While several parts of the country, especially in north India, continue to remain chilly, the temperatures are slowly rising as nature prepares to welcome the spring season. On the flip side, changing seasons often brings with it the looming threat of flu. Functional Nutritionist Mugdha Pradhan, CEO & Founder of iThrive, a Pune-based health & wellness startup, says, “As the season of weather change arrives, it becomes paramount to fortify your immune system. Your body’s frontline defence against pathogens like harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites is its immune system.”
For a healthy immune system and overall well-being, especially during this transitional period, it’s important to have a balanced diet. “Incorporating six scientifically proven immunity-boosting foods into your daily regimen can significantly enhance your body’s defences, reducing the frequency of falling sick and lowering the likelihood of developing chronic illnesses. Additionally, they can help improve digestion, aid in weight loss, and assist in achieving your performance goals,” says Pradhan. Check out what these six items include.
Strengthening Immune System: 6 Superfoods That Can Do Wonders
Functional Nutritionist Mugdha Pradhan lists the following six immunity-boosting foods for this changing season:
1. Fish and Seafood: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), fish and seafood boast anti-inflammatory effects that strengthen and maintain your immune system. Whether consumed directly or through fish oil supplements, omega-3 fatty acids are essential for bolstering your body’s defences.
2. Citrus Fruits: Citrons are rich in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) which is a very helpful antioxidant for the human body. Vitamin C aids the production of white blood cells which are akin to the soldiers of your body’s immune system. The antioxidant effect of vitamin C can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Oranges, guavas, and kiwis are good sources of vitamin C that you can include in your daily diet.
3. Organ Meats: Organ meat is extremely dense with nutrients, much more than muscular meat, which is also a good source of protein for the body. Offal provides a whole host of vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy and function ideally, like zinc, iron, vitamin A, and B vitamins. Organ mix and liver, especially, are packed with these nutrients and it is highly recommended to include them in one’s diet.
Also Read: Can Red Meat Consumption Lead To Colon Cancer: Doctor Shares Facts, Debunks Popular Myths
4. Probiotic Foods: Fermented foods promote the production of bacterial flora which is beneficial for gut health. Foods like yoghurt and kimchi are great sources of probiotics, which not only improve immunity by boosting cell immunity and regulating gut microbiomes and intestinal health, but also aid digestion, weight loss, and multiple other health conditions.
5. Eggs: This everyday food item is a dark horse of nutrition, containing everything from high-quality protein to vitamins like vitamin B, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin D, and selenium. We recommend free-range eggs over conventional eggs as they are more nutrient-dense and beneficial for the immune system.
6. Kitchen Herbs: Easily accessible and boasting potent immunity-enhancing properties, kitchen herbs like tulsi (holy basil), oregano, turmeric, and spices like clove and garlic are rich in anti-inflammatory elements that support immune function. Incorporating these herbs into your daily cooking can provide a flavourful boost to your immune defences during the seasonal transition.
“By incorporating these six immunity-boosting superfoods into your daily diet, you can strengthen your body’s defences and better navigate the changing seasons, particularly during the flu season,” shares Pradhan.