What is immunity? Immunity refers to the acceptance of what is of the body and rejection, which does not belong to it. What are superfoods? Superfoods are simple foods with extra nutritive value, making them important to consume. It is more of a micronutrient and fewer calories.
Local superfoods: A food that is grown in the surrounding areas where a person lives is known as local foods. The reason behind the consumption of local foods would be: These foods are easily available to people. As they are locally grown, they are fresh produce and will contain a maximum nutrition quotient. There are environmental sustainability and economic help to the local farmers.
SUPERFOODS AND IMMUNITY Superfoods are directly linked with immunity by the properties it gives, protects the human body, and fights the diseases.
Why certain foods are called superfoods? All the food consumed by a person whether raw or cooked has its own nutritional properties such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, amino acids, and most important enzymes. Everyone knows about the fact that macronutrient provides us energy, but these microelements provide us immunity.
Superfoods that we can use in daily life to boost immunity are:
Curcumin- an important bioactive compound that is the immune factor of turmeric. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant at the same time. – The curcumin factor of turmeric has scientifically proved itself in curing Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and depression. – 1 tsp of turmeric in a glass of milk helps to get a soothing sleep.
– The shape of the nut shows its significance, how much important it is for the brain. – Walnuts are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, copper, zinc, vitamin B-6, and the antioxidant vitamin E. – The fatty acids of the walnuts help in providing cushioning to the joint muscle and anti-oxidant vitamin E helps in lowering stress, depression, and various cardiac diseases.
3. Moringa (Drumstick)
– Each part of the plant is used for human consumption. Right from the flower to the pod to leaves and the sticks, all play their important role in consumption. – The leaves and sticks contain minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and vitamins like B2, B3, B6, and C. – All of these vitamins and minerals help in improving the immunity of a person and stay strong and healthy.
4. Vitamin C containing foods
– Various foods such as orange, grapes, grapefruit, mango, pineapple, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, garlic, peppers, berries, etc. contain Vitamin C. – These foods help in stimulating and functioning of the white blood cells- immunity fighting cells. – Many antibody productions are also done in the presence of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and the daily recommendation for men is 90 mg and for women is75 mg.
– India has always been one of the major consumers of ghee, deriving from the animal (fat) origin; it is often understood as an avoiding factor for today’s generation. – If this fat is used in a moderate amount i.e.10% of the total daily fat, it is proven an immunity booster for all. – The fat contains antioxidants and essential fatty acids such as butyric and omega-6 fatty acids, which are anti-viral, and prevents our body from virus attacks.
6. Dark Chocolate
– ‘Cocoa’, is the phenolic compound that increases immunity. – The U.S. National Institute of Health states “Cocoa is the food with immunoregulatory properties. “Dark Chocolate is an antioxidant helping in relieving stress and aids in the intestinal adaptive immune system. – The Imperial College of London state that,. “Cocoa aids in cough congestion.” – The dark chocolate should be of at least 75-85 % cocoa containing.
7. Green Tea
– Power-packed with antioxidants, green tea never fails to provide immunity. – It helps the body to increase the number of regulatory T-cells, which is a key role in immune function. – The antioxidants kill the pathogens invading the body and protect the body from cold and infection.
Ways to incorporate superfoods in the diet– Consume complete fruits in places of juices. – Blend the vegetables into a puree and consume them in the form of soups and gravies. – Spices are an amazing source of immunity, with the help of antioxidants, oils, and bioactive compounds found in them. Add them to your food, to avail its benefits. – For kids and adults, who have many tantrums into eating, always make their favorite food by substituting them with healthier alternatives and a great taste. – Foods should be consumed as much as in the natural form available.
Constraints for food absorption and non-acceptance of immunity– Alcohol and Smoking: Excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs restricts the body from not absorbing the nutrients provided by superfoods. – Stress: stress releases free radicals that create oxidation of cells, which damages the DNA, protein, and the cell itself.
Factors that help in increasing the immune system– Exercise: exercise, yoga, meditation helps the human brain become calm. It helps to boost and producing new blood cells in the body. The amino acids in the body break down to form immunity providing cells. – Sanitation and Hygiene: the eating-place and surrounding of the person should have good hygiene, to keep the food free from microbes. – Positive Thinking: it is important to think positively it helps in better absorption of food. – Balanced Diet: the diet should contain foods from all food groups, for the ability of all nutrients in required amounts.