Traditionally Indian food provides a combination of power-packed foods that aid in improving our immunity and also ensures ‘Sarvagunn Sampann’ health which translates to “Bestowed with all the great qualities”.
Tata Nutrikorner’s Expert, Kavita Devgan, suggests that everyone should consume these five proven spices for optimum health and strong immunity to fight off common infections.
Is there anything turmeric cannot do? That question is rhetorical. Turmeric is the superhero of spices. It is a strong flu-fighter and has anti-inflammatory properties that act as immunity boosters and can help the body ward off viral infections. So add it to all your ‘tadkas’ and drink some ‘Haldi Doodh’ (Turmeric milk) at night. You could even make Haldi-ghee-pepper-jaggery balls and eat one every day.
Tip: Just make sure that you use Haldi sourced from Salem that has 3 percent curcumin and natural oils intact.
Trend: Turmeric is now making its way to the west, as almost all cafe’s serve Turmeric lattes.
Kasuri Methi (Fenugreek)
This lesser-known spice doesn’t just add an amazing flavour to your dishes, it’s also a great source of fibre and is known to be effective in controlling cholesterol and inflammation in the body. It keeps the digestive system happy, which is crucial for good immunity while also keeping your blood sugar in check.
Tip: Make sure you source it right and pick superior Kasuri methi sourced from Nagaur that has fewer stems.
Trend: Drink Fenugreek water on an empty stomach to lose weight and target belly fat naturally.
Dhaniya powder is very good for relieving flatulence and aiding better digestion of food by facilitating better bowel movement. This is probably why it has been used extensively in our cooking since ancient times. Good gut health not only protects against cold and virus but aids in faster recovery from an infection.
Tip: Coriander powder from the Kumbhraj region of Madhya Pradesh is extremely good as it contains many natural oils.
This blend of ground whole spices is full of antioxidants that help in boosting digestion and fighting inflammation in the body; thus keeping our immunity optimum. Adding to that it is full of antioxidants and fights bloating and flatulence.
Tip: Make sure you source garam masala that has all these spices in it: Coriander, Turmeric, Chilli, Fennel, Black Pepper, Cumin, Salt, Ginger Powder, Mustard, Green Chilli Powder, Fenugreek (leaves), Cinnamon, Coriander (Leaves), Cloves, Allspice, Asafetida, Cardamom, Mace.
Black pepper is both an antioxidant and an antibacterial agent, it contributes to overall wellness tremendously. It also has vitamin C, which naturally boosts immunity, and works as an excellent antibiotic.
Tip: Don’t compromise on the quality of spices that you buy, only buy pepper which comes with the backing of a brand you can trust.
Three more valuable tips for a ‘Sampann’ monsoon diet:
Instead of relying on highly processed lentils that are stripped of nutrients, opt for branded unpolished dals to score more fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Try eating two servings of lentils every day for the best results.
Do not fall for fads, instead trust in the Indian way of nutrition that has been with us for ages and suits our bodies best.
Cut down on your sugar intake drastically. It has no nutrients, no protein, no healthy fats, and no enzymes. It might be tasty but it is simply just empty calories that do have disastrous effects on our immunity in the longer run.
(With inputs from IANS)