As Delhi Chokes, Having These 5 Foods Will Help Build Immunity
Ginger and Jaggery can help build immunity against pollution. 
Ginger and Jaggery can help build immunity against pollution. (Photo: AP/iStock/Altered by FIT)

As Delhi Chokes, Having These 5 Foods Will Help Build Immunity

As the capital chokes under a thick blanket of smog, Delhites are literally resorting to saam, daam, dand, bhed to stay clear of the ravages of pollution (if that’s even a possibility). Desperate times call for desperate measures.

So while you invest in air-purifiers, masks, indoor plants and more, do not neglect your diet and build your immunity to fight infections.

1. Jaggery

Time to bring back some jaggery in the diet. 
Time to bring back some jaggery in the diet. 
(Photo: iStock)

Go find some jaggery hidden in some jar in one of your kitchen cabinets. Jaggery is loaded with iron and helps improve the oxygen pumping capacity of the blood – strengthening the body’s immune system.

Add moderate quantities of jaggery in your diet to boost the immune system. It keeps the body warm and helps fight infections. 
Huda Shaikh, Nutritionist Clinical Dietitian and Founder of Nutribond

2. Ginger

Nothing beats the age-old ginger tea. 
Nothing beats the age-old ginger tea. 
(Photo: iStock)

Ginger has been hailed as the wonder cure for sore throat. Remember how our grandmas used to force us to have kaadhas and adrak ki chai when we could not stop coughing?

If you find yourself coughing incessantly due to the irritants in the air, have some ginger juice with a drop of honey to feel better. You could even add some crushed black pepper to the juice to clear the accumulated cough.

Ginger is a potent antioxidant and antiseptic. Its anti-inflammatory qualities can help in relieving congestion and ease throat pain. 
Huda Shaikh, Nutritionist Clinical Dietitian and Founder of Nutribond

3. Broccoli

Have Broccoli to boost your immunity.
Have Broccoli to boost your immunity.
(Photo: iStock)

According to a study conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,

Daily consumption of a half cup of broccoli sprout beverage can lead to rapid, significant, and sustained higher levels of excretion of benzene (known to cause cancer) and acrolein (a lung irritant).

This excretion is due to the presence of sulforaphane, an anti-carcinogenic compound contained in broccoli. According to Huda Shaikh,

The presence of vitamin C and beta carotene makes it a super food for this season. 

Besides, you have it in so many ways – salads, soups, pasta, stir-fry veggies, broth and even raw. Make sure to include it in your diet in some way or the other.

4. Foods Rich In Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a rich source of antioxidants. 
Vitamin C is a rich source of antioxidants. 
(Photo: iStock)

Come winters and we love to gorge on amla chutney. Amla is a rich source of vitamin C which can improve our immunity against foreign particles. Citrus fruits, guava and lemon are also rich in vitamin C.

If you want to keep infections and allergies away, keep oranges, grapefruits, bell peppers close. 
Huda Shaikh, Nutritionist Clinical Dietitian and Founder of Nutribond

5. Foods Rich In Vitamin E

Almonds are great to build immunity. 
Almonds are great to build immunity. 
(Photo: iStock)
Foods such as almonds, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E and are beneficial in this weather due to their strong antioxidant properties. They also help repair the body from free radical damage and protect the cells. 
Huda Shaikh, Nutritionist Clinical Dietitian and Founder of Nutribond

Vitamin E doubles up as an antioxidant and helps make the body stronger and more resilient. Almonds, spinach, avocado, palm oil are all good sources of vitamin E which gives you ample options to include this super vitamin in your diet. Think delicious smoothies, yoghurt, salads garnished with a spoonful of health!

Drink green tea (rich source of antioxidants), include basil, garlic, honey in your diet to bolster the immune system. Stay hydrated as water helps flush out toxins from the body.

Just remember, lung damage is irreversible. It’s important to have these foods year round to build up your system to fight infections.

(Breathe In, Breathe Out: Are you finding it tough to breathe polluted air? Join hands with FIT to find #PollutionKaSolution. Send in your suggestions to fit@thequint.com or WhatsApp @+919999008335)

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