“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” hearkens back to Hippocrates, the father of medicine. Though thousands of years old, this quotation recognises the necessity of a good diet and the therapeutic qualities of diverse superfoods. The term ‘superfoods’ refers to foods that are high in desired nutrients that enhance your immune system and protect you from infections.
Exercising, getting enough sleep, limiting alcohol, releasing stress, and quitting smoking are all good ways to keep diseases at bay, but the most important aspect of improving general health is eating nutritious foods.
While eating a healthy diet is the first and most important step in strengthening your immunity, you can speed up the process by eating particular foods that are high in antioxidants and vitamins that keep you strong and healthy.
Amla/ Indian gooseberry
Amla, often known as gooseberry, is a native fruit that is high in Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant and immunity booster. Vitamin C aids in the production of antibodies and the function of white blood cells. Amla is also high in antioxidants, which can aid with oxidative stress and free radicals caused by infections.
It’s a prevalent ingredient in most Ayurvedic remedies, and it’s the main ingredient in Chyawanprash, an ancient herbal remedy that’s an efficient immunity booster and may help avoid infections. Amla can be consumed in many ways- It can be used in pickles and chutneys, can be had as amla candies, amla juice, murabba, etc.
Moringa is the leaves of the drumstick tree. Moringa contains up to 90 bioactive chemicals, as well as practically every vitamin and mineral, making it a potent natural multivitamin. It is abundant in calcium, protein, potassium, chromium, zinc, magnesium, iron, selenium and contains great levels of antioxidants.
Vitamins B1, B2, and B3 are abundant in moringa. It also aids in the increase of cellular energy, making it an excellent energy booster. Moringa is an excellent immune booster.
Moringa leaves have been discovered to contain all of the essential amino acids, vitamin C, zinc, and other antioxidants that can help boost the immune system. You can also try consuming a tea produced by boiling moringa blossoms in water as a remedy for a cold. Usually, people consume the dried powder, juice, or capsule of these powerful leaves, but it can also be used in curries, stuffings, soups, sambhars, etc.
All of us love this beautiful King of fruits, don’t we? Well, there is some good news for all the mango lovers out there. This fresh and tasty seasonal fruit is actually an excellent immunity-boosting superfood too.
Each seasonal fruit has its own set of characteristics. In the winter, nature provides warming foods, cooling foods in the summer, and immunity-boosting foods in the monsoon. Mangoes appear during the transition from summer to monsoon season, only to protect us against the impending monsoon threat.
Besides being a Vitamin C-rich fruit, its micronutrients include vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, Vitamin D, beta-carotene, most B vitamins (excluding Vitamin B12). Mangoes also include vitamins A and C, which are important for the creation of collagen, a protein that is crucial for maintaining the health of skin cells. It aids in the protection of the body’s connective tissues and blood vessels, boosting skin radiance, promoting suppleness, and slowing the natural aging process.
Many times disregarded as a boring vegetable Pumpkin, also known as kaddu, is a very rich source of antioxidants, as well as vitamins A, C, and E, which are the top immunity-boosting vitamins. Vitamin A is a highly anti-inflammatory vitamin because of its crucial role in enhancing the immune system. Not only the vegetable, but the seeds of the pumpkin too have some miraculous health benefits.
This low-cost, readily available sweet carb is also a powerful immunity booster. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin C, vitamin B7, vitamin B5, and anthocyanins, which help to increase immunity and improve heart health. Apart from this, sweet potatoes are extremely rich in fiber and are good for the microbiome of the gut. Sweet potatoes contain a lot of fiber and antioxidants that help to repopulate gut bacteria and promote gut health.
This wonder food has earned a reputation as one of the best cold-curing foods. Garlic contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that are vital for maintaining a healthy immune system. It also contains a substance known as allicin, which is a potent antibacterial and antiviral agent. Garlic is a key ingredient in many recipes, including curries, salad dressings, and dips, and it can even be eaten raw to boost immunity.
Vitamin E is abundant in these nuts, which helps to boost the immune system. Almonds also contain zinc, a mineral that has been linked to fewer colds and faster recovery times. These nuts are high in proteins, fiber, and healthy fats, ensuring that you remain satisfied until your next meal. You can further enhance its taste by tossing them into homemade granola bars, salads, or trail mix.
Mushrooms are high in selenium, a mineral that protects the body from infectious diseases, as well as zinc and vitamins B and D. To easily boost your immunological levels, add them to your eggs, salads, sandwiches, or curries, or simply roast them on their own as a simple side dish.
Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids as well as B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin D. Fish is a good source of calcium and phosphorus, as well as minerals like iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. As part of a balanced diet, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week.
This beautiful golden spice is deeply rooted in Indian culture. Turmeric is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, and fiber. Turmeric‘s ability to control inflammation, arthritis and widespread joint swelling has resulted in significant symptom reduction.
Turmeric’s effect on blood glucose levels suggests that illnesses like diabetes and hypoglycemia may be well supported by this colorful spice. Turmeric‘s effect on immune function translates to winning battles against germs and viruses. This wonder spice also helps in preventing cancer, liver issues, skin conditions, and cholesterol.