Public health

COVID NUTRITION: TOP 5 IMMUNE BOOSTING FOODS

Immunity and COVID Nutrition has been a hot topic since the pandemic has hit us so hard. We all are looking for ways to enhance our immune response. However, we must realize investing in immunity is a long process. In other words, immunity cannot be built overnight. Also, there are multiple factors which promote a healthy immune system such as healthy food, eating practices, active lifestyle, adequate sleep etc. When we look out for healthy food, there are few foods which have a great potential to fight off infection and boost our immune system.

Here are top 5 Immune boosting and cost-effective foods which one must consume during this pandemic:
COCONUT

Coconut as “superfood” has been an important part of cuisines since a long period of time across the world. Its oil possesses antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties due to presence of lauric and capric acid. These acids when applied or ingested get converted to monolaurin and monocaprin respectively by the digestive system. The coconut tree is also called the “tree of life” because all the parts of the tree are crucial for a sustainable human life. In addition, it’s the high time, we must realize its due importance and should include it in our daily diet.

CURRY LEAVES

Indian curries are incomplete without the aroma and flavor of curry leaves. Beside their distinct flavor, Curry leaves are packed with calcium, iron, folate, vitamin A and many other antioxidants. These play a vital role in improving eye health, heart health, hair growth and preventing infections. Thus, it is very important to put them in the COVID Nutrition Bucket List.

FLAX SEEDS

Flaxseeds are great for immunity because it is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds also contain lignans which have a great antioxidant value. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it helps in many inflammatory diseases such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. This is another superfood which one must eat daily to feel the goodness of health.

NEEM LEAVES

Neem leaves have been known for its antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties, for a long period of time. It is one of the most popular ancient medicinal herbs and thus a must have in terms of COVID Nutrition. There are many traditional ways of consuming neem, such as ,Neem tea, Neem chutney, Neem begun and Neem jhol etc.

Caution: Consumption of neem leaves during pregnancy is not advisable.

AMLA

Amla has been used traditionally for various medicinal purposes. Moreover, many studies prove its properties to reduce blood sugar levels, inflammation, and cholesterol levels. In addition, amla is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C and high on antioxidant value which helps in scavenging free radicals in the body. As a result, this is not just an COVID Nutrition food but “an anti-ageing food” too.

The foods mentioned above can be eaten in many ways. Similarly, to use them in the most traditional and timeless manner, check out the recipes given out here.

 Curry leaves chutney

Ingredients

  • Freshly grated coconut – 1.5 cups
  • Curry leaves – ½ cup
  • Green chilli – 2
  • Onion – 1 medium size
  • Pink salt – 1/3 tsp

For tempering 

  • Mustard/ coconut oil – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – ½ tsp
  • Kashmiri red chillies -2
  • Fresh curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Onion – 1 small

Preparation

  • Add all the ingredients in the grinder and add ½ cup of water.
  • Blend all the ingredients well. Add water to adjust the consistency.
  • Now, make tempering with all the ingredients above and add it to chutney. 
    Flax seeds chutney

Ingredients

  • Flax seeds – ½ cup
  • Garlic cloves – 8-10 (finely chopped)
  • Kashmiri red chillies – 2
  • Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard oil – 2 tsp

Preparation

  • Heat oil in a pan, sauté chillies and garlic.
  • Now add sesame seeds and roast.
  • Add flax seeds and roast nicely and add the seasoning.
  • Turn off the flame, cool down the mixture and grind.
  • This would be in a coarsely ground consistency. 
    Amla chutney

Ingredients

  • Amla – 5 pc
  • Onions – 2 small
  • Green chillies – 3-4 (as per your taste)
  • Roasted chana – 4 tsp
  • Grated coconut – 1 cup
  • Salt as per taste
  • Water – ½ – ¾ cup

For tempering

  • Coconut oil – 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
  • Red chillies -2
  • Curry leaves – 4-5

Preparation

  • Blend all the above ingredients. Add water to adjust the consistency if required.
  • Now, heat oil in a pan.
  • Add mustard seeds and let it crackle.
  • Now add red chillies and curry leaves.
  • Sauté for a minute and put this tempering onto the blended mixture.

    Neem chutney

Ingredients

  • Neem leaves – 1.5 handful
  • Curry leaves – 1 handful
  • Grated coconut – 2 cups
  • Tamarind water – 2 tbsp
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp
  • Hing – ½ tsp
  • Jaggery – 2 tbsp/ as per taste
  • Green chilli – 2/ as per taste
  • Black salt as per taste

Preparation

  • Add all the ingredients in a bowl except tamarind water and lemon juice.
  • Now blend these ingredients together coarsely.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again.
  • If required, add water to make it to the right consistency.
References 

 

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