Don’t worry, no Apples on this list! Although apples are very effective indeed as you can throw them at doctors to keep them away 😛
Indian monsoon is splendid, gorgeous, gorgeously destructive and brings a plethora of illnesses with it. Cold, flu, viral fever, skin infections, malaria, diarrhea and jaundice are just a few to name…
Few primary precautions to take during this season-
- Water: always, ALWAYS make a point to drink purified water . If you have a water purifier at home, great; if not just boil the drinking water (boil at least for 1 minute), do this especially if you have kids!
- Clothes: I know clothes don’t dry easily these days, but whatever you do DO NOT wear dirty clothes. Fungal and Bacterial skin infection are rampant in the rainy season, and what better way to invite them other than wearing damp-dirty clothes!
- Mosquitoes: These little buggers don’t just bite, they are also vectors of parasites and viruses that cause Dengue, Malaria and what not! So make sure not just your home but also your neighborhood are clean and free of any stale and sitting water that could possibly become a breeding ground for them.
- Food Born illnesses: Warm weather (Check ✔), Humidity (Check ✔) and Dirty Surroundings (Check ✔✔✔)… Oh, how bacteria and fungi love these kind of conditions! Homemakers and especially cooks have to be very careful with procuring only the freshest of ingredients, cleaning them right, cooking them properly and, storing them at the right temperatures. Do practice food safety and hygienic handling of foods.
- Mold: Also rampant these days is food fungus/mold. To avoid mold formation avoid buying in bulk, use processed/packaged foods before expiry dates, store fresh produce in airy and sunny place and store perishables in the refrigerator!
Immunity is our body’s ability to fight any disease causing infections. It is made of different cells like B cells, T cells, Natural Killer cells, Macrophages etc. (Read more…) During every rainy season, our immunity takes a toll as viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic all these infections surge at once and our immune system is overwhelmed fighting them all. Which is why we often tend to fall sick despite the overall good health.
Now there are certain key nutrients that these cells need for their optimum functioning. Those are Vitamin C and Zinc. Immune cells store these nutrients well, but during infections and stress, the stores deplete rapidly
now can you tell how stress makes you more susceptible to the common cold?(!)
Here comes my list of 5 foods that will help your immune system fight those infections
- Amla: Loaded with Vitamin C, this Indian Gooseberry is the second best source of Vitamin C known to the mankind (20X more Vit C than Oranges!)
Amla juice, Amla Preserve, Amla powder, Amla infused water (Recipe Here…)and even eaten as raw, in any form Amla is an extremely potent source of Immune Boosting and disease fighting nutrient, Vitamin C.
This delicious and smooth household resident is so high in protein, calcium, probiotics, and Zinc; it should get a superfood status already! One 6 oz container of plain yogurt provides ~11% of daily value of Zinc.
In India, there exists a myth that one should not eat yogurt when you have cold as yogurt in itself is cold by nature so it will only make the symptoms worse! But that is not true. On the contrary, studies show that eating yogurt has been associated with decreasing the duration of cold. It also soothes the itching throat and the upset stomach…
We all know it, we have all drank it, the “Haldi ka Doodh” and our grandma’s claim that it heals cough and cold might actually be true!
Curcumin, the orange-yellow pigment in turmeric is a potent immunomodulatory agent. It is shown to modulate the growth as well as activation of various immune system cells. Not only that, even at low levels, curcumin is shown to increase antibody response. In past 2 decades more than 3000 studies have been published investigating numerous health benefits of turmeric! Want to reap Haldi’s immune boosting benefits this rainy season? Just add a pinch or two to your warm glass of milk 🙂
4. Basil Leaves:
Holy basil, Tulsi or “Queen of Herbs”…
It is known to be antibacterial, anti fungal and anti inflammatory . Not just that, it too has immunomodulatory quality. However it’s best quality is it assists body’s natural healing process. Which is why regular intake of tulsi leaves in the form of tea/concoction during rainy season has been an ancient practice.
Bonus, if you catch any fungal skin infection, apply juice of crushed tulsi leaves over it. It not only helps clear the infection, but also relieves the itch!
Yet another pantry regular, garlic too is a powerful antifungal, antiviral and anti bacterial. The compound “Allicin” present in the Garlic is what gives it these properties. So, this rainy season do you need another reason to throw in some some extra crushed cloves into your curry?
Those were my tips and top 5 household immune booster to keep you healthy this rainy season.
Here is a fantastic info graphics on the same topic by Positive Health Wellness.
But if you do fall sick and symptoms are persistent, don’t just rely on home remedies. Do see a doctor!
Stay dry y’all ☂☂☂
She is a Registered Dietitian who does not believe in dieting; She has a Master’s Degree in Nutrition but she is not your “I know it all Nutrition Guru!”; She loves food but loves talking about food even more. Her articles are a direct reflection of her personal quest where nutrition science meets real life! Oh, and she is owned by a 3 m.o. naughty kitten 🙂