Superfoods

5 Superfoods and Ayurvedic Herbs Boosting Immunity 

Lifestyle Magazine

“Food is the only cure for complete healing and is effective with any medication”

 

From 6.1 billion to 7.9 billion, the world population has increased by 29.5% over the last 2 decades. With the rising numbers every year we are also observing a significant rise in the disease rate. With the outbreak, people are now cautious about eating the right food and maintaining a healthy lifestyle which will help them in coping with stress and fighting diseases. Keeping all the advantages and disadvantages in mind people are now choosing Superfoods and Ayurvedic diets included in a well-balanced dietary regime over regular foods that help human bodies to ward off diseases.

 

Medical practitioners are hoping to treat illnesses not with drugs but with the help of nutrition to cure and prevent them.

Public health bodies have come up with practices that are important to follow in order to reduce the spread of infection. At the same time boosting the immune system with adequate nutrition is another important and parallel way to help reduce the risk and impact of virus infections. Ensuring sufficient nutrition intake is a positive approach that can promote a healthy immune response.

 

The COVID-19 has a slew of complications that come up with it and none of us have immunity to this virus prior to its appearance. Nutrition plays an important role in regulating immune and inflammatory responses that are needed to fight viral and bacterial pathogens. There was an old concept which still holds true and is even more important now than ever, that deficiency or lower status of essential micro and macronutrients impairs immune response and increases susceptibility to infection. It’s crucial to understand the impact of dietary habits on immunity inflammation and inflammatory responses in the context of nutrition and infection.

 

At this point, immunity is the only weapon and health is the only asset we possess. Human bodies have healing power and potential which helps them heal on their own when provided with the right nutrients, food, thoughts, lifestyle, enough sleep, and stress management techniques. If we create the right space and environment to live in, human bodies can do magic to heal, recover and shine out. The gut plays a major role in immunity, hence the consumption of food is directly related to the gut, either it damages or heals it. About 70-80 percent of the immune cells are present in the gut.

 

Superfoods: The super-hero of regular food

Superfoods play a prominent role in the immunity cycle. They help in healing and improving gut health, thereby allowing the immune cells to get nourishment. Superfoods are nutrient-dense foods, even when consumed in small amounts do miracles in the body.

The antioxidants in superfoods help in neutralizing, decreasing, and reversing the free radicals or molecules with an uneven number of electrons containing oxygen which induce large chemical reactions in the body that are connected to various health problems. They help in reducing inflammation and possess antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It improves immunity, microbiome and gut health, heart health, promotes healthy digestion, boosts focus and memory, and helps in fighting diseases and infections.

 

  • Berries: Berries are among the most nutrient-rich fruits which comprise the highest level of antioxidants in the form of polyphenols, flavonoid, and anthocyanins which is responsible for the blue pigment. A 150 gram serving of berries contains Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Manganese, and other trace elements which is healthier as compared to five servings of fruits and vegetables. The nutrients boost blood flow, blood pressure, immunity, lowers cholesterol, and improves lung function.
  • Broccoli: Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that is also called the nutrient powerhouse. It has more Vitamin C than an orange and more than 200 milligrams of potassium in just a half-cup serving, it also has an unusually strong combination of Vitamin A and Vitamin K and even an adequate amount of protein that is up to four grams. 
  • Tea: Drinking tea is extremely beneficial as it helps in curing inflammation, digestion, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have associated drinking three cups of tea in a day with an 11 percent decrease in risk of myocardial infarction and a 23 percent decrease in risk of having strokes. Tea contains a unique amino acid called I-theanine which is a powerful mood enhancer that promotes alpha brainwave activities that affect brain chemistry and neurotransmitters resulting in a sense of calmness and elevated mood.
  • Beans: In a daily diet, beans should be the major source of protein and carbohydrates. Beans have a compound called Inositol pentakisphosphate IP5 which is very powerful against cancer and doesn’t allow cancer cells to replicate, they are also full of Phytic acid. The polyphenols in beans permeate our skin not only against skin cancer but every organ in the body including the brain, liver, kidney, and heart; these phytonutrients stay in the tissues acting as a barrier against diseases.
  • Fatty Fish: Consumption of animal products has been unequivocally associated with heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and osteoporosis. It is regarded as crucial because human bodies cannot create them. Consuming 0.45-4.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids every day leads to significant improvement in arterial function by decreasing inflammation, blood pressure and improving the function of lining cells of the arteries.

ayurvedic herbs
Image: Omni Superfood

Ayurvedic spices and herbs: Ancient, natural, and holistic approach

In ancient Vedic science, Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of  ‘vyadiksamathwa’ which means natural resistance bearing capacity to diseases. According to Ayurveda, the human body is made with three basic organizations which are ‘Vata’, ‘Pitta’, and ‘Kapha’. Pitta, the energy of digestion and metabolism helps in the transformation of food into micro coils causing nourishment and metabolic activities. With stable metabolic activities, the food that is being consumed is completely digested and the end product is positive energy or Ojas that keeps our defense mechanism in balance. The first line of management is to keep the gut healthy which is directly related to immunity. Many Ayurvedic spices and herbs help the human body to repair and rejuvenate itself.

  • Ginger: Ginger has more than 150 antioxidants, it helps human bodies to regenerate fast so every cell can easily fight bacteria and viruses. Ginger helps in managing blood sugar levels and also in clearing and generalization of the digestive system. It makes the body’s defense system strong by cleansing the lymphatic system, flushing out toxins, and killing bacteria.
  • Ashwagandha Root (Indian Ginseng): Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogen that can boost immunity. It reduces mental fatigue and improves sleep patterns, lowers blood sugar levels making it ideal for those with diabetes; the calming effects help with depression, stress, and anxiety due to its antidepressant nature.
  • Tulsi: The eugenol in Tulsi ensures anti-inflammatory action in the digestive tract. Basil and its strong anti-inflammatory properties can prove to be a cure to a variety of diseases and disorders. It contains two important water-soluble flavonoid antioxidants which strengthen the immune system, protects the cellular structure, DNA and delays the effects of skin aging.
  • Amla: It is the richest fruit in Vitamin C in the world, which makes it rich in antioxidants and an immunity booster. It is also rich in fiber which helps in the digestion of proteins.
  • Turmeric: The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin which is a photochemical that helps in fighting inflammation, the medicinal value of turmeric has been recognized for over 4000 years. It reduces inflammation throughout the body preventing age-related deterioration. 

 

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