As much as you might enjoy the rains during monsoon, you cannot ignore the fact that the season also brings along a bout of viral or influenza. Due to the persistent showers almost during any hour of the day, the chances of catching a common cold, viral infection or influenza during this time is quite high, says nutritionist Avni Kaul.
Therefore, it becomes vital to safeguard oneself from cases of flu and their symptoms for a healthy well-being. “There are a few food items that can help you counter viral and influenza by enhancing the body’s immunity system,” she adds.
“These superfoods contain healthy nutrients and are easily available,” she continues, sharing a few healthy foods that can be consumed.
1. Sweet potato (shakarkand)
Sweet potato or shakarkand is one of the finest sources of beta-carotene (which can be converted into vitamin A), and one small sweet potato contains way more than your daily requirement of vitamin A. The power-packed food helps in keeping the mucous lining in your nose, which is the first line of defense against viruses and bacteria, healthy and functional. Vitamin A also makes white blood cells, which fight against infections and help strengthen the body’s immunity system.
Garlic has sulfur compounds that help fight off viruses responsible for common cold and flu. However, it should be noted that the way garlic is treated plays a role. Crushing or slicing it, and letting it stand for a minimum of 10 minutes before eating is advised, as this increases its allicin content.
3. Green or herbal tea
Green tea is known to contain polyphenols, which is a powerful plant antioxidant with immunity-boosting effects. A particular kind of polyphenols called catechins, which is found in green and herbal teas, helps kill influenza viruses.
Ginger and ginger tea are always in demand during the monsoon season. After all, the joy of sipping a hot cup of ginger tea on a rainy day is unparalleled. The ingredient not only rejuvenates the body but helps lessen the symptoms of viral or flu-related ailments such as sore throat and chest congestion. Ginger is best to consume raw, but can also be consumed cooked.
5. Green vegetables
The importance of eating green vegetables cannot be ruled out as they are rich in vitamin C and E which are healthy and are also known as protective nutrients. You should consume a lot of spinach, cabbage, bottle gourd (lauki) — vegetables that helps boost the body’s immunity.
Curd, yogurt, lassi and chach are a great source of gut microbes which assist in the digestion process. They also help in the formation of good gut flora which in return boosts immunity, stop inflammation, infections, and helps regulate the metabolism process.