5 lifestyle changes towards building immunity

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BY IANSLIFE

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) The monsoon is here. As much as we enjoy the rain, it is also the time when the humidity levels in the atmosphere are their highest, resulting in poor digestion and reduced immunity. This makes us more vulnerable to diseases during the season.
Thus, it is important to eat foods which boost immunity and prevent us from contracting water borne diseases such as indigestion, diarrhoea, jaundice, etc. in order to keep us safe during this lockdown.
Sheryl Salis, Registered Dietician, and Certified Diabetes Educator shares five easy steps towards eating healthy along with consuming proper nutrition, so you can enjoy the monsoon while keeping up with your fitness goals:

Make Healthier choices

Sip on warm Green Tea and Green Coffees

Nothing beats the feeling of drinking our favorite hot beverages during the monsoon. You can switch to healthier alternatives like superfood Green Tea which is a nutrition powerhouse, filled with minerals and vitamins like vitamin C. Superfoods like Green Tea are infused with antioxidant properties that boost immunity as well as help regulate the metabolism. With numerous flavors available like honey, lemon, lemon grass and mint, it can bring relief from cold and phlegm which is a common occurrence during the monsoon.

While green tea satiates the tea enthusiasts, coffee lovers can try out the healthier Green coffee which is a health booster and high in antioxidants. The unroasted cousin of coffee, the healthier version is loaded with immunity boosting properties and therefore has three times the antioxidant potential which is otherwise lost during the roasting process. It not only makes for a really healthy alternative but also tastes great.

Don’t forget your dose of proteins

For the best of immunity during this season, it is vital to consume a good quantity and quality of protein in our diet. A quarter of your meal should always include the right protein. Nowadays, instant-ready High Protein soups infused with superfoods like quinoa, amaranth and turmeric are available which are really nutritious and have up to 4x protein content v/s regular soups. It is a convenient and nourishing option to keep you warm and active while cleansing your body of bacteria and waste products. One of the best things about soups is that when you are hungry in the evenings, this plays out as a very good evening snack. For people also soaked in rain water, it helps achieve instant relief since its warm base clears up phlegm in the nasal cavities and general throat area.

Besides soups you can also include seasonal delicacies like bhutta which can be turned into spicy and tangy grilled corn for light snacking along with steamed muthiyas, boiled groundnuts and warm salads that are super healthy and provide instant respite to our monsoon snack cravings.

Consume select fruit, veggies and cooked foods

As our bodies find it harder to digest food during the monsoon, one should eat in moderation and eat only when hungry. Practice thorough washing of fruit and vegetables, particularly leafy vegetables and cauliflower with salt or baking soda. One can also opt for non-leafy vegetables such as snake gourd (pawal), bottle gourd (dudhi), apple gourd (tinda), bitter gourd (karela), cluster beans, French beans, etc. in their diet. However, avoid uncooked food, raw salads and sprouts. Steam those veggies and sprouts well before consuming them to avoid contracting water borne illnesses. Seasonal fruit like mangoes, bananas, apples, litchis, cherries and pomegranates should be eaten as the non-seasonal ones may be infested with disease inducing worms.

Maintain your salt and water levels

Salt is one of the ingredients that complete our food along with adding a dash of edge to our fancy dishes, but excess of it causes water retention and bloating in the body especially in monsoon. Thus, avoid excess salt in your diet while also going slow on pickles, papads, chutneys, especially packaged and canned foods. Maintain your hydration and proper flushing out of the toxins by drinking adequate amounts of boiled and filtered water within 24 hours.

Revisit those ‘Dadi ke nuskhe’ monsoon home remedies

Every household has their own version of home remedies to cure common cold, indigestion, etc. that are passed down from generation to generation. Home remedies like ‘kadhas’ and other traditional tonics can be consumed regularly to always stay on your A-game. Concoctions prepared out of ingredients like virgin coconut oil (10 ml), garlic (2-3 freshly chopped cloves), fennel (2-3 teaspoons), ginger (1-2 inch), cloves (3 -4), cumin seeds (2-3 teaspoons), and turmeric (4 pinches) can be consumed frequently since they are anti-viral in nature that help in boosting our body’s immune system functioning.

(IANSlife can be contacted at ianslife@ians.in)

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