Top 10 immunity-boosting super foods

immunity-boosting super foods

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the MOST IMMUNE OF US all?”

Does it ring a bell?

Good immunity is like a “lifeline” to all our body functions, and when the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting lives all across the globe, we want to do everything in our capacity, to help our body fight the deadly infectious Coronavirus disease. Clearly, boosting immunity is “need of the hour”.

Vital life tools like regular exercise, meditation, healthy and balanced eating will give your body a better chance to fight and survive the noxious diseases.

Today the point of attention would be the “Top Ten Superfoods” to help you boost your immunity.

Super-foods are like a “booster dose” that help us live life with a “healthy streak” by bolstering the disease-fighting capabilities of our immune system. Without further ado, let’s get started with the list of top 10 immunity-boosting Super Foods.

Top 10 immunity-boosting Super Foods

1Turmeric Milk

“Turmeric” is a rhizome (root) that belongs to a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). This potent “golden spice” has been part of every Indian household since antiquity. Its beautiful bright golden hue is imparted by the bioactive polyphenol compound “Curcumin”. This magic ingredient with medicinal properties is a rich source of antioxidants that help strengthen the immune system.

Facts: India is the world’s largest producer and supplier of this ancient magic spice.

The anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and immune-boosting property of turmeric is believed to cure several illnesses. It is brimming with various nutrients, minerals, proteins, amino acids, and vitamins to say the least.

It has the reputation of being called the “Golden milk”. This immune-boosting soothing Indian drink is prepared by adding turmeric along with the freshly pounded pod or two of black peppercorns to warm milk. The spicy “piperine” compound present in black pepper increases the bioavailability of “curcumin” in the body to help fight disease and boost immunity.

It contains Vitamin D and Vitamin K which contributes to bone health. Several studies have shown that it can be helpful in the improvement of rheumatoid arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies suggest its anti-anxiety effects on humans that boost memory and moods.

“Turmeric” this ancient spice is gaining worldwide popularity as it is establishing its antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Taking a big shot of warm ‘Golden Milk’ (milk and turmeric mixed) daily may protect from various risk infections and diseases.

2Amla

‘Amla’, the Indian gooseberry, is an interesting blend of sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, and astringent taste. This wholesome fruit has a highly nutritious profile and can be taken in all its forms, i.e. raw, dried, powdered, or candied. Besides being a common herbal ingredient in Chyawanprash, it is also found to be used in the various ancient Ayurvedic formulations.

It contains Vitamin B5, B6, Vitamin C, iron, calcium, fibers, and other trace minerals. It has high amounts of vitamin C. The abundant vitamin C present in the fruit boosts the production of white blood cells (WBC) to help fight the cold, flu, illnesses, and infections. Amla is shown to possess an amazing post-digestive and cooling effect on the digestive system and facilitate good gut health and digestion. It is also a rich source of antioxidants and fight diseases triggered by seasonal changes. Moreover, this rich source of antioxidants helps you stay youthful for long. Any takers?

Incorporate this wholesome immunity-boosting fruit daily in your meals and experience the exemplary health benefits of this superfood.

3Ginger

“Adrak Wali Chai”, On a bad throat day, it is a preferred choice of many. There are many takers for this flavourful spicy root. This root of family ginger ale consists of a lot of immunity-boosting health propagating properties. It is known to be commonly used by early civilizations.

“Gingerol” the key bioactive compound found in ginger help take immune-boosting capabilities to the next level. It helps lower the bad cholesterol from the body. Past studies have shown it to exhibit strong immunity-boosting, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory properties. Treating yourself with a cup of Ginger Tea has shown to have detoxifying effects on the kidneys leading to good kidney health.

Besides adding a rich, spicy, aromatic flavor to the meals and beverages, it is rich in antioxidants with medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties. It is ‘true spice’ when it comes to boosting your immunity level. However, remember, just a little is enough.

4Jaggery

“A meal should ideally end with something sweet” for enhanced digestion. We have heard this familiar suggestion many times from our folks.
Jaggery known as “gur” is commonly found in almost every Indian household for many centuries. It is easily available, easily stored, and easily digestible. Come winters and we see many people gorging on the varieties of “Gur mithai”.

‘Kolhapur’ is one of the largest producers of jaggery in India.

This golden-hued Indian sweet is a reservoir of various minerals, vitamins and, fibers and exhibits strong immunity-boosting properties. It is used in many traditional Ayurvedic preparations.

A small cube of jaggery contains selenium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iron, vitamin C besides vitamin B2, B6, and B9 and natural sugar. Iron and vitamin C help improve the hemoglobin level.

Unlike sugar, Jaggery is a ‘complex carbohydrate’ that help release the energy for a longer period of time without impacting internal organs. This proven immunity booster is a quick, healthy, and effective energy replenisher for marathon runners. It activates digestive enzymes and boosts nutrient absorption in the gut. it is an excellent blood purifier. Jaggery may also help in the respiratory rehabilitation process as it assists in removing the unwanted polluted particles from the body in heavily polluted areas.

Jaggery contains antioxidants and is a powerhouse of energy. This better alternative to sugar, if consumed in moderation will go a long way in boosting immunity. A small piece of jaggery before a night’s sleep is the best form of indulgence for satisfying those sweet cravings.

5Yogurt

This is another immunity-boosting food commonly consumed in every Indian household. Most of the people in India might be starting their day with a big bowl of yogurt. This immunity-boosting food is shown to improve your gut health tremendously as it is loaded with good bacteria which maintains the gut equilibrium. It is an excellent natural source of probiotics and enhances immune-boosting capabilities. Besides having good probiotics, it is also laden with calcium, proteins, minerals, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin D to further strengthen the immune system.

Some studies have shown it to help tackle the risk of osteoporosis condition by increasing bone mass density.

Plain low-fat yogurt, Greek or Turkish yogurt can make for a healthy full filling snack choice. You may drizzle some honey or add some jaggery to sweeten your healthy portion of yogurt, or team it up with some fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds for a quick hassle-free filling delicacy to curb your hunger pangs without any guilt trip. The friendly bacteria (found in probiotic’s active cultures) that naturally reside in your gut may help promote digestive health.
There are three live strains of probiotics:
i. L. Casei
ii. L. Bulgaricus
iii. S. Thermophilus
Evidence has shown that these strains of microflora in the gut are proven to help subside bowel inflammation and discourage stomach infection.

So, do remember to grab your big bowl of yogurt and watch it work best on your immunity.

6Broccoli

The beautiful rich green vegetable of the Cruciferae family with a great nutritional profile makes it an impressive immunity booster. It consists of phytonutrients, vitamin A, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, vitamin C, vitamin k, iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium, selenium, minerals, along with healthy fibers which helps maintain gut health. It contains an ample amount of beta carotene, that is a good source of antioxidant that detoxify your body and boost up your immunity.

Fun facts: Broccoli is known as “Crown of Jewel Nutrition” because it is rich in multivitamins and minerals. Over the last 25 years, plant consumption has increased by 940%.

Munch on this delicious immunity-boosting food in moderation after slight steaming to retain its nutritional value, color, and crunchiness. You may add a dash of lemon, spread some butter, sprinkle some peppercorns and sesame or chia seeds and transform it into a rich luxurious healthier full filling meal.

It is delicious, it is filling, and guess what? It doesn’t add on to your weight. Plate this power-packed, health-promoting, immune-boosting food at any time of the day and stay healthy.

7Almonds

What makes almonds a healthy and safe choice? This small pint-size nut is a big storehouse of many nutrients. Just a handful is power-packed with a daily supply of vitamins, proteins and, minerals. The vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese copper, minerals, and, fibers present go a long way in boosting immunity.

An ample amount of antioxidants found in vitamin E help prevent the damaging oxidation process of the cell. The low glycaemic index of almond helps lower blood sugar. It also helps in lowering bad cholesterol and boost the production of HDL (High-density lipoproteins), good cholesterol, thus protecting heart health. AHA (American Heart Association) studies claim that the healthy unsaturated fat found in almonds may improve a person’s cholesterol status. This powerful nut also assists in boosting the entire bone health.

It makes for an excellent day snack to curb hunger pangs without adding to those extra pounds. People following vegan diets can compensate for their daily requirements of vitamin B, choline, and protein needs which may be lacking in all plant-based diets by eating a handful of almonds.

Interesting fact: In Jordan, there is archaeological evidence of almond trees being domesticated many thousand years ago

Feel free to grab this superfood daily in any form you desire: soaked, toasted, crushed, whole, slivered, or sautéed to boost up your immunity. This healthy nut is beneficial in any form to fortify your immune system.

8Sweet Potato

This average looking tuberous root has potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, calcium, beta carotene, minerals besides other nutrients. It is an excellent source of food fiber that promotes the digestive health of the gut. Vitamin C present in the root promotes iron absorption.
Medicalnewstoday.com has researched it’s supporting effect in the nervous system health.
Sweet potato also contains “beta-carotene” a good source of pro-vitamin A and antioxidants, that plays a crucial role in maintaining good eye health. The powerful antioxidants present in the food, fight free radicals, prevents the cellular damage, and Super-Boost immune system of the body.

You can bake it or transform it into a nutrient-rich delicious smoothie by adding date, nut, and seed of your choice.

9Garlic

Stock up on the “must-have” bulbs of garlic in your kitchen for a smooth supply of nutrient-rich, immune-boosting, and health-promoting food. Garlic has been an integral part of many early civilizations for thousands of years. Today it is gaining worldwide acceptance and popularity as a potent immune-boosting superfood.

Interesting facts “In India, it has the reputation of being a good aphrodisiac”.

Garlic belongs to the lily family “Alliaceae”. It is a “super storehouse” of many minerals, nutrients, and vitamins. “Allicin” a natural bioactive sulfur compound found in the freshly crushed or chopped raw clove, can easily get the trophy for its antiviral, antibacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties .”Allicin” is proven to inhibit a broad spectrum of viruses, microbes, bacteria, and safeguard the body from all infections.

This rich source of antioxidant which is “low on calorie and high on immunity” is proven to help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol and also help subsides cold and flu symptoms. It is an excellent source of vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, manganese, selenium, and other minerals.
Garlic can easily pass as “cure-all” food when it comes to reinvigorating health, as it gives a tough fight to diseases and infections and takes the immune-boosting capabilities to the next level.

It is suggested to consume this highly potent food in safe dosages.

10Green Tea

The origin of Green tea can be traced back to the land of China almost three thousand years ago. This soothing and healthy beverage is leaving its footprints across the globe for its immune-boosting zen-like properties.
The powerful antioxidant found in green tea in the form of EGCG (epigallocatechin), has detoxifying effects on both mind and body and offers a good respite when it comes to relaxation. It contains vitamins A, B, C, D, zinc, selenium besides other nutrients and minerals.
It helps in flushing the harmful toxins out of the body while keeping you well hydrated.
Note: Avoid taking green tea with milk.
It improves skin and hair health and helps you keep young for long. All it takes is brewing in hot water for one to three minutes. So, after a long tiring day, grab your favorite green tea to lift and boost your system up.

Takeaways

Remember, a strong immune system is likened to a “trustworthy ally” when it comes to fighting noxious diseases and illnesses. Make healthy food choices and live a healthy life.

References

https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ss/slideshow-immune-foods

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