Wellness experts of #KhabarLive list out the foods that’ll promote your immunity and help you fight the allergies that come with the change in season. Like your wardrobe and makeup kit need updates to combat the heat, so does your diet—along with your skin, weather changes affect your appetite, fitness levels and overall health as well.
Summer often brings a host of ailments and seasonal allergies with itself, all of which can fortunately be alleviated by including summer-friendly immunity boosters in your diet. “There is a tendency to indulge or avoid certain kind of foods depending how the weather makes you feel. For example, many cut down on protein-heavy foods since they are heat-producing (thermogenic), or prefer eating fruits and drinking smoothies to cool the system.
It is these appetite fluctuations that cause an imbalance in your diet. Plus, there is also heat-creating acidity in the body, and combined with the compromised immunity, [it makes us] an easy prey to allergies,” explains Mumbai-based nutritionist Karishma Chawla.
The change in the gut flora and appetite can also cause acidity, a common concern in the summer. “Drinking carrot juice two hours post lunch can also relieve acidity. One should drink lime water throughout the day and have at least three to four litres of water. It’s important to eat the right things at the right time. Consume two fruits in the first half of the day and avoid having them over a meal to prevent indigestion. Add a cup of green veggie smoothie, and two to three bowls of salad in the day. End your day with a ginger, turmeric and lime shot,” says Chawla.
In addition to taking care of your gut health and preventing acidity (both of which boost the power to fight allergies), both Chawla and wellness expert Luke Coutinho recommend adding these immunity boosters to your diet to help you sail through the summer. Scroll ahead for all the details.
The immunity boosting foods you should add to your diet this summer:
It is a mineral-rich infusion made by boiling animal bones with vegetables, herbs and spices. “It can be made from the bones of lamb, poultry or fish,” says Chawla, adding that broth improves digestion and thus, boosts the immune system.
“Amla is a superfood for immunity,” says Coutinho. It prevents common cold and coughs, and is safe for kids too. “It is brimming with Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that is effective in reducing cell damage and the free radicals that can cause diseases in the body. Plus, amla doesn’t loose its properties when processed, pulped or dried as much as other fruits do. Consuming an amla a day in any form is one of the best things you could do for your immunity,” he suggests.
Experts always recommend that one consume seasonal produce, as they are naturally designed to be eaten in a particular period. “Mangoes grow in summer just before monsoons set in for a reason. They are one of the richest sources of Vitamin C, a powerful immunity boosting vitamin, and also contain a substance called mangiferin, which has an antiviral and anti-inflammatory impact on our body,” explains Coutinho.
Spirulina is one of the most powerful antioxidant-rich superfoods with an excellent nutritional profile. Coutinho explains that it contains phycocyanin, a bright blue antioxidant that increases the number of white blood cells in the body. “People complaining of asthma, wheezing and allergic rhinitis can consider taking this after discussing the dosage with their health professional,” Coutinho suggests.
Moringa is a simple and inexpensive way to boost immunity. The leaves of moringa contain all the essential amino acids, Vitamin C, zinc and other antioxidants to help the immune system.
Honey infused with garlic
A combination of these two foods can make a powerful immunity boosting remedy for all age groups. Coutinho suggests mincing or crushing cloves of garlic to release and activate the active ingredient, allicin, and then letting them infuse in a jar of raw, unpasteurised honey. Consume one or two teaspoons daily to promote liver health and combat seasonal allergies.
Our immune cells are constantly exposed to toxins and chemicals, which is why they need a constant supply of antioxidants to combat free radicals that age the body and cause diseases. “All berries, orange, papaya, strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, red and yellow peppers are rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants. You can also get your dose from Vitamin E-rich foods such as broccoli, carrots, turnip greens, pumpkin, spinach and nuts. Glutathione is another antioxidant found in sulphur-rich foods. This powerful antioxidant can be found in chicken, eggs, milk, garlic, onions, oats and sprouted lentils,” explains Chawla.
Probiotics and prebiotics
“Probiotics are foods which contain strains of healthy bacteria that preserve gut health—which is why we must focus on consuming a daily dose of probiotics, either through a good quality supplement or foods like rice kanji, beet kanji, kimchee, fermented raw cabbage, cultured vegetables, pickles or kombucha,” says Coutinho. The probiotics in your diet also need prebiotics to feed on, so also include foods such as onion, garlic, leek, bananas, blueberries and artichokes as well. #KhabarLive