There’s a nip in the air and it might be a season, most of us look forward to. But this drop in the temperature brings with it a spike in sicknesses and thus the chances of catching a cold and cough starts to rise. Though we try everything from wearing layers of clothing to heating our rooms, the common flu still manages to catch on during this season due to our low immunity. Avoiding public places, washing hands time after time and also avoiding cold and sour foods help us to an extent but having a strong immune system is the key. You can’t hibernate for the entire winters so your best defence against getting sick is strengthening the immune system. 70% of your immune system is in your digestive system. It’s extremely important that you keep your digestion healthy and boost immunity by feeding yourselves good flu-fighting foods.
BOOST IMMUNITY WITH GINGER
It is a magical food that regulates the immune system very well. It can treat variety of ailments like fever, soothes sore throat, flu like symptoms and encourages coughing to remove mucus from the chest. Ginger is actually very warm and promotes healthy sweating which is often helpful during cold and flu. It also activates T-cells (group of white blood cells capable of destroying cells infected by virus) which are an important part of immune system and thus balances the immunity to restore it to proper functioning. You can incorporate it in your cuisines in any form ( fresh or dried ginger). I would suggest you to start your mornings by brewing a daily cup of ginger tea. You can make it by adding fresh ginger root in boiling water. It eases throat pain, eliminates congestion and supports the body’s natural defence against diseases.
Better to seek advice of your medical professional before you try to treat any medical condition with ginger as it interacts with blood-thinning medications.
It has numerous medicinal properties and quite well known for its warm consistency. Honey is probably a number one flu-fighting food that can not only boost your immunity but also very delicious. Due to it’s anti-oxidants and anti-bacterial properties, it can help improve digestion, help you stay healthy and fight disease with ease. If there’s severe cough, giving about a spoonful of honey mixed with one third tea spoon of haldi powder once a day really helps.
Never give honey to children under 1 years of age because their immune system are not developed enough to ward off infantile botulism, carried in honey spores.
It is known for its nutritive properties as it’s a natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-septic. Including garlic in your diet can aid the immune system by helping maintain balance in your body’s cells. Garlic gets its immuneboosting powers from a compound called allicin which is activated when it is chopped, crushed, cut or chewed. Allicin is very active ingredient and provide protection against bacterial and viral infections. Apart from adding flavour in the curries, garlic has proven to be a preventive medicine against coughs, cold and chest infections during winters. It is considered to be a natural decongestant and expectorant.
So don’t be afraid to experiment by incorporating it into different dressings, sauces and dishes.
This immune-boosting spice is amazing to reach out for, this winter. Turmeric gets its bright yellow colour and its health benefits from “curcumin.” This, even at low doses has been shown to activate white blood cells in times of need. Thus it helps your immune system in protecting you from a problem before it even starts. It keeps bad bacteria at bay and found to fight infections and inflammations.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of onset of flu, then taking half a teaspoon of haldi powder in hot milk before sleeping at night, really alleviates the symptoms. You can get raw haldi in the market, it looks like ginger, grate it into milk, boil and drink that milk. It takes care of body aches, cold and fight all respiratory illnesses.
Just be careful with turmeric as it’s very heat producing spice, so don’t overindulge and definitely not during summers!
These are powerhouse of Vitamin C and contain lots of anti-oxidants. Vitamin C is essential for boosting the immune system. Studies have shown that these anti-oxidants can reduce cold symptoms by 23% and all that’s needed is just 1 to 8 gm to do the trick. Try to consume 5 varied servings of fruits and vegetables containing lots of vitamin C like Amla, Orange, Papaya, Guava, Tomatoes, Broccoli, Red Bell Peppers etc., thereby naturally boost your immunity. Take benefits especially in winters when they are inexpensive and widely available.
This holy basil is the most common plant in indian households. It contains specific anti-asthmatic and anti-infective properties which helps in curing many ailments and fevers. It improves the body’s overall defence mechanism including its ability to fight viral disease. Tulsi helps in speeding up the recovery process and also helps in strengthening the immune system of the body. Boosting your immunity with a cup of Tulsi Tea is an easy way to go. Just add few drops of honey and some ginger in it to increase the efficiency for building resistance.
Take 4-5 leaves of tulsi every morning. It is advisable not to chew the leaves but to grind them coarsely on a grinding stone and then have it.
So, how do you boost immunity in winters?