03 Sep 2020: #HealthBytes: Food items that can improve your immunity
With the COVID-19 outbreak, a healthy immune system has become a priority.
As we wait for a breakthrough in the multiple ongoing vaccine trials, we can start working toward boosting our immunity on our own, with the help of a good diet.
Here, we have listed some food items which if included in our routine, can be immensely helpful in improving our immune system.
#1: Yogurt: Contains Vitamin D, boosts body's natural defense system
Yogurt contains Vitamin D which improves the immune system and strengthens our body's natural defenses against diseases.
It is also rich in probiotics, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidus.
They not only boost immune function, but are also said to be helpful in reducing length and severity of cold episodes.
Probiotics can also help in reducing eczema symptoms in babies.
#2: Turmeric: Antioxidant, has medicinal values, decreases muscle damage too
Used as an essential spice, turmeric is well-known for its medicinal values, which is why it is used in many home remedies.
Consuming turmeric may also improve a person's immune response.
It contains a compound called curcumin that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that tackle harmful radicals.
Studies have shown that high concentrations of curcumin can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage as well.
#3: Spinach: Contains flavonoids, important for cell division, DNA repair
One of the reasons why spinach is called a superfood is because of its immunity boosting capabilities.
Firstly, it contains high amounts of folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, and iron. These nutrients not only improve immune function, but are also important for cell division and DNA repair.
Spinach also contains flavonoids, which may help in preventing common cold in healthy people.
Fact: Now, what are flavonoids?
Flavonoids are compounds that are found naturally in fruits and vegetables. These compounds help regulate cellular activity to help our body function effectively, and fight off free radicals like toxins and stressors that cause oxidative stress to our body. Flavonoids are also powerful antioxidant agents.
#4: Ginger: Powerful antioxidant, decreases inflammation, helps in chronic pain
Ginger has been traditionally used in a variety of dishes and desserts, especially in tea for better taste.
But what is interesting about this spice is that it can be a powerful antioxidant. It decreases inflammation, which helps in fixing a sore throat and inflammatory illnesses.
Said to be helpful in relieving chronic pain, ginger may also help with nausea.
#5: Almonds: Excellent source of Vitamin E, rich in nutrients
Almonds are known to be an excellent source of Vitamin E. They also contain manganese, magnesium, and fiber, that are needed for a good immunity system.
A small quantity of almonds can be highly beneficial.
Adults need only about 15 mg of Vitamin E each day. For perspective, about 46 whole, shelled almonds can provide for the recommended daily amount.