India is well known for its preparations made with natural, nutrient-rich and immunity-boosting substances.
Our grandmothers and even their grandmothers have passed down the value and importance of the food we consume to all the generations after them.
To boost our immunity, we need to look no further than our own kitchen – in a battle where disease wages its war upon us, we only need strong immunity as our ammunition!
Here are a few of the many foods that we can consume to boost our health as a precaution to combat such adverse conditions.
- Haldi (Turmeric)
Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory and immunity-enhancing properties. It contains an aromatic compound called curcumin, which imparts said properties to it. Turmeric is often used as a colouring agent in many Indian dishes such as curries and daal. It is also believed to prevent the flu and some diseases of the heart.
The best way to consume it is by combining some ground turmeric, pepper, and honey into some warm water and drinking it all at once. Apart from soothing the throat, this also acts as a “flu shot” of sorts.
- Tulsi (Holy Basil)
Considered as nature’s best antibiotic by Ayurveda, the tulsi plant has an added benefit of being able to easily grow in household pots. Its antiviral and antibiotic properties provide relief to cold, cough, headaches and fevers. You can chew down on these leaves (after washing them, of course) or soak them in some warm water and sip that.
- Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
Amla contains large amounts of Vitamin C and helps increase the body’s natural foreign substance fighting agents – white blood cells. It also helps prevent viral infections like the flu and increases the amount of Calcium in our bodies, eases the throat from cough and balances the secretions of acid in the stomach. Have this fruit dried, powdered, and sprinkled into your morning smoothies or just chopped up with some salt.
- Dalcheeni (Cinnamon)
An important component of the widely used garam masala, cinnamon is filled with antioxidants and possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It is a strong immunity booster due to the antifungal and antibacterial substances it contains. Thus, consuming it regularly reduces the risk of infections and diseases. Cinnamon can be added to enhance the flavour of many sweet dishes, into your bowl of oats or cup of tea.
- Neem (Azadirachta Indica)
Neem has been continually used by our ancestors for the many properties it possesses – antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, immune upregulation, and anti-snake venom activities. Apart from keeping infections at bay, it also purifies the blood and rids it of all its toxins.
It can be consumed crushed in a glass of water.
- Jamun (Black Plum)
Although this fruit has an unexpectedly bold flavour that is not appreciated by many, it contains blood pressure and blood sugar regulators. It also reduces the occurrence of cough, cold and fever. Combine the pulp of this fruit with some honey, and stir this mixture into a glass full of water.
- Citrus fruits
Many different varieties of citrus fruits such as Nagpur oranges, Mausambi, Kinnow, etc. are available during different times of the year throughout India. These citrus fruits are a stronghold of Vitamin C, which increases the white blood cell count in our body, thereby strengthening the immunity. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is not stored in our body, but instead, gets washed out with urine. To keep the Vitamin C levels in our body constant, we should incorporate a little bit of these citrus fruits into our diets regularly.
- Lehsun (Garlic)
Garlic is an important aromatic component added to dishes of almost every cuisine worldwide. Its immunity-boosting properties come from “allicin”, which is a sulfur-containing compound. Other than commonly being found in its cooked form, the benefits of garlic can also be derived from garlic capsules or pills.
- Palak (Spinach)
Apart from Vitamin C, spinach leaves are considered a superfood because they also contain antioxidants and beta-carotene. All of these substances increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. It is healthiest when eaten raw (to preserve all its components from breaking down) or lightly tossed in some olive oil.
- Dahi (Yoghurt)
Most variants of yoghurt contain live and active bacterial cultures that help improve the immune system’s ability to fight diseases. Some yoghurts can also be fortified with Vitamin D, which also boosts the body’s natural defence mechanism. When opting to buy yoghurt, look for plain ones and avoid those loaded with artificial sweeteners.
- Adrak (Ginger)
A lot of people turn to ginger to relieve the unwanted symptoms of cold, such as a sore throat. Apart from boosting our immunity, it also contains properties to decrease inflammation in our bodies. Grate it, combine the juice with some honey and take a spoonful of it to relieve congestion and irritation from cough and cold.
- Badam (Almonds)
Almonds contain Vitamin E, which is a fat-soluble vitamin, it is also the key to a strong immune system. They are packed with antioxidants and healthy fats. Almonds
can be had soaked in some water, peeled or with some honey
Bhookha Haathi’s 100% natural products based on dried fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, seeds, grains & honey are a great source of immunity-boosting substances that our regular diets otherwise are deficient of. Sourced directly from farmers & producers Bhookha Haathi Replace range of proprietary health food products celebrate pure, powerful, healing and health-promoting ingredients that are without any preservatives, added colours or artificial flavours.
Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.