6 food to Boost Your Immunity in Winter
In winter, it is important to fuel our body with immunity-boosting foods that can help increase our white blood cells and fight various diseases.
It is important to fill our body with the right nutrients so that we can protect it from a range of winter ailments.
As soon as winter comes, our food choices also change. Instead of juices, salads, shakes, we crave hot soups, stews and soothing herbal teas.
In winter, our body has to work extra to generate heat to keep warm and this is the reason why our chances of eating deep-fried, junk food and sugary food also increase. Winters are also the time when our body becomes less efficient in fighting viruses and bacteria, which is why we are more prone to flu, COVID-19, respiratory infections etc.
It is important to fill our body with the right nutrients so that we can protect it from a range of winter ailments. A mix of certain winter herbs and spices, citrus fruits and protein-rich foods can help protect against many ailments that occur during the season.
There is no dearth of food items that are healthy as well as tasty in winter and these include Makke ki roti and sarson ka saag, carrot halwa, stuffed ragi roti and bajra khichdi.
Winter should include these foods to pack a nutritional punch:
Lemongrass is a long-lived plant commonly used in aromatherapy to relieve pain and spasms. But its herbal quality if used in dietary preparation, provides antioxidants, reduces cough or sore throat or fever by inhibiting the growth of bacteria and yeast and thus boosts immunity.
Black pepper is the richest spice which has many health benefits. It is also known as “Black Gold” as it not only adds flavor to the food but also acts as a preservative adding heat to the human body. Black pepper increases immunity by improving white blood cells in the body. This pungent spice contains several compounds and one is piperine which not only protects cells but also promotes digestive health.
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ginger and garlic
The combination of these two, not only enhances the flavor of the dish, but also boosts gut health with their super anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Since the winter season comes with many viruses and bacteria, the antiviral and antimicrobial properties of ginger-garlic help promote a healthy immune response.
citrus fruits :
All fruits are good for boosting our immunity as they are loaded with Vitamin C, fibre, antioxidants, minerals and enzymes which produce white blood cells which are essential to fight infection. It boosts the health of the gut which is usually affected in the winter season thereby promoting better digestion. Consuming citrus fruits also improves the texture of the skin from being dry and flaky to more nourished and smooth.
Role of hydration in immunity :
Water is the best and easiest source to remove dryness in winter. It helps in maintaining healthy mucous membranes. The moisture in the atmosphere makes it difficult to recognize thirst and we become dehydrated. This affects our digestive system due to which the immunity becomes weak.Water also helps regulate our body temperature, flushes out toxins from the body and transports oxygen to the cells thereby nourishing the whole body and supporting the immune system.
fish and chicken
These protein sources are also loaded with B vitamins, (B6 and B12), zinc and omega-3 fatty acids which increase the production of RBCs and WBCs in the body which act as a protective agent and enter the human body. Attackers attack foreign bodies. maintaining a high metabolism.
Combination of herbs and spices
Lastly, a good combination of all the herbs, spices, proteins, vitamins and minerals, along with adequate hydration, makes it very easy to boost our immunity well. If we manage to maintain a balanced diet at the right time, necessary physical mobility and essentially a stress-free lifestyle, there is hardly any need to lay much emphasis on specific food items.
- Drinking herbal tea with ginger, black pepper and lemongrass early in the morning can keep us warm in cold weather.
- Timing of three major meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner with required amounts including proteins and other micro-macronutrients will help in maintaining the nutrient requirements to stay active and healthy.
- Keep in mind to limit the intake of oily, spicy and junk food so that the digestion process does not deteriorate.