While taste is always the topmost priority, when it comes to food, currently the most important aspect of eating is your health. Ditch the junk and focus on foods that will help you build your immunity, which will, in turn, help you fight off any illness and keep you fit. While a lot of various ingredients will help you build your immune system, not all are readily available. You don't have to eat fermented foods like Miso and Kimchi or indulge in a fancy smoothie or acai bowls loaded with exotic berries to help boost your immunity. You can do the same with simple ingredients you have might have in your pantry or are easy to find in your vegetable or supermarket near you.
I am sure you have heard about how green leafy vegetables come packed with all things good and it is absolutely true. Spinach, however, rules the pack and is flushed with iron, Beta Carotene which helps build the infection-fighting ability of our immune system. It is also full of antioxidants and Vitamin A. It is easily available and you can make all sorts of recipes with just a handful of green leafy spinach.
Much like spinach, this green vegetable is also packed with nutrients and minerals. It has got Vitamins A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E and is best eaten when cooked. You can make a quick stir fry, add it to your salad, make Broccoli Tikkis or even blend it into a delicious Soup. Many different ways to get all those nutrients that will help build your immunity.
Capsicum or Bell Peppers come in three colours - Red, Yellow and Green, and all three are fantastic options to boost your immunity. Vitamin C consumption is always a massive boost towards building immunity and these peppers have plenty of it. If you can not find the coloured ones, the Green Capsicum or Shimla Mirch is just as good. You can add these to salads, mix it up with Noodles Chinese style, stuff them with cheese and bake them or even a simple Aloo and Capsicum Sabji are great ways to incorporate them into your diet.
There is a reason why people like to enjoy a glass of freshly squeezed Orange Juice for breakfast and it is because this fruit is loaded with Vitamin C to help you fight off any flu, cold or other illness. Any citrus fruit is an excellent option to help boost your immunity like sweet limes, lime, lemon and oranges. Ideally, these citrus fruits should be consumed daily but it is an easy fruit to find almost all year round. You can juice it, eat it as is or just toss it up in a salad to add a different flavour.
This is the easiest ingredient to find as it is a staple in every Indian kitchen. Much of our traditional Indian cooking is done with Turmeric or Haldi and apart from giving your food and intense yellow tinge, this little ingredient does wonder for boosting your immunity. Turmeric is also medicinal and often applied to cuts and scrapes. It has got anti-inflammatory properties along with antioxidants and a host of other healing properties. You can add Haldi to most of your dishes but to consume more of it, mix it in with hot milk and have a glass of Haldi Doodh like your grandmother told you. If you prefer, pretend it is a Starbucks Chai, Latte and enjoy. Your immune system will thank you.
Another staple in most Indian kitchens this also helps to reduce a sore throat, decrease inflammation and can even help to lower cholesterol. Ginger is fabulous to help boost immunity and is often regarded as one of the best ways to improve blood circulation. It is added as an aromatic to most dishes be it North Indian cuisine or even Chinese cuisine and a little bit goes a long way.
There are of course many other ingredients that can do wonders for your health and boost your immunity but these basic ones are at the top of that list and not to mention, easy to get your hands on.
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Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.
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