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12 Foods that help Immune System

 Foods that help Immune System-In India

Winter foods for your immunity and health

Today I want to write about winter foods.

immunity boosting foods for winter
Foods for immunity and health in winter season

The weather is changing in most parts of our country right now and as the season changes, we have to look at what nature gives us. What nature gives us means-in terms of whole grains, fruits vegetables. If we looked at our ancestors and our grandparents- until date in India people start to change the way they eat as the season changes. As there's the onset of summer we start eating more cooling foods and with winter more warming foods. So if we’re looking at boosting our immune systems and keeping our immune system strong through the winter, the upcoming winter as well as maintaining our health, our hair, our skin. We see a lot of people with arthritis and bone pain, it tends to get more enhanced with the change in season as it gets colder all across the world.

 People with arthritis they dread this season because of the amount of pain that comes along with the change in temperature. But our food and our nutrition play a huge role in helping us get through this season. So everything we feed our body responds and either the heat that's produced the absorption of vitamins, minerals for our hair, our skin. 

Immunity-Boosting Foods- a List

A lot of people have skin issues during the winter season. Dry skin, eczema, psoriasis tends to get worse. So we have to look at all the winter foods.

1. Pure Ghee -You want to make sure that your pure ghee is of good quality A2 cow ghee

[What is A2 Ghee? Ans: Ghee made solely from the milk of desi cows is termed as A2 cow ghee]

You want to make sure that the quality of your ghee is absolutely ethical. It generates instant heat and instant energy in your body to keep it warm. That’s why we usually change our cooking medium. We can use it all throughout the year. But through winters you tend to use more of your pure ghee to cook, add it to your rotis, to your rice or to your khichdi etc.

2. Amla(Gooseberry)-  There's a reason why amla which is Indian gooseberry grows right now. It is packed with vitamin c which is required for your immune system. So it helps you during the colder times of the year. So you can add amla to your diet.

3.Chikki-[It  is a traditional Indian sweet (brittle) generally made from nuts and jaggery/sugar]

We all grew up loving something called chiki and chikki is the right time to have it right now but in the right way. A lot of your commercially prepared chikki is food with liquid glucose, white sugar maltodextrin(a polysaccharide that is used as a food additive) and all of that stuff. You can make chikki at home. It’s as simple as that. It contains peanuts. It contains sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are loaded with basically iron and calcium to help you get through this cold season .it is also rich in zinc manganese, magnesium and also iron. It is extremely important for us to understand that we need to maintain strong iron and haemoglobin levels during winter because if our haemoglobin falls we start to feel colder and colder. so having chiki which is made out of there are so many different recipes of chickie. You can make it at home and your sweetener could be jaggery or even raw honey.

4.Millets(Bajra)- Millets contains niacin which helps to reduce cholesterol and magnesium helps to lower blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attacks. It loaded with insoluble fibre which helps in losing weight, reducing cholesterol and reducing blood sugar levels. It also helps to cure stomach ulcers and gallbladder stones. These are rich in good quality starch that helps you stay energized and it helps you stay warm.

Bajra or millet can be made into many food items. You can use these into your own. It can be consumed as chapatti or roti, Bajra khichdi(porridge) etc for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

5.Panjeri- Panjiri is a dry and sweet snack prepared during winters. The nutritional supplement is made from whole-wheat flour, fried in sugar and ghee and packed with dried fruits, nuts. Since panjeeri is considered a ‘hot’ or warming food, it’s also eaten during winter to replenish and strengthen the body. 

So you see there's a lot of wisdom in traditional Indian food. I think Indian food gets a bad name because we tend to overeat it. We overdo it on the carbs. We use the wrong fat mediums. We eat too much of Indian food and we're sedentary. If you go back to our ancestors they ate all of these foods but they were extremely active and they had quartered the number of lifestyle diseases that we have today. So we need to look at our lifestyle.

winter foods for immunity
Winter Foods for Immune System

 6.Fresh turmeric root (Raw turmeric or Kachchi Haldi)-It is also known as Indian Saffron. Do you know it has magical health properties? It is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It has the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer's and cancer. It may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis. You will find fresh turmeric root in the market right now. You can make it into pickles.,you can slice it, add a little bit of salt, add ghee to it, a little bit of black pepper and you can consume fresh turmeric in many ways. It’s good for your immune system, reducing inflammation and it's also an extremely warming food then.

7.Green Garlic- Fresh green garlic tends to grow during this time and it is excellent for your body heat. In fact, we call garlic almost like a natural antibiotic because of allicin and sulforaphane, which works literally like an antibiotic but it's not the replacement of your antibiotics. You can get fresh green garlic which is great for the heart, great for cholesterol levels, triglycerides anti-inflammatory and extremely warming.

8.Ginger and Honey- Both honey and ginger have their own individual health benefits. But the combination of raw ginger and a good quality raw honey has so many benefits. Ginger reduces the inflammation caused in a throat when it is sore and the honey helps in soothing it also taming the rough coughs.

You can prepare masala tea by these two great ingredients. So if you're using the right milk, jaggery all of your spices nothing like a warm mug of steaming Indian chai during the winter season. It’s the spices and the want that will keep you going. Sipping on warm liquids through the season is also great steam inhalation

9.Raggi(Nachni, Finger millet)- Ragi is commonly known as nachni, the ultimate winter food. It is very healthy and nutritious food. Ragi is extremely energizing, high protein, warming great for your body. When you're healing from surgery or any condition, keeps you full for a long period of time. Because of the amount of fibre it is one of the greatest foods for weight loss, for your overall health, for your skin, for your hair. It is such a nutritionally dense food and so powerful that we should be including it.

10.Concoction ( Kwath. Noun. concoction - any foodstuff made by combining different ingredients) –Kadha- It is very easy to make at home. You can make concoction as Indian kadha. It is a home remedy that could protect you, make you stronger from within and also help in fighting seasonal infections. Kadha can work wonder for your immunity.

Ways to make kadha at home:

Grind Tulsi leaves, black pepper, ajwain, fennel and Ginger together and then boil them in water. To sweeten the concoction you can add some honey. But never boil honey- it becomes destructive for your health. Add it straight into your concoction which is boiled. Tulsi is a wonder herb whether it's winter, whether it’s summer for colds, flues or bacterial and viral infections, immune system, hair, skin-you can't go wrong with tulsi.

11.Fruits-Now when it comes to fruits, the first question arises which fruit should we be eating during the winter season. The fruits that grow locally during the season. So whatever berries grow then you have your lychees and all of this you want to make sure you get the right quality. 

12.Jaggery-Good quality, ethically sourced, chemical-free jaggery is a warming beautiful food that you can sweeten your Tea, with your coffee, your concoctions. You can add it to your desserts. These are warming foods that are absolutely fabulous for you. So whenever you feel the onset of a fever or a cold or a cough- you take hot water melt a small piece of jaggery and add a little bit of ginger, a little bit of ajwain. These are powerful concoctions for your immune system and to warm your body.

It’s no rocket science. All of this that I’m discussing already exists. It exists in our Indian tradition. We have to spend a lot of time with our grandmoms, with our parents finding out what they did at their point in life and we need to get back to our roots and bring that into our life right now. It’s the simple things like this that keeps you healthy. A lot of people will say these foods makes you put on weight. This is a totally wrong conception. You poor lifestyle makes you put on weight. If all of these Indian traditions were bad people wouldn't have been healthier than us and slimmer than us when they were eating that food and we are eating all of the wrong foods. So don't fool yourself. Pure ghee is a beautiful fat. Fats don't make you fat- in fact, the right fat will help you burn fat. The wrong quality fat will make you fat,  and it'll make you sick and it'll cause disease as well.

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