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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Immunity-boosting foods that kept us healthy amid pandemic

This year, more than ever, healthy living became synonymous with eating healthy. Isn't it?

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 21, 2020 6:58:43 pm
immunity foods, yearender 2020, indianexpress.comThese immunity foods kept many going through the year. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock; designed by Gargi Singh)

The raging pandemic made everyone realise the importance of staying healthy. From the government to doctors and wellness experts, everyone stressed on the various ways to build immunity and suggested suitable remedies to keep the virus away. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated the need to practice healthy living by exercising and consuming immunity-boosting foods. As a result, many humble kitchen spices and herbs like turmeric or haldi, tulsi, black pepper among others, became buzzwords in the last 10 months.

Now with the year drawing to a close, we look at some of the immunity-building foods that topped the health charts in 2020.

Turmeric

It is one of the most powerful Indian spices with over 300 nutrients including calcium, fibre, iron, zinc etc. Turmeric is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help in boosting immunity. It also contains anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that further help strengthen the body’s immune function. Turmeric can be consumed by mixing it with milk or ghee along with black pepper. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor even said: “not Dalgona coffee, try turmeric milk”. No prizes for guessing then that golden milk, latte and all kinds of turmeric-infused drinks became ever so popular,

ALSO READ | From Ayurvedic kadhas to herbal meals: Immunity boosters are now serious business

Garlic

With its antiseptic, anti-fungal, and nutritive properties, garlic has been used as an immune booster for thousands of years in Ayurveda. As a powerful and natural antioxidant, it is known to protect the body from bacterial and viral infections, without causing any side-effects. Garlic acts as a natural antibacterial agent when it is fresh and raw as it contains allicin that kills viruses and bacteria. It is a good medicine against coughs, colds, and chest infections during the winter.

Vitamin C-rich foods

Vitamin C, Vitamin C chaat, benefits of Vitamin C, Vitamin C food, Vitamin C immunity booster, indian express Foods and vegetables are important sources of vitamin C. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Lemons, red bell peppers, papaya, tomatoes, etc became a vital part of diets to build immunity. “To get stronger immunity and healthier-looking skin, add vitamin-C rich plant-based foods to your diet from today,” stated FSSAI in one of its Twitter posts.

Kadha

Many people started consuming kadha — a brewed cup of turmeric, pepper, ginger and fennel seeds — once a day. This helps soothe the throat and prevent colds and flu.

Ginger

One of the most potent herbs, ginger helps prevent nausea and soothes an upset tummy. Ginger is also effective in keeping the body warm and helps break down the accumulation of toxins in the body. Add ginger to a stir-fried dish or boil it to make a cup of tea. You can also add a few slices of ginger to your lemon water in the morning for the perfect kick-start.

Nuts

nuts Have soaked almonds in the morning or cashews or peanuts as mid-meal. (Source: getty images)

Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar has often advocated having a handful of soaked almonds or raisins first thing in the morning, or cashews or peanuts anytime during the day as mid-meal. These boost immunity as well as keep hunger pangs away.

What’s on your plate?

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