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You must’ve heard the word ‘Immunity’ countless times during the past year. In fact, it has been one of the most searched keywords during the past year. Along with this current scenario, we are now entering the season of illnesses. Therefore we must work on our immunity as much as we can. The truth of the matter is that improving your immunity system is tougher than you think it is. It isn’t as easy as just popping a pill daily, it’s much more complex than that. To build our immune system, we need to take a more holistic approach. We need to incorporate dietary and lifestyle changes to build our immunity to fight off infections and viruses.
The key to our health lies in what we eat during the day. This blog will take you through all your questions from how to improve your immune system to the best immunity booster foods in India.
Immunity, also known as Ojas in Ayurveda means your body’s resilience to fight against diseases. Ayurveda believes that when your body gets enough nourishment and care, your Ojas gets strengthened. The most natural way to strengthen your immunity is to have a balanced diet that nourishes your body with essential nutrients.
These are 15 must-have powerful immunity-boosting foods that you must use in your healthy diet:
Ashwagandha possesses antioxidant properties that improve your body’s defense against diseases and viruses. Moreover, it is widely known to reduce stress, anxiety, and insomnia which weaken the immune system.
This is a powerful herb that contains over 300 nutrients such as vitamin C, calcium, fibres, potassium, iron, and many more. Turmeric carries an active compound called curcumin that is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Giloy is a well-known immunity booster as it is an anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and antipyretic herb. The alkaloids present in it activate white blood cells causing the immune system to fight the bacteria or germs. A natural cleanser, giloy contains antioxidants that help to release bad toxins from the body.
A powerhouse of antioxidants, Amla contains Vitamin C which is a perfect immunity booster. A vital fruit among other immunity boosting foods, Amla is known to reduce pro-inflammatory cells that are present in chronic diseases. In addition, it’s a natural mood mind energiser, stress and fatigue reliever, and stamina enhancer.
Known as the ‘Queen of Herbs’, Tulsi is rich in Vitamin C and zinc. Its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties help our body to fight infections. It also has natural pain-relieving elements reducing aches in the body.
Vitamin C and D present in Oranges strengthen and protects our immune system. It contains flavonoids and carotenoids that work towards fighting inflammation and coordinating cell communication. When our cells work in tandem it strengthens our immune response to a foreign body.
Resembling a human brain, walnuts are imbued with plenty of nutritious minerals such as manganese, iron, calcium, zinc, among others. The polyphenolic and phytochemical substances found in walnuts act as anti-inflammatory agents. In addition, it builds your immune system by helping you get good sleep and naturally reduces stress.
Almonds are loaded with vitamin E that acts as an antioxidant to support the functioning of your immune cells. Apart from stimulating sharp memory, it also regulates dopamine which is a hormone associated with happiness.
It carries beta-glucan which helps our white blood cells to fight off infections caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi. This property also accelerates the healing of wounds. The soluble fibre present in oats aids in cleaning up the arteries and veins. Additionally, the presence of carbohydrates and Vitamin B boost energy levels in our body making it an ideal breakfast option.
Usually seen in salad or breakfast meals, sunflower seeds are a rich source of Vitamin E. It improves our immune system by fighting off cell-damaging free radicals.
An important ingredient in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, ginger is commonly used in households to combat the common cold and flu. Gingerol, a bioactive compound contains anti-bacterial, anti-oxidative, and anti-inflammatory properties making ginger an effective immunity booster.
Garlic helps in resisting foreign substances from entering our system by functioning as an antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal agent.
Popeye was right about spinach! This green vegetable is rich in Vitamins A, B, and C that helps to fight off infections in our body. Along with that, spinach contains nutrients such as beta-carotene, magnesium, and potassium that promote cardiovascular health.
Raw honey is a rich source of iron, magnesium, and calcium. Studies have reported that it contains anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties apart from having antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial effects.
A natural detoxifier, green tea is known to remove toxins from the body using its antioxidant properties. The presence of flavonoids promotes cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol and blood clotting. In addition, green tea also acts as a mood booster, sharpens focus, increases alertness, and decreases stress levels.
You must make sure to have a balanced meal with a mix of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, proteins, etc. A healthy diet is the most important factor in maintaining and improving your immune system. If possible avoid supplements and instead naturally nourish your body with a wholesome diet of fruits, veggies, legumes, among others. For instance, Vitamin C, commonly found in citrus foods, and Vitamin A, usually present in leafy veggies are superfoods for immune system.
In addition to a healthy diet, regular exercise is equally important for your body to support a healthy immune system. Research has shown that a daily of 30 minutes of exercise helps in improving your immune system. It also helps to improve your overall circulation, boosts your immune cell’s ability to fight infections in your body.
Did you know that fluid in your circulatory system called lymph that carries immunity cells around the body is mostly made up of water? Now imagine if you’re dehydrated because of insufficient liquid intake, it’ll slow down the movement of the lymph leading to a weaker immune system. Our body not only needs foods for immunity but also requires adequate liquid-like herbal juices, immunity juices, healthy beverages, or just water to replenish your body.
We all are guilty of sleeping for our erratic sleep schedules. However, what we don’t realise is that our vital infection-fighting molecules are produced while we sleep. Research has indicated that those who don’t get enough sleep are vulnerable to falling sick. Sleep is a powerful stress reducer too, which positively impacts the immune system. If you have trouble sleeping at night it’s advised to perform some relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation.
The only way we can protect ourselves in these uncertain times is to make sure our bodies are healthy enough to fight off infections. There is enough evidence that nutrition and other lifestyle habits influence our immune system and its ability to fight foreign bodies. Plenty of herbs, nuts, fruits, and vegetables provide nutrients like vitamin A, B, C, D, E, and beta carotene among others to strengthen our body and mind. After all, you cannot control what goes on on the outside, but you can control what goes on inside. Build your immunity with Kapiva’s immunity-boosting Ayurvedic products this monsoon season. We hope we made you want to start eating these foods if you aren’t already!
We are a team of food scientists and Ayurveda experts at Kapiva. Our mission is to raise awareness and educate people on ancient principles and herbs found in traditional texts. We work together to develop the most comprehensive content on Ayurveda which is grounded in peer-reviewed, scientific research.
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