With the viral times we are facing it is more important than ever to take care of our immune system. Coronavirus has hit millions of people around the world and we know that the effects of the infection can vary dramatically from one individual to the next. Those with compromised health are more at risk to reach critical conditions if infected, while others with optimal health might not even notice symptoms. You know by now that no matter where you are on the health spectrum you can still get infected and spread the virus, so no immunity boosting tips out there should replace physical distance, wearing a mask, and washing your hands! That being said, boosting your immunity can help strengthen your body to fight this or any other nasty virus out there.
With our modern lives, stress, unhealthy eating habits, exposure to toxins, and other lifestyle issues, our immune systems are being constantly challenged and tend to be on overdrive. This can set us up for general malaise, fatigue, mood disorders, and ultimately chronic disease, and it can leave us more vulnerable to infectious diseases like COVID-19. Getting our immune system back to working normally can help our bodies be more resilient to foreign attackers.
Fortunately we can find ingredients in our own kitchens that can help regulate our immune systems, and we can easily add them into our cooking.
The use of spices to boost health is not new. The traditional Indian medical science known as Ayurveda has been using these spices for thousands of year in order to boost immunity. Today modern science has proven many of Ayurveda’s claims about these ingredients to be true.
Here are a few of the spices that have been used for centuries to boost health. These ingredients can help give you a little immunity boost that could go a long way and you most likely already have them laying around in your kitchen.
Turmeric is gaining a lot of attention lately as a superfood. From curcumin supplement capsules to foamy yellow lattes, turmeric is in the spotlight of all health nuts out there. You’ve probably heard of golden milk gaining fame lately too. What you might not know is that golden milk or Haldi Ka Dooh as known traditionally, has been around for way longer than you can imagine. Ayurveda has used this drink to promote liver function, reduce inflammation, and support lung health.
Turmeric is rich in curcumin, a compound that helps regulate immune response in the body and reduce inflammation. Consuming curcumin can bring an over-stressed immune system back to normal.
You can easily get more curcumin in your diet by adding turmeric to your recipes, eating more foods that are spiced with turmeric like curries, making your own Haldi milk, or if you want a more potent boost, you can get concentrated curcumin capsules as a supplement.
Similar to turmeric, ginger has a big spotlight in the world of natural health. It has compounds such as gingerols, shogaol, and paradols which are believed to help prevent or fight cancer. Gingerols are also rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, so like turmeric, ginger can help regulate the immune system so that it is not overtaxed and can properly fight foreign threats.
Ginger is easy to add to drinks, snacks, and even desserts. You can get some ginger in during the day making a herbal infusions with ginger and lemon, or by throwing a few thin slices of ginger into your water bottle to sip on during the day.
In addition to the immune benefits, ginger is also know to aid with digestion, muscle cramps, and brain health.
If you don’t have ginger or turmeric on your kitchen counter, you most likely do have some garlic laying around. Garlic has gained fame as a strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, and it’s used to help treat stubborn infections. It is also proven to be beneficial to heart health and help fight arteriosclerosis (the stiffening of arteries).
Garlic has a compound known as allicin which can help strengthen the disease fighting properties of white blood cells, making it a great immune system booster.
You can sprinkle garlic into your recipes, but be aware that overcooking it may deactivate some of the allicin, so you may want to add a little extra to make to for that loss.
If garlic is too strong of a taste for you there are always capsule supplements that might be a little easier to take and have much higher concentrations, so if garlic is not your favourite cooking ingredient, extract supplements might be better suited for you.
Black pepper is also known as a great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that can help regulate immune responses. It can also help eliminate toxins from the body. Some studies have also shown that several types of bacteria had inhibited growth when exposed to black pepper, so it may help fight foreign attackers on top of keeping your immune system working properly.
Black pepper is probably the easiest to add to your diet. Toss it over any savoury meal and it will likely taste great. Ayurveda usually pairs it up with turmeric in healing recipes like the Haldi milk I mentioned above, so you can also throw it into your golden milk or turmeric lattes to let the two work together for an even stronger boost.