The Indian way of nutrition offers a combination of power packed foods that not only improve immunity but also ensures 'Sarvagunn Sampann' health.
Kavita Devgan, Nutrition Expert, Tata Nutrikorner suggests one should integrate these five proven spices to your diet to help build immunity, build optimum health and ward off common infections.
Is there anything turmeric cannot do? Seems not. Turmeric is a strong flu-fighter and has anti-inflammatory properties which act as immunity enhancers and can help the body ward off viral infections. So add it to all your 'tadkas' and drink eHaldi 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: The West is going gaga over Turmeric lattes, try it!
Kasuri Methi (Fenugreek)
This lesser known spice doesn't just add an amazing flavour to your dishes, but is also a wonderful source of fibre and is known to be effective in decreasing cholesterol and inflammation in the body. It keeps the digestion happy, which is essential for good immunity while 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 very good as it contains natural oils.
This blend of ground whole spices is full of antioxidants which help in boosting digestion and fighting inflammation in the body; thus keeping our immunity optimum. Plus it is full of antioxidants and also 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: Stop compromising 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 and definitely eat two servings of lentils every day 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 is just empty calories that can have a disastrous effects on our immunity.