Allergies and illnesses like the flu are just some of the irritants that arise during the summer, and one of the biggest reasons is a weak immune system. The body’s resistance to infections can go down for various reasons, from a lingering infection to an unbalanced diet that leads to deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and protein. However, all is not lost. With the help of these power foods, you’ll be back in shape in no time.
RAW GARLIC: Not only does the root vegetable have apparent powers to ward off vampires, but it also fights off many infections inside the body and on your skin. Raw garlic destroys bacteria and viruses with a compound called allicin that is released when garlic is crushed. However, when cooked, this compound loses its power and becomes ineffective. One way to increase your intake of raw garlic is by adding it to a salad dressing or even mixing finely chopped pieces with tomatoes as a topping for bruschetta. You can add raw garlic to a dip, pesto sauce, or mix it up with butter and spread it on bread. Just make sure not to exceed more than one clove a day as it can cause stomach issues.
GO PROBIOTIC: Good bacteria are vital for a thriving immunity because they help fight off bacteria that cause infection. One of the best ways to get your daily dose is with yoghurt, which is packed with these health-giving ‘live active cultures’ that help restore digestion in the intestines. Yoghurt is also high in vitamin D, which helps fight infections like the flu. However, it’s best to consume plain yoghurt rather than flavoured ones that are high in sugar. Another great way to boost probiotic levels in your system is by eating fermented food like idli, dosa, khandvi and even jalebi. Fermented food is predigested by good bacteria and yeast, and as a result, the nutrients get easily absorbed by the body. They also help in preventing cell damage and support the brain’s functioning.
OAT IT UP: Who would have thought that your daily cup of oats could help your body get stronger from the inside? The cereal grain contains a fibre called beta-glucan that is not only great for controlling cholesterol but also boosting immunity. In fact, oats are even prescribed to people who are suffering from physical and emotional exertion. Increase your intake of the good cereal by having a bowl of porridge with oats, milk, honey and nuts like almonds, chia or flaxseed. To control rashes or allergies, apply a face mask with 1 tablespoon of oats, 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon olive oil.