Monsoon is here. This is the time when our bodies need to undergo the immunity test. Monsoon is the time when we frequently fall sick. The change in weather and the humidity in the air results in fever, cough and other illnesses. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Anupama Menon, Nutritionist and Life coach spoke about the importance of immunity – “Immunity is primary to health. Infections or fevers once or twice a year is actually welcome, it helps your immunity build and makes you resistant to future infections. But anything more than that warrants a check on your health and strengthening your immune responses.” She further added that for immunity, a healthy gut and liver is necessary, as they help in removing the toxins and detoxifying the body.
Dr. Sowmya Bharani, Lead Nutrition Expert, Lil Goodness stated the main practices that should be incorporated in order to have a healthy gut – “In today’s day and age, the first step in improving your gut health is removing certain foods such as junk food, processed food, aerated drinks, etc which helps to boost gut health, by reducing the growth of unhealthy bacteria. The power of removing unhealthy bacteria is always understated. In Indian culture we have a lot of gut friendly foods. So is relatively easy to adopt to a ‘gut friendly diet’. Idly, dosa, chilla, curd rice, buttermilk, pickles, kadhi, khichdi etc.”
Anupama Menon further noted down the immunity-boosting snacks that are gut-friendly and healthy for the body:
Fruits: Amla, Lemon, and other Vit C-rich foods like guava, oranges, and mosumbi can improve overall body alkalinity and are also great antioxidants helping the gut and thus immunity.
Nuts and seeds: Nuts such as Almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, methi seeds, chia seeds, garden cress seeds bound into small ladoos with jaggery or honey can go a long way in supplementing iron, magnesium, copper, selenium, and Vit E which are all powerful antioxidants.
Fermented foods: Fermented foods like beet kvass, fermented vegetables & fruits, lacto fermented salsa, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi host and encourage good bacteria in the gut when consumed.
Prebiotics: Prebiotics help probiotics grow and populate. Hence a good mix of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and other fiber-rich foods must be added to the diet.
Spices: Spices like curcumin and garlic contain compounds that can boost your immunity.
Vegetable juices: Cold-pressed juices from spinach, yellow pumpkin, tomatoes, ash-gourd and celery contain active enzymes which can boost immunity and aid digestion.