known for its therapeutic purposes, due to its rich nutritive properties.

Various Ayurvedic medicines make use of ginger as a primary ingredient owing to the presence of Gingerol, an active component that is responsible to make ginger a perfect immunity enhancer.

Packed with powerful anti-bacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory compounds, ginger targets sour throat, stuffy noses and keeps viruses from binding to cells in the mucus membranes. This helps in combating bouts of cold and flu.

Sipping over tea that is made from this super-food may also aid in lowering down and steadying the cholesterol levels.

2. Chicken soup

This edible is considered to be a staple for battling cold and flu.

A hot cup of chicken soup has an anti-inflammatory effect which helps to calm down swelling in the upper respiratory tract that usually occurs when you contract a cold. Furthermore, the soup also aids in getting relief from nasal congestion.

3. Oranges

A powerhouse of vitamin C, this fruit is a vital nutrient when you are feeling under the weather.

Several studies have proved that Vitamin C is beneficial in averting the chances of contracting a common cold for people exposed to illness-inducing surroundings, such as cold weather, and can aid in lowering the length and severity of a cold.

4. Garlic

This wonder food has managed to build for itself a reputation for being one of the most exceptional cold-curing foods.

Garlic encompasses a host of essential vitamins and minerals that are important to nurture the immune system.

It also has a compound called allicin, which proves to be a powerful weapon to battle against bacteria and viruses.

A chief ingredient in most recipes like curries, salad dressings and dips, garlic can even be consumed in its raw form, garlic will help restore your immunity.

5. Spinach

This super-food is great for your holistic health.

It is packed with fibres that regulate the process of digestion and also comprises vitamin C.

6. Almonds

These nuts are rich in vitamin E, which helps to strengthen the immune system.

Almonds also comprise of zinc, a mineral that is associated with contracting fewer colds and speedier recoveries.

These nuts are packed with proteins, fibres and healthy fats which ensure to keep you feeling full till it is time for your next meal.

You can further enhance its taste by tossing them into salads, homemade granola bars or trail mix.

7. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are packed with selenium, a mineral that shelters the body from contagions as well as other nutrients like zinc and vitamins B and D.

Add them to your eggs, salads, sandwiches or curries or just roast them on their own as a simple side dish for them to effortlessly enhance your immune levels.

8. Raw honey

Honey in its natural form not only tastes delightful but can also benefit in soothing signs of an approaching cold.

It is advantageous in releasing uncomfortable and prickly throats. Additionally, honey also acts as an antibacterial, that kills all the germs present in the body that are responsible for making your body prone to falling sick.

9. Fennel seeds

Fennel has a multitude of calming effects that can benefit in offering one relief from flu-like symptoms.

It also acts as a calming mechanism for those suffering from ailments like flu, runny nose, conjunctivitis, diarrhea, stomach discomfort owing to its copiousness of phytochemicals that act as antioxidants.

This super food fennel comprises flavonoids that act as anti-inflammatory agents.

10. Probiotics

Healthy human intestines tend to brace about ten trillion microorganisms which not only break down food particles, but also hazardous bacteria, germs, harmful viruses and fungi.

Maintaining healthy bacteria stability in your gut helps to thwart pathogens from inflowing into the bloodstream.

To enable this process, you must try and fill in your diet with rich sources of probiotics like yogurt, kefir; milk comprising of probiotics, like buttermilk, cultured vegetables which include kimchi; miso; kombucha; soft cheeses, brine cured sour pickles or olives and sourdough bread.

Apart from the above-mentioned edibles that do wonders to your immune system, water is equally indispensable for upholding colon health -- the most significant pathway for the removal of harmful toxins and waste.

If toxins are permitted to amass in the colon, beneficial bacteria will die off and unwholesome microorganisms will cultivate. This will make your body susceptible to illness.

The best part of how nutrition can lend a helping hand in boosting your immune system is that we have total control over what is exactly going in our bodies.

By merging a nourishing diet with other precautionary measures, you will be bestowing your immune system everything it desires to keep you well and restored.

Dr Siddhant Bhargava is a fitness and nutritional scientist and co-founder of Food Darzee.

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