Rohit Shelatkar, VP at Vitabiotics, Fitness & Nutrition Expert is here to tell you all about immunity-boosting foods. Check it out
People are always more likely to get sick during the winter months, whether it is the threat of the common cold or the flu season, and now the novel coronavirus, sickness looms during the colder months. This is why it is extremely important for people to strengthen their immune defences during the winter. Thankfully, there is an array of winter foods that can help our bodies fight off infections and illness.
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and Vitamin A. They can keep the body stay warm while the high concentration of antioxidants, vitamin A and C, and minerals like iron and potassium can help fight off chronic diseases, reverse signs of ageing and even detoxify the body. One should consume sweet potatoes in salads, soups and cooked or stir-fried vegetables as part of a regular winter diet.
Jaggery is a super food that stimulates digestive enzymes and improves digestion because it helps to reduce acidity, bloating and gas. Jaggery also has a mild laxative effect which helps tackle constipation. Eating jaggery also helps to fight cough, cold, flu and other ailments that commonly occur in winter.
Berries are a great source of Vitamin C, an essential vitamin to support a healthy immune system. They contain antioxidants that can help to keep the immune system strong and can help to fight off respiratory infections that are common during the winter cold. Research has found that berries have antibacterial properties as well as anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects, which is why they should be a staple part of one’s diet during the winter months.
Dark greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli are wonderful additions to a diet. Leafy greens are high in Vitamins A, C and several antioxidants and this helps to naturally reduce inflammation that stems from running and heavy workouts.
Amla or Indian Gooseberry is another seasonal yet super nutritious food available during the winters. Amla contains about five times the vitamin C present in oranges. Hence, it is a great immunity booster and detoxing food.
Fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring are excellent sources of the omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, which can help to reduce inflammation and activate certain immune cells. Fatty fish are also natural sources of zinc, selenium, and one of the few natural food sources of Vitamin D.
Eating a well-balanced diet is not the cure to ailments and disease, but it certainly helps to support the body’s immune system and boost overall energy levels. Nutrients such as Vitamins A, C, D and E, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids are known for their powerful impact on the immune system.
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