Lavleen Kaur (Photo Credit: File)
As corona-virus cases keep increasing every day, we feel more threatened about catching the virus. We find ourselves asking if increasing immunity level really help fight the virus. The answer is yes! Our immune system is responsible for fighting against diseases once they enter our body. Even though there is no proven cure for the virus yet, a healthy immune system means we’ll effectively be able to fight the virus even after exposure.
Aside from elders, we know that people with weak immune system due to various health problems are very vulnerable to the virus. These include people with weak lungs, breathing problems, diabetes, high blood pressure levels, obesity etc. The only way to stay precautious is to stay indoors and work towards building our immune system.
So how can we boost our immunity?
The internet is filled with advice on how to “boost” our immunity from eating Vitamin C to essential oils. With all this advice on what to eat, how can we know if any of these recommendations really work? “Immunity is not a one-dimensional concept. It cannot be built only by focusing on diet. It is a two-fold concept which includes diet as well as lifestyle”, says Lavleen Kaur, a leading dietitian and lifestyle coach.
Immune-boosting food items to add to your diet
Vitamin C If you enter a supermarket, you might see that the section of Vitamin C supplements is almost empty. That’s because vitamin C is an essential nutrition needed to boost immunity. It helps white blood cells function smoothly and fight against infections. Many prefer to take supplements in order to acquire this nutrition that our body needs but they forget that it can be easily found in our daily food. Our body does not produce this vitamin and therefore we should focus on eating rich vitamin C food. It can found in oranges, amla, bell peppers and spinach.
Zinc is another mineral that is often added into supplements because of its crucial role in boosting immunity. Lack of zinc means people are more likely to catch the flu and other viruses. Nuts and seeds are a great source of zinc. It is also present in milk and other dairy products. Vegetables like mushrooms, green peas, broccoli and spinach are also rich in zinc.
Herbs and spices
Turmeric: It is a spice that is commonly used in the Indian Kitchen. Not only does it add flavor to our Indian cuisine, it contains curcumin in it which has anti-viral properties. Curcumin helps enhance our immune system.
Black pepper: It includes anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This helps enhance and boost our immunity.
Ginger: Ginger root is anti-microbial in nature which helps in decreasing inflammation. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which keep our immune system healthy.
Other beneficial spices available in every Indian kitchen are cinnamon, star anise, cloves and green cardamom. As dietitian Lavleen says “Indian Kitchen is a complete pharmacy in itself.”
Probiotics are microorganism found in our digestive system. These are “good bacteria’s” that are essential for our bodily function. Fermented food items: These include food items like curd, cottage cheese (paneer), pickles, buttermilk, kaanji, dhokla etc. South Indian food items like idli, appam, uttapam are all examples of fermented foods.
Healthy fats Nuts and seeds: Sunflower seeds, walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds are very rich in healthy fats. They are rich in antioxidants which help boost immunity. Desi Ghee: It is known for its multiple benefits like strengthening of bones, improving digestion and balancing hormones. However, including it in your daily diet will do wonders for boosting your immunity level.
To boost immunity, it is important to include essential fatty acids in our regular diet. They increase the count of white blood cells, which help fight the invasion of dangerous infections into our body.
Immunity-booster tea (special recipe) Here is an instant recipe for herbal tea which includes all the natural immunity booster ingredients you will need