Your immunity could be compromised because of fluctuating temperatures, dehydration, inadequate sleep. Hence, you become prone to common ailments such as a sore throat, common cold, viral infections, jaundice and fever. Viral infections are often unpleasant and take five to seven days to clear. So build your immunity and what you need are foods that are natural immunity builders. Here are 10 such that are best for you.
Eggs are considered one of the most nourishing food items. The egg yolk contains iron and vitamins A and D; the egg white is rich in proteins, which helps build resistance to infection. Eggs can be eaten on their own or added to other dishes. You can eat them boiled, scrambled, fried, or poached and also make egg curry, egg biryani, omelette, egg salad, egg rolls and sandwiches. An egg a day is preferred by eggitarians, but you can safely have two if you want. Make sure you do not wash eggs after you buy them, under running water. Also note that it is better to consume cooked products of egg rather than their raw counterparts.
2. Dark green vegetables
Green vegetables such as spinach, methi (fenugreek leaves), amaranth, gourds, broccoli, drumstick leaves, dill leaves etc. are good source of folic acid, iron, fibre and a range of vitamins and minerals. Dark green vegetables should feature more regularly in your diet at least thrice a week, in the form of soups, salads, raita, subzi or chutneys. You can also chop them finely and add to the dough used to make rotis and parathas/ dosa/ idli. They can also be combined with pulses.
3. Sweet corn
Sweet corn is rich in fibre, vitamin B12 and proteins. You can have it boiled or roasted with lemon and chat masala. Corn can be included in salads, soups, sandwiches and other dishes. Corn takes some time to digest, so moderate the amount of corn you have in each serving.
4. Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are the richest sources of vitamin A amongst vegetable sources. They also contain folic acid and fibre. Sweet potatoes can be consumed once or twice a week either boiled or grilled and eaten as chaat (tangy snack) or with some ghee glazed on it to enhance the absorption of vitamin A (a fat-soluble vitamin that requires fat to facilitate absorption).
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds etc. are rich in energy, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids that help build immunity. Omega 3 fats are not only heart healthy because of their ‘good cholesterol’ content, but can also aid in the absorption of calcium from the gut. When you crave fried foods or snacks, a small fistful of assorted nuts could be a good replacement. Nevertheless, natural version of nuts can provide more health benefits than the salted, packaged versions available in the markets.
Tulsi or basil is a rich source of essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, zinc, and other vitamins. It also has anti-cancer properties. Basil used in home-made concoctions or in green tea, can improve digestion and provide immunity against the common cough and cold. A salad with tomatoes, basil and a dash of honey is a good option for a snack. This holy leaf can also be boiled with water and consumed.
Honey is an excellent source of natural sugar that helps in keeping the intestine clean and healthy. Honey can be used as a replacement for sugar in tea or coffee. Honey is used with other herbs and spices like pepper, ginger, and turmeric to soothe coughs. As a topping on salads of fruit and vegetable, as a spread on chapattis and breads. Honey can be a wiser bet for those with a sweet tooth!
Ginger helps to open up blocked sinuses when you suffer from a cold. Crushed ginger can be added to tea, home-made concoctions and to vegetables and soups that you cook. You could also mix it with mint and a dash of lemon juice to make a rejuvenating beverage.
9. Amla or Indian Gooseberry and Oranges
Amla and oranges are rich sources of vitamin C that help in building immunity, provide protection against coughs and colds and help in enhancing the absorption of Iron from the diet. Amla is a very versatile food and can be consumed in raw form, as Amla juice, Amla raita or as murabba (jam). Oranges can be eaten alone or in salads twice or thrice a week. Fresh Orange juice can be more refreshing than the processed orange juice since the latter is usually high on hidden sugar than nutrients! In general, it is better to choose more of foods in their natural state.
Water is required to regulate the body temperature and to keep you hydrated, if you are down with fever, cough or cold you need to increase the intake of water to keep the kidneys well flushed and eliminate the toxins from the body. It is advisable to drink at least-10 glasses of water each day.
So, cheers. . .and take very good care of yourself, you and only you can build your immunity.
Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS) said:
” A body will not become weak where the intention is strong.”
-Wish you a good day!