While the monsoon season brings with it soothing rains, cloudy skies, and much-needed respite from the summer heat, illnesses are the undesirable companions that tend to follow along. Increased proneness to flu and weakened immunity are associated with damp air, which is more conducive to the spread of bacteria and viruses that cause illnesses.
Furthermore, this year’s monsoon season has coincided with the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, which continues to affect people and claim lives not just in India, but all around the world.
In such vulnerable times, maintaining high immunity levels is of utmost importance. Luckily, it is also a feat that is easily achievable, as it does not require one to follow any “special” diet of sorts. Several easily available foods can help one achieve this goal, and here are five such examples that can help you do just that:
While apples are repeatedly credited for keeping the doctors away, if you do catch a cold, citrus fruits ought to be your go-to choices to build back the immunity. The high amounts of Vitamin C in these fruits help increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections. Therefore, easily available citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, tangerines, and limes must be consumed not just when sick, but on a regular basis, because the human body neither produces nor stores Vitamin C on its own.
Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins A, C, and E; minerals like potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron; along with beta-carotene, fibre, and many other antioxidants—all of which make it one of the healthiest vegetables you can consume. It also consists of a compound named glutathione, which is dubbed as a master antioxidant for the body. Together, these vitamins and minerals help the immune system run in top form. However, the key to keeping broccoli’s power intact is to cook it as little as possible—or better yet, not at all. Steaming is the best way to ensure it retains the maximum amount of nutrients.
Another immunity-boosting ingredient that many turn to after getting sick is ginger. The spice is known to help reduce sore throat, nausea, and inflammatory illnesses. It packs some heat in the form of gingerol—a chemical compound that activates the spice receptors on the tongue.
Apart from its evident benefits, ginger is also believed to be capable of dealing with chronic pain and possessing cholesterol-lowering properties. All positives considered, a brownie point that adds to ginger’s favour is that it can be a great addition to your everyday chai.
Almonds are full of powerful antioxidants that are key to a healthy immune system. Packed with vitamin E and healthy fats, they possess vitamins that require the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. While classified as bone-building foods—they lower the risk of fractures and breaks—almonds also provide us with magnesium and potassium, which help oxygen and nutrients flow more freely through the blood.
While it is a common practice to drink warm chicken soup when sick—it helps reduce mucus and get over the cold quickly—consuming poultry on a regular basis has its own set of advantages for the non-vegetarians. Poultry such as chicken is high in vitamin B-6, which is not only crucial for several chemical reactions that happen in the human body but also plays a vital role in the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. Further, stock or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chon-droi-tin, and other nutrients that help with gut healing and immunity.
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