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The winter season is upon us, and most people are prone to falling ill through common cold, fever, cough, or other seasonal illnesses. With the pandemic continuing its onslaught, strengthening your immune system to stay safe and evade the risk of falling ill during the season is paramount. Boosting immunity is something that seems complex but can be done by making simple yet highly effective alterations to our lifestyles, such as incorporating more proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients in our diet.
The immune system consists of a diverse group of cells that perform immunity-enhancing functions throughout the body. Eating a balanced diet, supplementing, exercising, not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, ensuring personal hygiene, living a stress-free life, and getting adequate sleep are all key factors that help build your immune system. Superfoods and supplements which are believed to be nutritionally dense contain a variety of nutrients like fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can benefit your immunity as well as overall health.
As the world prepares itself to take on the winter coupled with the raging pandemic, there are some strategies to fortify your immune system. That said, you can include these 5 proteins and nutrients in your daily meals to do just that.
Rich in protein and zinc, nuts and seeds are the perfect choices when it comes to warding off illnesses such as cold, cough, and the flu. Besides this, they also serve as healthy snack options. Add a handful of nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, etc. to your daily breakfast cereals or smoothie bowls, and you're all set to power through the day.
A wonderful source of dietary fibre, iron, zinc, potassium, niacin, and folate, one cup of lentils contains approximately 18 grams of protein. Lentils can be consumed in any form be it in the form of soup, adding them to your salads, or even simply as a snack as they are both healthy and delicious. You can also include lentils such as chickpeas, kidney beans, moong dal, etc., with rice or chapatis for a perfectly balanced meal during the winter season.
A staple in every Indian household, incorporating ginger into our daily meals/drinks has been an age-old concept. Not only is it naturally warming, but it also acts as a decongestant and helps with digestion. Ideal for cold, cough, flu, or a sore throat, ginger is the perfect immunity booster, especially during the winter season. You can add it to your cup of tea or include it in your meal.
Great for your gut and immune system, cinnamon contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Additionally, it is also immensely beneficial in protecting your heart health and can work wonders for your immunity when consumed in small quantities. The next time you make yourself a cup of hot chocolate or tea, try sprinkling a pinch of cinnamon to it for added flavour and better health. But, ensure you do not consume an excess of it as this can become counterproductive.
Sometimes referred to as the winter fruit, oranges are rich in Vitamin-C, which helps ward off cold, cough, and other seasonal illnesses. Furthermore, oranges are an excellent immunity booster. You could also include other Vitamin-C-rich foods such as lime, tomatoes, and peppers in your meals.
The aforementioned foods are those that are easily available and often are staples in every kitchen. Simply including them in your everyday diet can go a long way in bolstering your immune system and give you good health in the long run.
Inputs by Mr.Vipen Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, Fitspire
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