Nutritionist’s guide to boosting immunity in winter

Nutritionist’s guide to boosting immunity in winter

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While winter means festivals, occasions and happiness, it also brings with it various diseases, the most common of which is influenza. “Immunity is at stake this season, so we need to make an extra effort to strengthen our immune system,” said Shikha Mandal, a nutritionist at Dr. Bakshi’s Healthcare. She adds that including certain superfoods in our diet can ensure we have a healthy winter. She lists some such superfoods below.

Amla

Also known as Indian gooseberry, filled with vitamin C and antioxidants, amla is not only beneficial in strengthening immunity but also has a very diverse role in liver health and digestion. It is the richest source of vitamin C as each small fruit contains 600-700 mg of this nutrient. Amla can prevent certain types of infections and even shorten the duration of the common cold and cough if ingested regularly. Amla in raw form is more beneficial as it provides most of the vitamin C to the body.

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Amla also contains vitamin A, which improves eye health and slows down the process or risk of age-related macular degeneration. Amla is also a good source of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which help fight free radicals that attack brain cells. As such, it increases brain function in people with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Millet / Whole grains

Millet such as ragi, bajra, kuttu, jowar, etc. are good sources of magnesium, antioxidants, proteins and fiber. They are also loaded with phytochemicals containing phytic acid, known to lower cholesterol. Ragi porridge, bajra jhichri, jowar roti are some dishes you can add to your meal plans.

Spinach

This dark leafy green is full of vitamin C, beta carotene and antioxidants, which helps strengthen your immunity as well as protects you from getting sick. Since vitamin C is heat sensitive, spinach is more nutritious when you do not overcook it. Examples of some recipes are palak aloo, palak ki roti, palak khichri.

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Walnuts

Walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts that contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B and vitamin E. These nutrients boost skin health by keeping age-related fine lines and wrinkles at bay. So in winters where cracked and dry skin is a major concern, it can be helpful to eat two walnuts daily. Walnuts also help keep the body warm.

Probiotics

Our gut has two types of bacteria – the good bacteria that help with digestion, strengthen the immune system, etc., and the bad bacteria that cause diseases. We need good bacteria in the right balance so that our immune system becomes stronger day by day. Probiotics are living organisms that build our immune system. Some foods rich in probiotics, ie. the good bacteria, are idli, dosa, uttapam, kanji, dhokla etc.

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Ginger

Many people love to have ‘adarak wali chai’ in the winter, and with good reason, because it has several health benefits. Ginger contains gingerol, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help cure coughs and colds.

Broccoli

This vegetable is a powerhouse of vitamins like A, C and E. It is also a good source of fiber and antioxidants. Incorporate this at least once a week into your diet.

Garlic

It is rich in sulfur, manganese, vitamin C and selenium and has antioxidant properties that help build immunity. Garlic prevents and reduces the severity of diseases such as colds and flu.

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Fruits

Fruits like oranges, limes, kiwis and guava are loaded with vitamin C. So eat these fruits all winter for better immunity.

Pumpkin seeds

These are packed with antioxidants, potassium, healthy fats, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, manganese. They can be toasted or added to meals for a little crunch.

In addition to having a diet that strengthens immunity, be sure to tick off other healthy habits. Mandal says: “Sleep properly for 6-8 hours, treat yourself to easy exercises like walking, hand movements, use the stairs instead of taking the lift, and deal with stress in personal and professional life by doing simple breathing exercises, practicing gratitude. and listen to calm music / sounds. ”

Read more: Boost your baby’s nutrition with these healthy foods

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