Indian kitchen staples are great for building immunity

Immunity is a system built into the human body to resist invasion of inimical viruses and diseases. One cannot build immunity with the use of medicines

Your immunity depends on your food habits and lifestyle. Immunity cannot be built up overnight. It takes at least six months to one year to develop fully

Among foods conducive to immunity building, the most prominent is garlic, a staple in our kitchens and an important component of various Indian cuisines

Garlic contains allicin, a pungent, oily liquid with antibacterial properties, which spurs the growth of leukocytes or white blood cells that fight infections

A Journal of Nutrition Science study on 143 persons consuming garlic found that 63 per cent of infections causing fever, cold and flu had considerably reduced

Children can be given two cloves of garlic soaked in milk to boost immunity. Foods rich in Vitamin-C such as lemon, amla, orange and guava also raise immunity

Vitamin-C triggers growth of a type of white blood cells called neutrophils — the first line of defence in the immune system — which ward off infectious bacteria

Long festering wounds would easily heal if you have foods rich in Vitamin-C. The essential vitamin can also help cure lung infections and other pulmonary diseases

Vitamin-C need not be obtained from supplements. A guava can give you up to 250 mg of Vitamin-C. Adequate Vitamin-C absorption also prevents anaemia

Similarly, ginger is anti-inflammatory and has antioxidant qualities. Have a few small ginger pieces mixed with crystal salt in the morning to regulate digestion

The most common fixture in Indian kitchens  is turmeric. Its main constituent is curcumin, a bright yellow phenolic compound that colours and flavours food

Turmeric paste is applied on wounds or scratches on the skin to heal them. It is also an age-old practice to drink milk boiled with turmeric before going to bed at night

Turmeric also keeps cholesterol under control and improves heart health, and taken raw in small pieces, turmeric helps to regulate the menstrual cycle

The various pigments in colourful fruits and vegetables are antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals that may cause heart disease and cancer

Veggies and fruits also have lots of fibre, making them ideal for weight loss as well. Including a colourful variety of fruits and veggies in your diet is hugely beneficial

Avoid junk food and sweet foods as they interfere with building up immunity. Proper diet, good lifestyle and a sufficient sleep cycle lead to a strong immune system

Cultivate the practice of going to bed three or four hours after sundown and getting up one hour after sunrise

Every day, doing a half hour of workout or walking will keep your body brisk and immune to diseases