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5 Immunity Boosting Superfoods to Add to Your Diet

June 19 2020
Superfoods to boost your immunity
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You are what you eat.

This saying rightly points out the fact that being healthy starts with eating healthy. We all know a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and essential fats is ideal for a healthy life. Additionally, certain superfoods can augment a balanced diet and support our body’s response to fighting illnesses. These superfoods are a kind of health ammo that strengthen and support our immune system against various ailments.

You don’t need to spend a bomb to buy snake oil or manuka honey to boost immunity. Our list of immunity-boosting foods contains ingredients and items that are readily available in local Indian markets. These are neither expensive nor exotic, but they promise to build your immunity against a wide range of illnesses. While these superfoods don’t guarantee protection from the COVID-19 disease (only hand hygiene and social distancing do!), they can definitely fortify your immunity and help you fight infections in case you do fall sick.

Garlic

Garlic does more than just adding flavour to our Indian curries and vegetable preparations. A key ingredient in most of our pantries, this superfood can help boost the immune system and help fight viral infections. Garlic is especially protective against the flu and common cold. It contains a strong concentration of allicin and other sulfur-containing compounds, which are thought to give garlic its medicinal properties. When garlic is crushed or chewed, its main active ingredient allicin is released. Not only does it reduce your risk of falling ill with the flu, but it also reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms.

How to boost your immunity with garlic: Use peeled, crushed garlic pods to add some zing to your meals.

Citrus fruits

Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits, is considered to be instrumental in increasing white blood cell production in the body. Since white blood cells form an important part of the immune system, they are vital in battling infections. Meeting the daily requirement of Vitamin C—75 mg for women and 90 mg for men—can go a long way in boosting your immunity. This vitamin is also claimed to be an effective treatment for the most frequent infectious disease that we catch in our lives – the common cold. It is said to make cold symptoms less severe and also decrease the duration of the illness.

How to boost your immunity with citrus fruits: Snack on oranges, lemons, kiwis or other citrus fruits between meals.

Yoghurt

The immune system is also involved in keeping the gastrointestinal tract clean and preventing pathogens from entering your bloodstream. This is where the role of yoghurt as an immunity-boosting superfood comes in. Yoghurt supports the immune system by inhibiting a variety of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts in the digestive tract and maintaining good gut health. Packed with live strains of lactobacillus, which is a kind of beneficial bacteria (also called probiotic), yoghurt changes the intestinal microflora and thereby promotes a healthy gut. It may enhance resistance to infection and hasten recovery.

How to boost immunity with yoghurt: Enjoy a cup of yoghurt for breakfast with nuts, fruits or cereal.

Turmeric

A bright yellow spice commonly found in most Indian pantries, turmeric is also an immunity-boosting superfood. It has been used as an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial product in its raw root form for years in our country. With a high concentration of the principal compound curcumin, which gives it the yellow hue, turmeric acts as a powerful immune booster and antiviral. It soothes a sore throat and may help prevent the flu. This star spice is also used to treat skin conditions like eczema, to combat muscle damage due to exercise, and to ease symptoms of osteoarthritis.

How to boost your immunity with turmeric: Have a glass of warm milk with grated raw turmeric before going to bed.

Green tea

Known for its antioxidant rich composition, green tea can’t be missed when we’re talking about superfoods. Both black and green tea contain flavonoids, a kind of antioxidant. However, green tea also contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), another type of antioxidant that has shown to boost immune function. Since black tea undergoes a fermentation process, it loses most of its EGCG. Green tea is steamed and hence retains its ECGC. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which may help in producing pathogen-fighting compounds in the body’s T cells.

How to boost your immunity with green tea: Drink a cup of green tea in the morning or two hours before/after meals.

Adding these immunity-boosting foods to your diet can help your immune system, but it doesn’t promise freedom from infections. Proper medical treatment, as prescribed by a doctor, becomes a must when a disease can’t be cured with home remedies or through diet and lifestyle changes. Especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to be prepared to fight illness - mentally, physically and financially. Our health insurance covers your hospitalisation expenses and also comes with an optional cover for OPD expenses.Insuring your health can relieve any stress surrounding the treatment of coronavirus and other diseases.

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