Winter can be a tough time for people who tend to have a weaker immune system. With constant changes in weather, where on some days it gets too foggy, windy or rainy or extremely chilly, you never know what ailment you might catch. A cough, cold and running nose are some of the most common diseases which affect people in winter. And no one is a fan of taking medications for diseases which they catch because of seasonal changes. Home remedies and naturally dealing with these infections is what many swear by.
So here are a few spices which are found in every Indian household that will help prevent sickness during winter:
The spice of the royals, saffron offers several health benefits, including instant relief from cold. You can add a few strands of saffron to milk and apply on your forehead. It is most likely that this will help to treat your cold during seasonal changes.
Having turmeric milk helps in boosting your immune system and keeps you away from various infections. The antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are helpful in dealing with a number of diseases.
Fenugreek or methi seeds have excellent antiviral properties that can kill viruses that make you sneeze and give you sore throats.
Nutmeg is warm in nature and has antibacterial properties that will boost your immune system. Adding nutmeg powder in hot milk along with a few drops of honey and cardamom will not only make for a soothing beverage, but will also keep your winter blues away.
5. Black pepper
Black pepper has several antioxidants that improve the body’s metabolism. Black pepper can be added to most Indian dishes, including your chai!
Cloves are full of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and dental-soothing properties. It is recognised for its medicinal properties all over the world, and also contributes to a unique flavour in several Indian dishes including biryani, pulao, salads and much more.
Cardomom or elaichi is also rich in antioxidants that help in detoxification of the blood and also aids better digestion. It is a rich source of Vitamin C and is added as a flavouring agent to numerous Indian dishes. Additionally, people add it to their daily teas since it works wonders in keeping away symptoms of cold.
Cinnamon or dalchini has several healing properties and is a powerhouse of antioxidants. One can mix cinnamon with ginger in their daily tea and beat common cold quite conveniently. Cinnamon also boosts immunity and protects body from bacterial infections.
Fruit and Vegetable Juices That Enhance the Immune System
Everyone knows that fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients that offer a wide range of benefits for the mind and body. Certain fresh produce help enhance your immune system, making it possible for you to easily avoid various infections and diseases. Juicing the following allows you to boost your immunity in a truly refreshing and delectable way:
The sweetness of carrot juice makes it loved by kids and adults alike. Carrots get their characteristic bright orange color from its rich supply of beta carotene, a nutrient converted into vitamin A for sharper vision and better eye health. More importantly, vitamin A is an essential nutrient for a stronger immunity.
Vitamin C in lemons makes these citrus fruits excellent boosters of your immune system. Vitamin C is a well-known powerful antioxidant that protects the body from colds, cough, flu and others. Lemon juice may be acidic, but it has an alkalizing property once ingested, helping to restore optimal pH balance in the body.
Other than vitamins and minerals, apples also contain plenty of insoluble fiber. This type of carbohydrates that cannot be digested by the body works as a broom that sweeps out toxins along the intestinal tract. With all of those accumulated poisonous substances out of your body, your immunity is in top-form.
When it comes to fruits, some of the best sources of vitamin C are kiwis. Other than this super antioxidant, kiwis also contain vitamins A and E, both of which are necessary for a stronger immune system. Insoluble fiber and potassium in these fruits are also highly favorable for your cardiovascular system.
Cranberry juice is admired for its ability to bolster the urinary tract system. However, it also contains plenty of vitamin C that helps safeguard you from illnesses brought about by invading microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses.
A vegetable that makes for an excellent immune-boosting juice is broccoli, thanks to its rich supply of beta carotene and vitamin C. Every glass of broccoli juice also provides your body with sulphur, a mineral with powerful antimicrobial properties. Sulphur promotes healing as well because it detoxifies the body at a cellular level.
What makes beet juice capable of supporting the immune system is its long list of vitamins and minerals. Some of them include vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, potassium and manganese. When juicing, it’s a good idea to mix beets with other fruits and vegetables of your choice due to its strong, earthy flavor.
Reduce asthma symptoms with Omega-3
A new study has found that consuming a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is linked to fewer childhood asthma symptoms which are triggered by indoor air pollution.
The study published in ‘American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine’, lays out that families and health care providers may be able to protect children from harmful effects of indoor air pollution by serving a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids while reducing foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids such as soyabean oil and corn oil.
“Our group is working on ways to reduce the levels of indoor air pollution in Baltimore City homes,” said lead author of the study, Emily Brigham. “Results are promising, but we don’t want to stop there,” Brigham added.
The study found that for each additional gram of omega-6 intake, children had 29 per cent higher odds of being in a more severe asthma category.
Conversely, with each 0.1-gram increase in levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, researchers saw 3 to 4 per cent lower odds of daytime asthma symptoms.
Indoor air pollution, from sources including cooking, cleaning activities and cigarette smoke, is a known trigger for asthma symptoms.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found abundantly in fish and certain nuts and seeds, are considered healthy as they are known to reduce inflammation.
Omega-6 fatty acids, primarily found in vegetable oils (including corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower), as came out in other studies, have mixed effects on health, but have the potential to promote inflammation.
The researchers, however, noted that it doesn’t prove the relationship between fatty acids and asthma severity.
“Among populations known to be disproportionately affected by asthma, we may find that improving diet and air pollution together has the greatest impact on health,” said Brigham.
New cell that can heal hearts discovered
Researchers have discovered a previously unidentified cell population which could lead to new treatments for patients with injured hearts.
The cell, described in the journal Immunity, was discovered in the pericardial fluid found in the sac around the heart of a mouse with heart injury. The researchers from the University of Calgary in Canada found that a specific cell, a Gata6+ pericardial cavity macrophage, helps heal an injured heart in mice.
The same cells were also found within the human pericardium of people with injured hearts, confirming that the repair cells offer the promise of a new therapy for patients with heart disease. “Our discovery of a new cell that can help heal injured heart muscle will open the door to new therapies and hope for the millions of people who suffer from heart disease,” said Paul Fedak, a professor at the University of Calgary.
“The possibilities for further discovery and innovative new therapies are exciting and important,” said Fedak. Heart doctors had never before explored the possibility that cells just outside the heart could participate in healing and repair of hearts after injury, researchers said.
Unlike other organs, the heart has a very limited capacity to repair itself which is why heart disease is the number one cause of death in North America, they said. “We always knew that the heart sits inside a sac filled with a strange fluid,” said Fedak. “Now we know that this pericardial fluid is rich with healing cells. These cells may hold the secret to repair and regeneration of new heart muscle,” he said.