As the cases of coronavirus continue to rise globally, taking the lives of so many, there has never been a more important time to build a healthy and robust immune system. The world governments are taking all necessary precautions to fight the pandemic and countries are working night and day to develop a vaccine which, if successful, will take at least a year to be made available to us. In such a situation, feeding our bodies with certain foods that help keep the immune system strong is the wisest step. While sanitizers can remove germs from our hands and face masks can protect us against the infected air, only a healthy lifestyle can build our inner strength. Immunity cannot be achieved in a day but eating a well-balanced diet that keeps our gut healthy and being mentally and physically active is sufficient to keep the immune system in good shape. Although these techniques cannot completely save us from contamination, they can considerably reduce the severity of an infection.
How does our immune system work?
The immune system is our body’s defense against infections. When the body senses the entry of foreign substances (called antigens), the immune system tries to get rid of them. B lymphocytes are white blood cells that help the body remember the invaders and destroy them. They find their targets and are activated to make specialized proteins called antibodies. These lock onto the antigens. That way, if our immune system comes across those antigens again, the antibodies are prepared to deal with them. Researchers have found that vitamin C encourages our body to produce lymphocites. Since our body can neither produce nor store vitamin C, it is essential to consume it through our food. Given below is a list of some fruit trees which boost our immunity.
Amla – The small Indian Gooseberry can be rightly called a superfood because it is packed with
iron, calcium and antioxidants like Vitamin C, E and phylonutrients. The antibacterial and
astringent properties of amla make it a common home remedy against flu and cold. Try it in the
form of juice, delicious dried candies, pickle or murabba.
Citrus fruits – Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and limes owe their sweet and sour in taste to a combination of sugar and citric acid. They are one of the most important sources of Vitamin C, along with a number of other essential nutrients like fiber, potassium and magnesium. Being both nutritious and tasty, they are can be significant part of our diet, reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
Pomegranate – Pomegranate is one of the healthiest fruits, rich in vitamin A, C, E and folic acid. Juice from a single pomegranate has the capacity to fulfill 40% of our daily Vitamin C requirements. The fruit gets its beautiful red colour from polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. The fleshy arils of pomegranate are excellent immunity boosters.
Apricot – The small yet nutrient-packed fruit contains several antioxidants that improve our immune system, like vitamins A, C and E. Apricots are rich in flavonoids, an antioxidant that not only strengthens immunity, but also protects us against heart problems and diabetes. The tasty and healthy snack can be eaten both fresh and dried.
Imli – The sweet-sour tasting tropical pod has several medicinal properties to offer. Being rich in vitamin C, it boosts the immune system and inhibits the growth of microbes and fungi. The polyphenols present in tamarind have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protect us against diabetes and heart problems. Tamarind can either be eaten raw or processed into something new.
Guava – Along with its unique taste and aroma, this pulpy fruit is a powerhouse of nutrients. It
is replete with vitamin C and helps our body fight infections and pathogens, along with keeping our eyes healthy. Being rich in manganese, it helps our body absorb nutrients from the food. Whether consumed raw or in the form of delicious jams, it can be included in our daily diet.
Custard apple– The exotic sitaphal fruit is a rich source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C
and A. These help keep our eyes, skin and hair healthy and our immune system strong. A serving of this creamy and sweet fruit in our daily diet can build better resistant against infections.
Jamun – Jamun instantly reminds us of fun summer evenings spent gorging on the fruit. This tiny
fruit has a lot to offer, from purifying blood to helping with indigestion, controlling blood pressure and regulating blood sugar levels. It is packed with antioxidants like flavonoids and phenolic compounds that protect us from a number of diseases.
Bael– The value of this spiritual and medicinal fruit has been mentioned in the Vedas and
Mahabharata. Drinks, squashes and candies made from bael, especially during summers, are known to increase appetite and detoxify the body. The sweet and aromatic fruit, full of beta- carotene, protein and vitamin C, helps in self- defense, keeping us safe from several diseases.
Fig– Fig is considered to be one of the oldest fruits, consumed by humans since ancient times.
Rich in magnesium, potassium and vitamin A, it serves a great deal in strengthening our bones and boosting our immunity. This power fruit is also called nature’s candy because it is high in natural sugar.
Neem – Neem is a popular medicinal tree in the world of Ayurveda. Just one or two tablespoons
of the bitter leaf juice are enough to strengthen the immune system. It is effective against both virus and bacteria and does wonders on wounds, infections and skin ailments. Chewing neem twigs is excellent for our oral health and teeth strength.
Sankalptaru has planted more than a million trees across India, including all the medicinal and fruit species mentioned above. The produce from these trees supports the livelihoods of farmers who provide us with their land for plantation. You can select a tree based on location, zodiac, faith or festival. Once planted, it is geo-tagged and you receive annual updates on its growth. Help us make the earth a healthier place by planting a tree. Please visit this page https://sankalptaru.org/plant/