How to boost up your immunity amidst this dangerous season?
Winter season is when we see disease and viral outbreak, because the weather creates a perfect thriving condition for viruses to infect us, humans – BUT ONLY if we are weak enough to let it do so.
When we talk about immunity in body defence against viral infection, there is more depth to it. Adaptive immunity is what protects us against viral infection (how vaccine works!), and adaptive immunity goes far beyond the mucous or white blood cells that eat up bacteria. Adaptive immunity involves a greater range of special “army troops” deployed by the body to target a certain virus specifically. Obviously, to do this, the body needs more specific nutrients that allow it to build these “army troops”.
So, what are the foods that we can regularly consume to boost our immunity?
No, putting onion in the room doesn’t kill bacteria. But onion and garlic contain a specific compound called allicin – which acts like a natural antibiotic. Basically, it is found to prevent growth of bacteria. Turmeric on the other hand, has a component called curcumin, proven to prevent inflammation in your body!
So, whenever you are in the mamak or Chinese restaurants, feel free to add these onto your dishes for extra flavour and IMMUNITY!
Pro tip: Take note to not dip these excessively in soy sauce!
Berries contain some of the highest vitamin C content in the fruit family. Strawberries, blueberries, goji berries and etc contain vitamin C in high amount, yet another crucial nutrient proven to play an important role in proper immune function. In this era of “low carb diet”, it can be a very common misconception to not eat fruits due to their “sweet” taste being perceived as having high sugar content or “fattening”. This however is never the case when taken in moderate amount. Eat your fruits!
For busy people on-the-go, getting fruits that are convenient to eat like bananas or blending fruits in a shake for smoothie can be an useful way to incorporate these foods into your diet!
Seeds are not usually staple foods in Malaysian diet, due to their lack of availability and relevance in cultural foods. However, seeds are powerhouses of zinc and selenium, a powerhouse of immunity boost. What’s more important, these two nutrients are easily deficient in normal Malaysian diet. Zinc and selenium play important role as micronutrients to ensure that your immune system function properly. Think of the lag if you play a game without graphic card in your computer!
Pro tip: Add seeds like chia seeds, pumpkin seeds etc into your breakfast cereal or as a snack. In Indian seeds, fenugreek is a great way of adding it into your diet!
At the end of the day, there is no single food that can prevent you entirely from getting disease or cure you from a disease. However, with the right combination of foods that you eat consistently, you can create a wall of defence that is extremely difficult for bacteria or viruses to break through!