Foods That Boost Our Immunity: A Nutritional Guide

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27 Sep, 2023
Foods That Boost Our Immunity: A Nutritional Guide
Foods That Boost Our Immunity: A Nutritional Guide

In an age where health is paramount, we often seek ways to boost our immune system to keep illnesses at bay and stay at the peak of vitality. One of the most effective approaches to do this is through our diet. Chief Dietician Swati Mohapatra from the Department of Dietetics & Nutrition at AMRI Hospital Bhubaneswar shares a comprehensive guide to foods that can empower our immune system and enhance overall well-being.

1. Probiotics –  The Friendly Bacteria: Probiotics are your gut’s best friends. They promote a healthy gut microbiome, which, in turn, strengthens your immunity. You can find these beneficial bacteria in naturally fermented foods like yogurt and homemade pickles. Prebiotics, found in foods like colorful fruits and vegetables, garlic, turmeric, green tea, and even dark chocolate, provide nourishment to the good bacteria in your gut.

They work synergistically with antioxidants, fighting off harmful free radicals and supporting your overall health. Postbiotics are the slow-metabolizing starches that feed the healthy bacteria in your small intestine. These can be sourced from beans, legumes, whole grains, and sweet potatoes. They play a crucial role in maintaining a balanced gut environment.

2. Vitamin C – The Immune Booster: Citrus fruits, broccoli, red bell pepper, papaya, and strawberries are packed with vitamin C. This vitamin not only boosts your immune system but also contributes to skin health and wound healing.

3. Zinc – The Immunity Mineral: Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in immune function. Foods rich in zinc, like nuts, seeds, whole grains, and lean meats, should find a place in your diet.

Quick Immune-Boosting Tips:

  • Raw Foods & Antioxidants: Incorporate more fruits, veggies, and raw foods rich in anti-oxidants into your diet
  • Fermented Foods: Add homemade pickles and yogurt (probiotics) to your daily meals
  • Slow-Digestible Starches: Beans, legumes, sweet potatoes, and whole grains (post-biotics) are excellent choices
  • Prioritize Sleep: Quality rest is essential for a strong immune system.
  • Stay Active: Daily physical activity keeps your body and immune system in top shape.
  • Supplements: Consider taking vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D supplements under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
  • Stress Reduction: Lower anxiety-causing events and practice mindfulness.
  • Reduce Sugar and Processed Foods: These can cause inflammation in the body.
  • Quit Smoking: Smoking is detrimental to your immune system.

Immunity-Boosting Recipes:

  • Immune-Boosting Soup: A hearty lemon coriander soup with mixed vegetables provides a significant dose of vitamin C and other essential nutrients
  • Immunity-Boosting Drink: Create a powerful concoction with ginger, turmeric, honey, and lemon to kick-start your day
  • Turmeric Milk: A traditional Indian remedy loaded with antioxidants and numerous health benefits
  • Amla (Gooseberry): This superfood is rich in vitamin C and offers a myriad of health advantages
  • Sprout Salad: A powerhouse of nutrients that support digestion, circulation, and overall immunity
  • Curd Rice: This combination of curd and rice not only provides protein and antioxidants but also aids digestion and relieves premenstrual cramps

Ms Mohapatra explains that a well-balanced diet, enriched with these immunity-boosting foods, can fortify your body’s natural defenses and promote overall health. Remember, a resilient immune system is your best ally in the quest for lasting wellness. Embrace these dietary changes, and let good health be your constant companion.


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