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Immunity Boosting Foods

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Author: DR. N K VENKATARAMANA, Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon


From time immemorial Indian culture believes in eating according to season. Our ancestors had followed a certain dietary regime to keep us hale and healthy throughout all seasons. They also focused on prevention and treated food as “medicine”, which was part of a daily meal plan or ritual. Turmeric is used widely in India in cooking, irrespective of the cuisine. It is known for its anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, let us look at some common foods in the kitchen to boost immunity and how to use them daily as part of our meal or as healthy drinks. 

Common Foods Items to Boost Immunity During Covid-19 : 

Turmeric: Can be taken as golden milk by adding turmeric to your early morning or bedtime milk. If one is lactose intolerant or a practising vegan, turmeric can be added to almond milk or any plant beverage or cereal porridge. 

Tulsi Or Basil: Drink warm water throughout the day by adding Tulsi leaves and brewing it for a few minutes (3-5minutes). Add Tulsi leaves in green teas, or Tulsi water can be added to porridges.

Dry Ginger: Though fresh ginger is also good for health and is widely used in the Indian kitchen, dry ginger has medicinal properties. This can also be brewed in hot water, and the water can be taken for dry cough. It can also be used to flavour green teas in a powdered form.

Mint leaves: Can be used in chutneys, as part or variety rice or in black or green tea. Mint leaves boiled in water- the warm decoction can also be used as a mouth rinse or gargle.

Black pepper: Use it in soups, rasam, and sprinkle as the freshly-powdered form in raw salads or even on fruits. This not only enhances the taste but is also great for overall health and to boost immunity.

Adding spices like cloves, cumin seeds, dhania, or coriander seeds that we use in our daily cooking and fresh ginger and garlic also helps in supporting and improving our immunity. Let us stick to our traditional home foods to keep ourselves safe and healthy.