The pandemic has ensured that our immune systems have received more attention than ever before. The fact is, the first line of defence is a healthy lifestyle. We must continue to strengthen our immunity by a healthy and balanced diet coupled with physical activity in any form. The past year has been a constant reminder of how vital our immunity can be in avoiding viral flu’s and infections. As people have started exploring homemade remedies and DIY healthy diets and concoctions that are easy to make and essential in immunity boosting, there is a constant need to educate ourselves on what ingredients are the best to boost our immunity to avoid any health-related risks.
Let’s include these three simple and most effective immunity boosting ingredients in our diet:
- 100% Pure Honey – NMR Tested only
Honey has always been a go-to immunity boosting ingredient since time ancient times. It is a natural ingredient widely used for weight management, immunity boosting and skin rejuvenation as a sugar-alternative. As honey is a common household ingredient present in almost all Indian households, it becomes equally important for us to scrutinize and check the purity standards of honey that we consume. We should always look out for the NMR tested label i.e. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance technology which ensures that a honey has no adulteration including no added sugar ensuring 100% purity. NMR is seen as the gold-standard for testing for adulteration in honey.
Apart from these benefits, honey is also a rich source of vitamins and phenolic compounds like flavanols, flavones, benzoic acid that provide anti-oxidants. Honey also helps fight infections due to its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It can also be used in various sweets, breakfast cereal with milk, warm water and a squeeze of lemon as a natural sweetener to keep you on-track with your fitness regime.
Honey being such a versatile ingredient, can be consumed by adding it to your morning green tea, with turmeric latte or in immunity booster shots by adding a tsp of honey in a glass of warm water, a few drops of lemon, half inch of ginger, ¼ tsp turmeric and a pinch of black pepper to stay immune from all viral infections.
- Virgin Cold Pressed Coconut Oil (VCNO)
Virgin Coconut Oil, contains 60% MCT’s that helps in easy digestion and aids boost the immune system and should be included in moderation in our diet. Virgin Coconut Oil is a rich source of naturally occurring Lauric acid C12 and Vitamin E which helps to boost body immunity along with many other health benefits. Due to its better oxidative stability and high smoke point, VCNO is a great cooking oil even at high temperatures and is rightfully called a Super food for all the right reasons.
For all of us who love having coconut deserts, VCNO can be a perfect ingredient to make sure our healthy deserts are full of nutrition and we have one thing less to worry about in our calorie tracking charts.
We all know that fruits are loaded with nutrients like vitamins, minerals etc. that are important for a good over-all health and well-being. The Indian Gooseberry or more commonly known as Amla is one such fruit that is highly underrated but has a lot to offer. Amla contains the highest vitamin C content (600mg/100 g) amongst the citrus fruits which helps in boosting our body’s immunity that in turn helps fight infections. Amla is one of the most versatile fruits since it can be eaten as dried Amla too along with fresh Amla. It has the same nutritional value as fresh ones and therefore can be stored and eaten all year as a fruit, fresh juice or powder. So go ahead and add this tangy fruit to your food and drink diet and enjoy the added immunity boost to your body.
This list just makes our work easier to spot simple ingredients that can upgrade our immunity boosting diets while we work on our regular diets. Let us try and adapt these simple immunity boosting ingredients to our daily routine and make sure we stay healthy, fit and safe in the year that’s ahead of us.
(The author is a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator. Views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of Outlook Magazine)