The Best Immunity Boosting Foods For Your Family

With the change in season, the sniffles and the throat irritation have already started. Add these immunity-boosting food to your meals to keep illness at bay.
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The changing weather brings with it coughs, sniffles, and sore throats that are unwanted visitors during this season.

Building your family's immune system and protecting them from any kind of infection is every parent's first priority. Making sure they don't fall ill means that their immune system should be protected against all kinds of illnesses that rear their head with every season change. So before you put your doc's number on speed dial, why not try some tried and tested home remedies to banish these illnesses?

You may also like: Meal Plan: Include These Immunity Boosting Foods In Your Meals

From the moment a baby is born, you can start protected and building their immunity by breastfeeding them. The colostrum or pre-milk that you lactate is packed with immunity building antibodies. As they grow and their nutritional needs increase you should start introducing them to fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Besides food, there are a few things you should keep in mind that help keep your kids healthy

We've put together a list of foods that are guaranteed to boost immunity through the season and ensure your family stays healthy.

Bonus: Click on the links below to get the recipes!

Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and experts feel that this helps increase T cell activity in the body. T cells are known as the "helper" cells that fight infection. This beetroot-sweet potato cutlets recipe is easy and your family will enjoy them thoroughly. You can fry them crisp like french fries and seem them disappear.

Ginger & Garlic

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Garlic has the ability to boost your immune system by increasing the rate at which your natural killer cells are made and helps fight off the cold and flu. Ginger has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which help to cure colds and fight against infections. Give the family a shot of this homemade immunity booster and see the magic. Besides using fresh ginger in our meals, dry ginger powder or sonth can be used to make Sonth Ke Laddu. Sonth is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Amla

Indian gooseberries or Amla are one of the best immunity boosters forb to prevent from illness as its rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants and minerals. You can make this grandmom's easy amla juice recipe and boost their health.

Almonds

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Almonds a powerhouse of protein, fibre, potassium, healthy fat. They also contain niacin and riboflavin—B-Vitamins that may help ward off the negative effects of stress and infections by boosting the immune system.  If your child is small and you think they will choke of almonds then make a nut butter and spread it on toast or if your kids are older, add them to your granola bars along with a handful of seeds. You have a full packed energy bar ready for snack time. 

Bell Peppers

All varieties – red, yellow or green- of bell peppers are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid, and fibre. However, the red ones have almost 11 times more beta-carotene and 1.5 times more vitamin C than the others. We have a really tasty bell pepper and oatmeal muffins recipe. Give it a try. 

Mushrooms

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Mushrooms have both anti-viral and anti-bacterial qualities. They are an excellent source of Vitamin D & are rich in vitamin B12, phosphorus, and calcium.

Citrus Fruits

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Our body doesn't produce or store Vitamin C so we need vitamin C daily. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. With such a variety to choose from, it's easy to add a squeeze of this vitamin to any meal. Citrus fruits include lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit etc. 

Sprouts

You can sprout just about anything – green moong dal, chickpeas, lobia, kala chana. The process of sprouting enhances the nutritional value of the grains, legumes or beans. The level of minerals, antioxidants and vitamins including vitamin D in sprouts is quite high.  Sprouts can be had raw like a salad. For those who don't like the taste of raw sprouts, you can parboil and eat them or you can keep things interesting and make this simple sprouted dosa recipe. You can make sathu maavu porridge for the kids too. 

Turmeric

Turmeric or haldi is anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic and it's really beneficial for kids and adults. Turmeric helps in the development of the brain by increasing DHA levels, it is great for asthmatic children and it has a strong immune-modulatory effect. Make a cup of turmeric milk every night for the family and protect their immune system. You can also make a raw turmeric pickle and add it to your meals.

Barley

Barley or jau is a very healthy grain that is rich in fibre and is packed with selenium, B vitamins, phosphorus, copper and magnesium.  Including barley in your child's diet will help strengthen their bones and liver and it also has anti-fungal properties. You can use it instead of rice to make a barley risotto or make a chicken barley soup. 

Berries

You can choose from strawberry, blackberry, raspberries, blueberry, and cranberry – they all contain phytochemicals and flavonoids and are rich in antioxidants too. These help in building the body's immune system.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium, folate, and carotenoids.  When children refuse plain broccoli, try making this yum broccoli and cheese soup out of it.

Curd

Yoghurt or curd strengthens the intestinal tract in children to prevent gastrointestinal illnesses. Probiotics which is the good bacteria helps the bad bacteria in the stomach and is a great immune booster for kids.

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