Give a boost to your immunity with these foods

Enrich your daily meals with nutrient-dense ingredients like whole grains, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, leafy greens, etc., to maintain good health, suggest city-based food experts. Here are a few recipes using such ingredients that can give your body an extra wall of defence.
Give a boost to your immunity with these foods

Chennai

Cucumber and kale smoothie
Ingredients: 
Cucumber: 150 gm
Celery: 20 gm
Kale: 50 gm
Green apple: 25 gm
Watermelon: 25 gm
Plain yogurt: 20 ml
Wild honey: 20 ml
Lime juice: 5 ml
Mint leaves: 3 leaves
Basil seeds: 5 gm
Salt: to taste
Method: 
  • Soak basil seeds in 20 ml of water for 10 minutes.
  • Place all the ingredients except honey and basil seeds in a bowl.
  • Blend all the vegetables until smooth and pass through a strainer if required.
  • Add yogurt andblend it again.
  • Mix in the basil seeds and pour into the glass, top it up with honey.
Benefits
Cucumber: Helps in hydration, rich in Vitamin K, fibre and calcium.
Celery: Helps in fighting infection.
Kale: Contains fibre, antioxidants, calcium, vitamins C and K, iron.
Super grain and seed salad
Ingredients:
Wild rice (soaked and boiled): 60 gm
Flax seeds: 15 gm
Melon seeds: 15 gm
Roasted pumpkin seeds: 15 gm
Hearts of iceberg lettuce: 60 gm
Orange segments: 45 gm
Roasted walnuts: 25 gm
Beetroot greens: 45 gm
Sesame-citrus dressing
Salad oil: 45 ml
Toasted sesame oil: 15 ml
Lemon juice: 15 ml
Mustard: 15 gm
Crushed pepper: to taste
Salt: to taste
Method: 
  • Soak the wild rice and cook until well done. 
  • Prepare the dressing and set aside. 
  • Roast the walnuts and pumpkin seeds and set them aside.
  • Clean the orange and the hearts of ice berg and set aside.
  • In a bowl, mix all ingredients except for the rice and dressing. 
  • In a serving plate, layer the rice at the base, arrange the other ingredients over the rice. Drizzle the sesame citrus dressing. Serve chilled.
Benefits
Wild rice: High antioxidant, protein, mineral, vitamin, and dietary fibre content
Flax seeds: Rich in lignans, omega-3 and digestive fibre 
Pumpkin seeds: Good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), antioxidants, magnesium, potassium and calcium
Turmeric, lemon and chicken soup
Ingredients:
Coconut oil: 2 tbsp
Chopped onion: ½ cup
Garlic cloves: 3 minced
Grated ginger: ½ tbsp
Turmeric: ½ tbsp
Cumin: ½ tsp
Red chilli flakes: ¼ tsp
Chopped carrots: ½ cup
Chopped celery: ½ cup
Chicken breast: 1
Fresh chicken stock or water: 2 cups
Coconut milk: 1 ½ cups
Lime juice: ½ to 1 lime
Salt & pepper: to taste
Coriander: for garnish
Method: 
  • Heat up the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in the onion, garlic and ginger to the pan. Saute until soft and translucent. 
  • Now, add in your turmeric, cumin and red chilli flakes. Make sure that the spices are cooked and release their lovely aroma. Now it is time to add in the carrots and celery. Cook until they begin to soften which should take a few minutes.
  • Now place the chicken breast on top of the vegetable mixture and pour over the chicken broth/water. Turn the heat up slightly and let the broth come to a simmer. Allow the chicken to poach in the liquid for at least half an hour. 
  • You can remove the chicken and shred it with a fork. Return the chicken back into the soup and pour in your coconut milk. Let the coconut milk heat through. Sprinkle in your salt and pepper. Add in the lemon juice and taste and adjust the seasoning. 
  • Remove from the heat and serve warm in soup bowls. Garnish with some fresh coriander leaves and extra lime wedges
Benefits
Turmeric: Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant
Coconut milk: Rich in Vitamins C and E, known for their anti-oxidant properties. Coconut milk also has significant quantities of iron, a mineral which is important in the formation of healthy red blood cells
Grilled fish with orange, ginger and fennel
Ingredients:
Olive oil: 2 tbsp
White fish fillets: 4
Minced garlic: 1 tbsp
Soy sauce: 1 tbsp + 2 tsp
Balsamic vinegar: 3 tbsp
Chopped coriander: 2 tbsp
Honey: 2 tsp
Minced fresh ginger: 2 tsp
Oranges: 2 (cut into segments, peeled and pith removed) | 
Fennel bulk: 1 (thinly sliced)
Onion: ½ (thinly sliced)
Salt and pepper: to taste
Method: 
  • Marinade the fish with the garlic, 1 tablespoon of soya sauce, salt and pepper and set aside. 
  • Whisk 1 tablespoon of oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, coriander and 2 teaspoons soya sauce in a bowl. Now place the ginger in a muslin or kitchen cloth and squeeze the juice into the bowl. 
  • Add in the oranges, fennel and onion and give it a quick toss. Season with salt and pepper, cover and chill in the fridge.
  • Over a medium to high heat, pour in the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil into a frying pan. Grill the fish in the pan for around 2 minutes per side or till the outside turns a golden brown and the inside is just opaque.
  • Transfer the fish to a serving plate and spoon over the chilled refreshing orange, ginger and fennel mixture on top.
Benefits
White fish fillets: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Oranges: Rich source of fibre, Vitamin C, folate and anti-oxidants
Olive oil: Good source of anti-oxidants. Olive oil is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties
—compiled by Bhavana Akella

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