Contributed by: Priyaish Srivastava
Building a healthy immune system is very crucial as it protects the body from various germs and infections that can cause illnesses like the common cold, fever, flu, etc. Changing weather patterns and other environmental factors around you (your surroundings) are some of the most prominent causes of catching such viruses and falling ill.
How your body reacts to infections is entirely dependent on how strong your immune system is. The immune system on the other hand greatly relies on the food you eat to ensure it stays robust. There are several easily available natural herbs and seeds that not only boost immunity and protect you from viral diseases, but also shield you from several serious ailments like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
In this article, we’ll talk about the Top 5 easily available immunity-boosting foods you should add to your diet to stay healthy and strong.
Commonly found in almost every Indian household, holy basil or tulsi contains excellent antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. This magical herb has tremendous healing power and helps manage diseases like diabetes, obesity, cancer, etc. Chewing them raw or drinking with hot water can provide numerous health benefits, such as:
- Boosts your immunity: Tulsi leaves are rich in antioxidants and micronutrients that help boost your immunity and fight off common illnesses like sore throat, cold, cough, flu, fever, etc.
- Healing and blood purification: Tulsi contains anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties which help reduce inflammation and helps the body withstand infections. The leaves of the holy basil plants are a great source of vitamin C, which helps in the quick healing of wounds while also purifying blood.
Additional benefits of tulsi include:
- Blood pressure and blood sugar levels management
- Treating respiratory disorders
- Improving digestion
- Preventing cardiovascular illnesses
- Reducing joint pain
- Treating kidney stones
- Promoting dental health
- Treating mouth ulcers
- Reducing stress levels
Fennel seeds (saunf)
Fennel seeds or more commonly known as saunf are rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that provide a wide range of health benefits. Both fennel and fennel seeds are packed with essential nutrients like vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium. Fennel seeds are flavourful culinary herbs and medicinal plants that can help curb appetite, improve heart health, benefit mental health, and aid in improving sinusitis.
Some other health benefits of fennel seeds include:
- Helps fight cancer
- Benefits breastfeeding women
- Relieves menopausal symptoms
Garlic is a super nutritious food with extremely beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like manganese, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and allicin. Some studies have also proved that garlic tends to relax your blood vessels and increase blood flow, thus naturally regulating your blood pressure.
Some crucial health benefits of garlic include:
- Reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by lowering cholesterol
- Prevents blood clots by preventing platelets from binding to proteins
- Boosts the immune system
- Reduced fatigue
- Enhances estrogen levels in women, which helps them maintain bone health after menopause.
- Reduces the risk of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis
- Boosts brain and skin health
Ginger is a helpful root herb that contains gingerol, a substance rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. You can consume ginger as an ingredient in your food, tea, or other forms of beverages like juice, or can even chew it raw in small amounts.
Some important health benefits of ginger include:
- Boosts digestion
- Reduces nausea
- Reduces flu, common cold, cough, and viral fever symptoms
- Manages morning sickness in pregnant women
- Helps manage osteoarthritis (OA)
- Helps menstrual pain and discomfort
- Helps manage cholesterol levels
- Promotes brain health and prevents Alzheimer’s disease
- Boosts the immune system
Turmeric is a medicinal herb rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. This spice contains curcumin, which helps in reducing the risk of various infections by boosting immunity.
It is often eaten as a spice mixed with other foods, but you can also consume it with milk, which is considered to be one of the best home remedies for a variety of conditions.
Some important benefits of turmeric include:
- Reduces inflammation, especially beneficial for arthritis
- Helps boost brain health
- Increases the growth of new neurons
- Protects from Alzheimer’s disease
- Help prevent cardiovascular illnesses and promotes heart health
- Can also help prevent cancer
- Helps manage depression
Viral infections can affect anyone at any age. To protect yourself from these infections and to keep many other ailments at bay, you need to start taking foods that boost your immunity. The aforementioned foods, not only aid in promoting a healthy immune system but also protect from a host of other serious health complications.
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