Your immunity is the ability of your body to fight or resist a particular toxin in the body and protect it against various diseases. Maintaining a strong immune system is the key to staying healthy. The increasing modern-day life, balancing household and office work, makes it easy for one to forget their personal health and well-being.
You can strengthen your immunity naturally by avoiding stress, getting adequate sleep, or engaging in regular physical activity. Also important is to consume a wholesome, nourishing diet full of essential nutrients. South Asian food generally comprises foods filled with most of the crucial vitamins and minerals.
There are three key nutrients one must not ignore:
Vital for the proper functioning of your immune system, it plays an important role in the inflammatory response. Science demonstrates that the consumption of zinc plays a significant role against viral infections. It is very easy to include zinc in your diet through foods or as a dietary supplement. Those who consume a vegetarian diet, may have more requirement than those who have non-vegetarian diet.
Certain zinc-rich foods include legumes such as lentils; chickpeas and beans; seeds including sesame, squash and pumpkin; meat; nuts such as almonds, cashew and pine nuts; dairy products like milk and cheese, eggs; whole grains; and shellfish.
Vitamin C has major health benefits, even if you can't store it in the body. It is not only a powerful antioxidant, and can boost the immunity, it also helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease by keeping blood pressure in control. It also helps maintain the uric acid levels in the body.
Vitamin C-rich foods include citrus foods (such as oranges), pineapple, kiwi, grapes, lemon, berries, red and yellow bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, and sprouts.
Vitamin D is an essential daily nutrient and can protect against diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. While the primary source of vitamin D is sunlight, it can also be consumed through diet and supplements. A deficiency in Vitamin D can not only affect immunity but also cause osteoporosis, brittle bones, and increase your risk of fractures.
Vitamin D-rich foods include Cod liver oil in fish (like salmon, tuna and sardines), egg yolks, mushroom, fortified foods, cow’s milk and soya milk, oatmeal, cereals, and cheese.