Come fall, the seasonal flu is at our doorstep. This notwithstanding a raging COVID-19 pandemic that we are already fighting. As we enter a seasonal transition, this is considered a particularly important time in the 5000-year-old healing system of Ayurveda, to attend to our immunity. Here, we discuss five key foods that you can stock up on, to boost your immunity in the season.
1. Load up on Vitamin C
Pile up on as many varieties of citrus fruits as you can, like oranges, grapefruit, kiwi or lemon, some of the popular sources of Vitamin C that boost your immune system. Studies, in fact, show that an orange can provide up to 116% of your daily Vitamin C needs. This class of foods is rich in potassium and flavonoids, an important source of antioxidants.
Yet another unavoidable source of vitamin C is the amla or gooseberry, that comes packed with antioxidants. You need antioxidants to fight the rogue radicals, which are reactive and harmful molecules, in the body. Amla is not just great for your immunity because of the antioxidants. It also is believed to boost immunity by being naturally rejuvenative and detoxifying. It is the buildup of aama or toxins that can impair your immunity, according to Ayurveda.
Why are more and more experts recommending increased intake of antioxidant-rich foods like amla and other berries for immunity? Recent studies have found that intake of antioxidants can ‘significantly improve certain immune responses’ like introducing Vitamin C,E, A and beta-carotene activated the immune response against tumors in the elderly or in individuals who were exposed to environments causing rise in radical burden.
2. Desi Ghee or clarified butter
Desi ghee or clarified butter that is part of the South Asian diet, is a good friend of gut health and immunity. Studies showed, administering ghee improved the working of lymphocyte cells in the body, a key component of the immune system. Ghee is also a remarkable absorbent of fat-soluble vitamins like A,D, E and K, some of which are rich sources of immunity-boosting antioxidants. Being a reliable detoxifying source, clarified butter is also known to be good for digestion, assimilation and removal of waste from digestive tracts. It helps fight dry skin, making it soft and supple. It is said to be good for eye health too.
Make sure, you only buy pure and unadulterated clarified butter certified for its purity, such as the Golden Monkey Ghee from Sri Sri Tattva.
3. Lukewarm water
Sipping on lukewarm water is helpful in managing imbalances in Kapha dosha, which often gets vitiated around this time of the year, according to Ayurveda. When you have hot water first thing in the morning, it facilitates digestion and flushes out toxins from the body.
To power up your immunity, you can also add turmeric to the hot water and sip on it all day. Turmeric is known to improve body’s immunomodulating capacity, that is, it improves body’s immune response. The curcumin present in turmeric not only gives it the yellow brightness but is also anti-inflammatory, rich in antioxidants and anti-bacterial. Studies have found turmeric extract to be effective in inhibiting growth and survival of several ulcer causing pathogens. Curcumin is also better absorbed in the body when taken with black pepper.
Another herbal supplement that has picked up a cheer as a key defense among wellness experts is the root herb-Giloy. Ayurveda accords an important place to giloy (also the heart-leaved moonseed plant) when it comes to medicinal herbs with immunity boosting potential. Giloy is also a storehouse of antioxidants that is known to help improve body’s immune function. It is also believed to help detoxify blood, tissues and help fight unwanted imbalances in our system.
5. Fermented foods
The process of fermentation helps improve microbial immunity in the digestive tracts, particularly this time of the year. So experts recommend you can take fermented foods like cheese, sauerkraut, or yogurt and buttermilk in moderation. These foods are also known to increase body temperatures to keep the body warm during winter.
For complete immunity care, Sri Sri Tattva has the perfectly curated collection of 10 most powerful organic herbs including ashwagandha, Bhringraj, Amla, Giloy, holy basil, turmeric, licorice, among others, in the form of an Immunity Kit. These are known to activate and revitalize the body’s natural immune response to variety of pathogens, giving an overall boost to your immunity.
Published by Ruchira Roy
This content on the Sri Sri Tattva blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Any links to third party websites is provided as a convenience only and the Sri Sri Tattva Blog is not responsible for their content.