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Unfortunately, we are hit by the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. It is recommended to wash your hands frequently, wear a face mask and practice social distancing. Apart from this, regularly disinfecting household surfaces is recommended. Same way, our body needs to boost its defense mechanism too i.e. the immune system. While the quality of sleep, hydration, and coping strategies make a strong foundation for immunity, nutrition unarguably plays the biggest role in keeping away the infectious disease. Fortunately, certain food items are there to enhance this complex ability to fight against the coronavirus. Each time when you consume something, the body is flooded with substances which can either increase the immune response or decrease it. Incorporating the foods that can shore up our immune defense is very important. And, at the same time, it is necessary to remove the food items that can deplete immune system resources such as alcohol, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. So, make sure you provide key nutrients to your body that it actually needs.
Mentioned below are some of the food items that are considered best to boost immunity in our body:
Vitamin C is very essential for our body. It supports the cellular functions of our innate and adaptive immune system. Fruits like pineapple, oranges, cantaloupe, kiwi, and grapes are great to consume. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and in the absence of antioxidants, our body may have reduced resistance towards viruses. Some other food items such as red peppers, amla, strawberries, sweet potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes, yellow peppers, cauliflower, and asparagus; and supplements containing Vitamin-C are necessary to include in your diet.
While it is recommended to use hand sanitizers to kick away germs, you will be surprised to know that bacteria is also essential in building immunity, as well. But, good bacteria, the one found in yogurt. Yogurt is a great source of probiotics that aids in the development of good bacteria in the body, which can help in promoting a healthy immune system. Consume yogurt for better immunity, as it highly is effective in fighting against the common cold and influenza-like respiratory infections.
The entire list is incomplete without this one superfood- Ginger. Ginger is among the best ways to boost your body’s immune system towards bacteria and viruses. Ginger is most commonly used to boost immunity, prevent the common cold, increase gut health, and reduce inflammation. This is why green juices and health drinks have ginger in them. This powerful ingredient is helpful in supporting the body's ability to eliminate toxins. Fresh ginger contains a medicinal element known as gingerol which is known to inhibit viral activity. Moreover, ginger is also known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. It contains compounds such as paradol, shogaol, and zingerone.
Another way to bolster the immune system in the body is by increasing the intake of Mushrooms in your diet. Mushrooms apart from just being a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, contain substances that are highly useful in boosting the body’s immune system.
Here is what Mushrooms have:
- Triterpenes: This helps in modulating and inhibiting cancer cell proliferation. It can prevent lower blood pressure, various allergies, and is effective in reducing blood lipids.
- Germanium: It is a super element that helps the body to enhance its immune system, nourish the brain, nervous system, and heart. Moreover, it also stimulates the circulatory system.
- Nucleotides: This ingredient found in mushrooms helps with pain relief and ensures to prevent virus growth in the body.
Like ginger, garlic is also a super food which is found in every kitchen. Garlic is considered to be an anti-virus food item, which gives protection from various viruses. Garlic has antiviral, anti-microbial, and anti-tumor capabilities and it reduces the risk of becoming sick. Garlic is full of flavors and is also packed with different health benefits like lowering blood pressure and reducing risk of heart disease. Due to the heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds present in the garlic, it has immunity-boosting abilities that are helpful in fighting off some infections. To boost immunity in your body, aim to consume two to three cloves per day.
Ayurveda has always propagated the goodness of Tulsi since forever. The leaves of tulsi are known to be anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial in nature. These properties of tulsi help our body in warding off many types of infections. More to this, it has contents like phytochemicals, bioflavonoids, rosmarinic acid, etc that are really helpful in dealing with infections in the respiratory tract, cough accumulation, and killing germs.