Our grandmothers always encouraged us to eat curds regularly. Yoghurt can kill and disable bacteria, and boost our immune mechanisms. According to some studies, it has been proved that consuming two cups of curds everyday for four months increased the infection fighting capacity (gamma interferon) in the blood by five times as compared to those who did not eat curds. A daily intake of this food prevents diarrhoea and hay fever and most stomach disorders. Tests carried out on mice have shown that yoghurt stimulates immunity to the extent that it can prevent lung cancer. The lactobacillus organisms in the curds stimulated the natural killer cells towards attacking the cancer cells. The immune boosting properties of curds do not diminish even when it is heated, as in kadhi, gravies, marinating, etc. Even frozen yoghurts are equally beneficial. Yoghurts, kefir or dahi as it is variously called works wonders in a number of ways. It provokes antibiotic action against bacteria. It boosts the immune system’s response to diseases and increases life span and longevity.
Garlic, the wonder cloveThis marvel of nature helps fight bacteria, virus and even cancer. On testing the blood of some garlic eaters who were made to eat about 15 cloves a day, it was found that their blood contained more potent T-lymphocytes and macrophages, (which increase natural killer activity and increase immunity) than non garlic eaters. So go ahead have at least 2-3 cloves a day. Caution: Raw garlic may prove to be heat inducing in some cases. If you develop red painful boils after consuming garlic, reduce the amount or stop taking it.
GREENS- Go for themConsumption of greens can do to your immune system, what the green revolution did to the Indian economy. It is advisable to consume 3-4 servings of fruits and at least 4-5 servings of vegetables. Plant foods contain a host of compounds that aids immunity. Vegetarians are therefore better equipped to fight diseases and this was proved in a recent research carried out at the German Cancer Research Centre. The blood samples of both vegetarians and non-vegetarians were compared. It was found that the white blood cells of vegetarians were twice as potent against tumor cells as compared to those of non-vegetarians. It indicates that a vegetarian needs only half as many white blood cells to do the same job as what a meat eater requires. So go for all the greens you can and watch them work wonders to your immunity.
Whet your immunity with Wheat germ Wheat germ is the heart (kernel) of wheat. It is an excellent source of proteins (24 gm in half a cup), rich in B-complex, iron, and other minerals like magnesium, copper, calcium, phosphorous. It is also rich in vitamin E and therefore beneficial for heart patients. It is a potent antioxidant and has innumerable health benefits.
Toasted wheat germ has a longer shelf life than the raw product. There are two problems with wheat germ. It becomes rancid easily because it contains a vegetable oil (Wheat germ oil). Therefore it should be tightly covered and preferably refrigerated. When purchasing wheat germ make sure it has a fresh nutty flavour and is not rancid. Secondly it is very high in phosphorous. High levels of phosphorous prevent calcium from being absorbed. Therefore you have to consume it along with a glass of milk to make its calcium more available to your body. Wheat germ is one of the richest known sources of vitamin E. Three ounces of wheat germ contains about 120 IU of vitamin E. You need at least 100 IU of vitamin E to get any measurable protection against heart disease. Wheat germ is available at most health food shops.