A lot of people like the winters and nursing a warm cup of coffee during the season. However, what people do not like about the winters is the seasonal cold that it brings along with it. No matter what, people are susceptible to falling ill and suffer from cough and cold, especially at the onset of the winters. Most times, the ubiquitous cold that goes on for weeks is known to be contagious. So there are high chances that if someone around you has a runny nose and a bad cough, you might get affected too. And since it is next to impossible to just lock yourself up in a room and avoid all kinds of contact, it is important to take good care of your immunity system. The good news is, this doesn’t involve rocket science and you can actually avoid catching the dreaded cold by just inculcating some wonder foods in your diet and meal.
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Dr Pankaj Pahwal, Chief Medical Officer at Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research, New Delhi talks to indianexpress.com about eight immunity booster-foods that can help us fight winters.
This spice contains allicin, an ingredient that helps fight infection and bacteria. Not just that, it also contains calcium, sulphuric compounds, and potassium that get rid of unwanted bacteria. The food is also known to lower the risks of colorectal and stomach cancer to a great extent.
Oats, barley and other whole grains
These are rich in Vitamin B-complex which is a composite of eight vitamins — B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12. These vitamins play an important role in cell metabolism and providing energy to the body.
Honey is known to be an immediate coolant for sore throats. The ingredient has antimicrobial properties and is very effective in fighting off infections. It contains a higher level of antioxidants and nutrients that help in building immunity levels. Taking a spoonful every day will boost up the immunity with its enzymes. It is however advised that children below 2 years of age must not be given honey as they can develop the condition of infant botulism.
Eggs – These are whole foods that are good sources of proteins and fat soluble vitamins. Eggs contain Vitamin A, which is an important antioxidant that helps strengthen the immunity. It is important to consume at least one egg a day to ward off cold and cough during winters.
Meat -Good source of cell-building and strengthening proteins, meat contains iron, which is an important powerhouse of immunity. The food must be preferably had roasted or grilled so the nutritional value is not affected.
Vitamin C foods
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapes; brussels sprouts, tomatoes, broccoli and strawberries contain ascorbic acid that is known to boost the immune system by attacking the nucleic acid of the virus. The antioxidant present in Vitamin C-rich foods fight the immunity-attacking bacteria until they’re dead.
Sea foods like oysters and salmon are excellent sources of minerals, especially zinc, which is known to build the immunity of the body.
Peanuts, almonds and Brazilian nuts
These are very nutritious and must be included on a regular basis in the diet. It is important to consume nuts in variety. they can be chopped and added to the main course, can be used as garnish on salads, etc. These nuts contain Vitamin E, vitamin B, zinc, and iron. Brazilian nuts contain selenium ( of the Vitamin E family) and are highly beneficial for the immunity system.