While winter continues in several parts of the country, especially North India, temperatures are slowly rising as nature gets ready to welcome the spring season. On the other hand, the changing seasons often bring the risk of flu. Functional nutritionist Moodha Pradhan, CEO and founder of Pune-based health and wellness startup iThrive, says, “With the season of changing weather, it becomes paramount to strengthen your immune system. Your body’s first line of defense against pathogens like harmful bacteria, Viruses, and parasites are its immune system.”
Having a balanced diet is important for a healthy immune system and overall well-being, especially during these transitional times. “Incorporating six scientifically proven immunity-boosting foods into your daily regimen can significantly boost your body’s defenses, reduce the frequency of getting sick, and reduce the likelihood of developing chronic illness. In addition, they can improve digestion, aid in weight loss, and support to achieve your performance goals,” said Pradhan. See what these six items include.
Strengthening the Immune System: 6 Superfoods That Can Work Wonders
Functional nutritionist Mugda Pradhan lists the following six immunity-boosting foods for this changing season:
1. Fish and Seafood: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), fish and seafood have 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 strengthening your body’s defenses.
2. Citrus Fruits: Citron is rich in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) which is a very helpful antioxidant for the human body. Vitamin C helps produce white blood cells, which are like soldiers in your body’s immune system. The antioxidant effects of vitamin C may help reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers. Oranges, guava and kiwi are good sources of vitamin C that you can include in your daily diet.
3.Organ Meats: Organ meat is extremely nutrient-dense, much higher than lean meat, and is also a good source of protein for the body. Offal provides many vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy and function optimally, such as zinc, iron, vitamin A and B vitamins. Organ mix and liver, in particular, are rich in this nutrient and are highly recommended for inclusion 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 encourage the production of bacterial flora that are beneficial for gut health. Foods like yogurt and kimchi are great sources of probiotics, which not only improve immunity by boosting cellular immunity and regulating the gut microbiome and gut health, but also aid in digestion, weight loss, and a host of 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 because they are more nutritious and beneficial for the immune system.
6. Kitchen Herbs: Easily accessible and boasting powerful immunity-boosting properties, kitchen herbs like tulsi (holy basil), oregano, turmeric, and spices like cloves and garlic are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that support immune function. Incorporating these herbs into your daily cooking can give your immune system a tasty boost during the changing seasons.
“By including these six immunity-boosting superfoods in your daily diet, you can strengthen your body’s defenses and better navigate the changing seasons, especially flu season,” shares Pradhan.