The grey skies, cool weather, and showers make us crave the classic combo of masala chai (or coffee) and pakora. While an occasional monsoon binge is acceptable, you need to ensure that you have stocked up on your share of superfoods.
Monsoon is known to usher a number of infections and diseases—diarrhoea, cold, cough, flu, and food poisoning. According to Amreen Sheikh, a Dietician at Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central, most of these health issues arise from what we eat and drink on a daily basis. To build a stronger immunity there are foods that work better than others.
Here’s a list of immunity-boosting foods recommended by the expert that you should add to your next supermarket spree:
Dates are a good source of vitamins (B complex and K) and minerals (iron, manganese, potassium, and copper) that help build a strong immune system. Sheikh adds that they are also effective in reducing seasonal allergies.
Ginger and Garlic
Payal Kothari, a Mumbai-based nutritionist, recommends ginger and garlic. Both are known for their anti-bacterial properties and aiding digestion. Apart from this, garlic also helps to heal wounds and prevent blood clots, while ginger helps eliminate congestion and kills cold-causing viruses.
Indian Spices – Fenugreek Seeds, Asafoetida, Black Pepper and Cloves
All these spices, a common feature in most Indian recipes, are known for boosting immunity. In addition, they help in digestion and flushing out sinuses from the body.
Sesame or til chikkis (brittle) are consumed during winters as they help keep the body warm. They can be eaten during the monsoons too. Sheikh says these seeds are a good source of minerals such as iron, manganese, and copper. They also help retain the skin’s natural moisture.
India’s go-to superfood, turmeric, is a tried-and-tested home remedy for cold, cough, congestion, and wounds. Sheikh says that turmeric contains an active agent called curcumin, which can stimulate our immune system. It is also referred to as a ‘natural aspirin’ as it helps relieve pain caused by headaches and wounds.