Spices add zing not only to what you eat but they are also potent immune system warriors. A quick tip- Choose spices that are ‘Sarvagun Sampann’– Try sniffing your spices, the stronger the fragrance, means natural oil is intact in them and hence the healthier they are. Not many know that spices can actually be our saviour in today’s turbulent times, and protect us from myriad viruses – by upping our immunity. Here are a few of those-
Turmeric has curcumin, which is antiviral and a strong cold and flu-fighter. Curcumin also helps lower the levels of inflammatory enzymes (caused due to infection) in your body and is incredibly purifying. It is loaded with antioxidants, is anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial and helps keep infections at bay. Always opt for turmeric power that is sampann with natural oils and has atleast 3% curcumin level.
Cumin seeds are a good source of iron, a mineral that is an integral component of hemoglobin which helps transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells. It is also important for energy production and metabolism. Additionally, iron helps keep the immune system healthy which can prove critical this season.
Black pepper is both, an antioxidant and an antibacterial agent and thus contributes to overall wellness tremendously. It also has vitamin C, which naturally boosts the immunity and works as an excellent antibiotic.
An organic expectorant, clove helps to break up phlegm in the throat and esophagus and helps prevent respiratory tract infections.
Tip: always place a clove under your tongue (and keep sucking on it slowly) when you step out. Drinking clove tea is a great idea too.
Carom seeds help in treating cold and warding off nasal blockage and flus. They also help in effectively dealing with respiratory ailments associated with myriad flus.
You could try some of these quick concoctions to keep your immunity going strong-
- Just warm up some milk, add some powered pure haldi to it and a pinch of pepper and drink at night before going to sleep. If milk does not work for you, then add some haldi to warm water, with ginger and pepper (both potent infection busters) and begin your day fighting fit.
- Just eat 2 grams of pan roasted ajwain seeds every day. Or have ajwain tea: Boil water, add black or green tea, and add ajwain, ginger, and elaichi. Add milk now and let the mixture boil well for about 3 minutes.
Simply put, spices are a very cost effective, culturally acceptable and sustainable way of eating well and staying healthy. It gives ‘Sarvagunn Sampann health’. And just a little pinch goes a long way!
Kavita Devgan is an acclaimed nutritionist with 20 plus years experience, and is on the panel of experts for www.TataNutrikorner.com