Immunity Boosting Foods & Recipes To Make Your Immune System Stronger
The world is facing trying times with the outbreak of Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. As we undergo a long wait for the situation to normalise, let’s take a leaf from our ancestors and load up on immunity boosting foods and use them to dish out some immune system boosting recipes.
During these days of the ongoing pandemic, we all want to boost our immunity. And the question we often receive from our readers is how can I boost my immunity fast?
What are the home remedies to boost your immune system:
The immunity-boosting ancient spice, turmeric, haridra, or haldi which has for millennia been an intrinsic part of the Indian culture, from medicine to traditional ceremonies, is your answer. Turmeric bears anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and antifungal properties. It was cultivated during the Harappan civilization and continues to be widely used in the Indian kitchens, not only for addition to a variety of Indian dishes including Tomato Upma, Green Peas Masala, Aloo Paneer et al, but also as a trusted home remedy.
Fun Fact: Did you know turmeric is the very spice which is responsible for giving Indian curries their trademark yellow colour.
What the world knows as Turmeric Latte, Moon Milk, or Golden Milk has been known to us Indians traditionally as Haldi Wala Doodh (or just Haldi Doodh). It is known to aid healing of injuries, as an immunity booster drink, in reducing inflammation, and has an array of other uses. This immunity boosting recipe is a home remedy recommended by Indian grannies since times immemorial.
DIY Golden Milk Recipe:
You could try making a Yumme-fyed Golden Milk or Turmeric Latte at home using the following method: Take 1 cup milk, add 1 tablespoon freshly grated haldi (turmeric) root, and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat. Add a 1/8th teaspoon black pepper for better absorption of the active agent curcumin (found in turmeric), and serve hot. Make this your immunity booster recipe!
Garlic is reputed the world over for its anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and therapeutic properties, and is often used in immune boosting recipes. Many cultures and traditions use garlic for health and medicinal purposes. Indian medicine and ancient Chinese medicine systems in particular advocate the use of garlic to treat digestive and respiratory symptoms as well as parasites and leprosy.
Garlic also exhibits anti-bacterial activity against multi-drug clinical pathogens and can be used for prevention of drug resistant microbial diseases, according to National Center for Biotechnology Information.
The studies and research around benefits of garlic may be ongoing, but that hasn't stopped this bulbous plant from being used as an effective home remedy in boosting the immune system to fight common colds, regulating blood pressure, in keeping the heart healthy etc. If you'd like to include this immunity boosting food in your diet, you could try adding garlic to your daily cooking.
Why not start with our Yummefy-ed recipes with a good dose of garlic:
Or see all our recipes with Garlic right here!
Tulsi or holy basil is another herb native to India which is widely used for medicinal purposes and exhibits immunity boosting properties. There are many varieties of Tulsi grown in India such as Rama, Krishna, and Vana Tulsi. Tulsi is revered for its essential oil and is used in traditional medicine as well as in Ayurveda.
This immunity boosting herb also aids in fighting viral and bacterial infections. This potent herb is quintessentially grown in most Indian homes and just a few leaves are potent enough and go a long way in treating many conditions such as respiratory issues, flu and infections. It is also a powerful antioxidant.
How to use Tulsi (Holy Basil):
Let us explore the answers to a few questions that may have crossed your mind these days —What drinks boost your immune system? What tea is good for immunity? Or what is the best herb for immune system? The answer is simple. A mix of herbs and spices works better. One can brew a fragrant and strong masala tea by using two to three tulsi leaves along with half a teaspoon of grated ginger in your regular milk tea. If you prefer lactose-free beverages, you could add the same amount of tulsi, to your honey, lemon, and ginger tea. But with sugar being demonized now, the million dollar question is should you or should you not add honey to this beverage? Does honey boost immune system? The jury may be at large about honey but if we rely on ancient wisdom, adding a spoon of this all natural elixir to your tea wouldn’t hurt. Besides it is better than artificial sweeteners and white sugar.
Thai cuisine has a delicious dish – Basil Chicken – that uses tulsi (holy basil) in abundance. Try it for your dose of healthy tulsi.
Ginger or ginger root is another widely used healing spice with anti-inflammatory effects. India is the largest producer of ginger in the world and exports it too. In India, and elsewhere in the world, ginger is often used as an anti-inflammatory herb. It also used to treat common cold by grating fresh ginger root into chai or tea.
This immune system boosting food is used widely in Ayurveda, the ancient medicine system of India, and is used in Burmese traditional medicine system too. Ginger is widely used in South-East Asian countries in many avatars such as gari or pickled ginger in Japan; candied ginger is often found in Chinese candy boxes while raw and sliced or chopped ginger is used in many fish and meat preparations in that country. Malaysians use ginger in soups while in Philippines it is used in a tea called salabat which is similar to a honey ginger lemon tea, though its preparation may vary there from home to home
You could also add garnish your dals with ginger juliennes like we have done in our tasty Makhani Dal recipe, as well as use it in curries and soups. Or use it fresh as a garnish for Dhungare Paneer Masala. And while you are at it, you may also like to whip up some of our other immunity booster Indian food recipes using ginger:
While these may be some prominent herbs and spices from the Indian kitchens used in treatment of various diseases, it is essential that we look inwards and rely on the wisdom of our forefathers when required. There are a lot other indigenous herbs and spices native to particular regions with similar or better healing properties. If you would like to share about any of these, write to us at hungry @yummefy.com
As we wait for vaccine trials for Coronavirus to come through and hope the pandemic situation eases soon, we hope you will keep to your homes avoiding unnecessary travel for work or pleasure, maintain social distancing as per government and WHO advisories, and sanitise your hands often. Stay healthy, stay safe!
Note: We are not claiming that these immunity booster foods, herbs, and spices mentioned above have in any way proven to be preventive or curative against the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
(With inputs from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)