Beat the cold: Eat right to boost immunity this winter
If there is one thing you can count on this winter is to bump into someone who is coughing, sneezing, and wheezing unpleasantly with sore red eyes. Unless you plan to lock yourself in your house, there is no way you can avoid contact with them. But if you are thinking that there is no way out for you from this, think again. Avoid getting sick by eating right and boosting your immune system.
There is always a difference of temperature outside the house and inside it, and if the internal temperature of the body is not warm enough, you are always prone to getting a fever. Nuts like almonds, walnuts and pistachios provide immunity against fever by keeping your internal body temperature warm and regulated.
Vitamin D is very important for the body. It is important to maintain your bone density, which plays an important role in boosting the immune system. Artichoke is the ideal source for Vitamin D. The recommended way to have artichokes is to cut off all of the chokes before cooking. Opt for artichokes which are tightly closed. Steamed artichokes topped with butter and lemon tastes great.
If you want a strong immune system to fight off the flu and the cold during winters, then include cauliflower in your diet. It’s anti-inflammatory in nature and rich in antioxidants. The key ingredient to fight the flu and cold is Vitamin C, which cauliflower contains in plenty. Go for cabbage which is tightly packed with no brown spots. Cauliflower soup is the ideal healthy meal for a cold day.
The best way for you to avoid having a sore throat and a horrible cough is honey. Honey soothes the throat and has antimicrobial properties that power your immunity system. One spoon a day of honey is all you need. It also acts as a cleansing agent for your stomach and also boosts your digestive immunity. Start your mornings by mixing honey in warm water on an empty stomach to kick start your day.
Cabbage is freshly grown in winters and the nutrients in the vegetable are important for the body in the cold season. Cabbage improves the skin immunity against dryness and acne during winters. The high content of sulphur in cabbage increases the production of white blood cells in the body. Choose a tight cabbage that has firm heads with no broken or bruised leaves. Include cabbage in your salad.
Yes, you heard it right — yoghurt in winters! Due to the cold outside our digestive system is more prone to indigestion, acidity and microbial infection. Yoghurt boosts immunity against acidity, indigestion and infections by providing healthy bacteria for your gut and the intestinal tract to function properly. Add cinnamon to your yoghurt to add a bit of flavour or make a fruit bowl and mix it with yoghurt.
Smogs during winters can lead to respiratory problems. To boost your immunity against such problems include spinach in your diet. It increases the count of red blood cells in the body which are responsible for carrying oxygen to and fro from the lungs to the body. The recommended daily dose is 15 mg for women, 9 mg for men and 2-9 mg for children. Excessive iron can damage your organs, so, don’t go overboard.
(With inputs by Tripti Tandon, clinical nutritionist)
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