The monsoon season is beautiful but it is also a time when our immunity tends to dip and we are at a higher risk of contracting infections and viruses. There have already been reports about the spread of H1N1 or swine flu in some parts of Mumbai. Rains also provide the perfect environment for mosquito breeding which facilitates the spread of dengue. Kids and the elderly may be more vulnerable to cold, flu and respiratory disorders during this season. Since prevention is better than cure, here are some powerful immunity boosters that you must have every day to protect your health and strengthen yourself from within.
1. Turmeric: The active ingredient in turmeric, called 'curcumin', is a powerful antioxidant and helps in boosting your immunity. The age old granny's remedy of drinking turmeric milk is a great way to shield yourself from the menace of monsoons. Don't forget to add a pinch of black pepper to make the drink more effective.
2. Tulsi: The sacred Tulsi leaves are known for their anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory qualities. Have a cup of Tulsi tea with breakfast to boost your immunity. You can even chew few Tulsi leaves every morning on an empty stomach. Tulsi is known to improve your overall defense mechanism including the ability to fight viral infections and it also increases resistance.
3. Honey: Honey can energize your body, build your immunity naturally and fight bacteria. Consultant Nutritionist, Dr. Rupali Datta suggests that a cup of warm honey-lemon water is one of the best ways to start your day. A teaspoon of honey every day can also help in building defense against seasonal allergies and works as a great remedy for soothing throat infections.
4. Ginger: Ginger acts as a natural antibiotic. Ginger combined with honey is an ancient Ayurvedic cure for cold and respiratory disorders which are quite common during the monsoon season. Boil some fresh ginger in water and add a teaspoon of honey to make a soothing tea that reduces inflammation and flushes out all the toxins from your body. The heat in ginger induces sweat which is also a way to detox your body and get rid of germs.
5. Giloy: According to Ayurveda expert, Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, "Giloy is a medicinal herb that helps in boosting your immunity. It is a powerhouse of antioxidants that fight free-radicals and keep your cells healthy. It purifies blood and fights bacteria that cause disease." Giloy juice is bitter but is effective in treating viral infections. You can mix a spoonful of fresh giloy juice in water and consume every morning.
Besides these, you should also up your intake of vitamin C rich foods such as lemons, oranges, broccoli, bell peppers, guava and pineapple. Scientifically speaking, several cells in our immune system accumulate vitamin C as it is required to perform certain tasks. Thus, a daily dose of vitamin C helps in increasing resistance against pathogens.