5 Spices That Also Double As Immune Boosters
- 3 mins read
- Diet and Healthy Food
- Jillian Lai Mei Siew
In testing times like the ongoing pandemic, we have all looked for different ways to improve our immunity. But did you know that the spices we use in our food daily can also serve as great immunity boosters? Yes, you read that right! There are various spices that boost immunity. This article will give you an insight into all you need to know about these simple and easily available immune-boosting spices.
A recent study conducted in 2020 has shown that countries with lesser intake of spices had higher number of Covid-19 cases per million population*. Now that’s an interesting point to be noted.
Spices have proven to have excellent immune boosting properties. The best part about them is that they don’t need to be taken separately like a medicine/drug. They can simply be added to your choice of dishes with double the benefits: tasty food plus increased immunity!
Here are 5 best spices for immunity which can help improve your body’s defence mechanism:
We are all familiar with the powdery, yellow substance in the kitchen. Turmeric is one of the most commonly spices used in Asian food. Ancient healers have long known about the association between the turmeric and the immune system. The association continues to remain just as strong today.
Turmeric contains curcuminoid as its active ingredient which is responsible for its powerful, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It helps to prevent the growth of bacteria, virus and fungi, and thus helps your body prevent and fight off infections. You can add turmeric to any food, or mix it with your soups, smoothies, milk/water.
Garlic is used as a major flavour-enhancer in all kinds of foods across the world. In addition to its flavour, garlic is also known for its various medicinal benefits.
Garlic contains a compound called allicin which helps to improve the fighting capacity of white blood cells, which are the major cells involved in immunity. These cells protect the body against infections and foreign substances. As raw garlic provides better health benefits, you can add freshly crushed or chopped garlic with any food of your choice.
We all must have heard about the benefits of ginger as a classic, natural remedy for a number of health conditions, especially for boosting immunity.
Ginger is a widely used ingredient in food and ayurvedic medicines. It is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger contains an active component called Gingerol, which makes ginger an excellent immunity-booster. It prevents harmful bacteria/virus from attacking the body. You may add ginger to your curries, soups, salads and teas and consume every day to improve your immunity and lower your chances of developing infections.
4. Black pepper
Black pepper is one of the simplest and common staple food ingredients used across the world. It is known for its moderately spicy flavour and nutrient-rich value.
Black pepper is obtained from a plant called Piper nigrum which is grown in India. It contains piperine, as its active component which protects the body against bacterial growth and prevents cell damage. Powered with strong anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties, pepper greatly helps in enhancing immunity.
Using black pepper for immunity can take many forms. Black pepper can directly be added to your dishes as peppercorns or in a ground powdered form. You can add black pepper to any kind of solid food and soups, tea, milk or warm water.
No special tea or coffee is quite complete without cinnamon. A common ingredient, cinnamon is extracted from the bark of cinnamon trees and is commonly known for its distinctive flavour, smell and health benefits.
Cinnamon contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde which is responsible for its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Through these properties, cinnamon as immune booster can help fight various kinds of infections caused by bacteria, virus and fungi. It also helps in repairing damaged tissues. Thus, it works as an effective immunity enhancer. You may add cinnamon in your tea, coffee, desserts, curries, or any other beverages of your choice.
These natural spices support your body mostly by increasing your immunity and protecting you from different diseases. So, if you haven’t used these spices yet, it’s time for you to upgrade your immunity and prepare your body to be a strong fighter!
Elsayed, Y. and Khan, N., 2020. Immunity-Boosting Spices and the Novel Coronavirus. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2020; 11, 12; 1696-1698