These are trying times and we need to take precautions and stay at home. We also need to eat food that is healthy, nutritious and good for the immune system.
As a family, we already have healthy eating habits. But we have decided to go one step ahead and completely cut down on junk food or processed food and carbonated drinks (all of which we have once in a while). It is a time of self-discipline and restraint.
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In this critical time, it is essential to have food that your body needs. You can make a conscious decision to move into healthy eating habits and choices.
I am sharing vegetarian plant-based foods and recipes which I am personally going to focus on and prepare at home. I am not going to overboard as an excess of everything is not good. Balance is the key. But I would like to include more of these immune-boosting food in our diets than earlier.
Note: If you have allergies to certain foods or a special medical condition then kindly consult your doctor. E.g. Papaya is not good during pregnancy. Wheatgrass is also excellent for boosting the immune system but it will not suit everybody and may harm. So keep your body constitution and condition in mind.
Immune Boosting Vegetarian Foods
- Fruits: Oranges, Papaya, Apple, Fresh Berries, Sweet Limes, Kiwi, Guava, Pomegranate, Tomato, Amla (Indian Gooseberry), Lemon.
- Vegetables: Carrots, Beets, Broccoli, Eggplant (Brinjal), Bell Pepper (Capsicum), Spinach, Kale, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Sweet Potato, Moringa, Dill Leaves (Suva).
- Nuts & Seeds: Almonds (soaked overnight), Walnuts, Sunflower seeds, Fennel Seeds.
- Herbs, Spices, Roots: Turmeric, Ginger, Garlic, Giloy (Guduchi), Ashwagandha, Basil, Tulsi (Holy Basil).
- Drinks: Coconut water, Green tea, Freshly prepared fruit juices rich in Vitamin C. Avoid carbonated sugary drinks, alcohol and processed foods. Have plenty of water.
- Probiotic Foods: Buttermilk, Kefir, Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Curd or Yogurt (with live and active cultures), Kombucha, Carrot Kanji.
Other Important healthy steps
- Kindly minimize the use of processed refined sugar in these below recipes. Wherever possible replace sugar with better alternatives like jaggery, maple syrup, coconut sugar, unrefined sugar, palm sugar, agave syrup. You can also use honey but do not heat it.
- Avoid adding ice cubes to drinks and avoid using cold water to make those drinks. Summer is approaching and we all like to have cold drinks during summers. But drinking warm water (with cumin seeds) or hot drinks is going to help.
- Salted lukewarm water or lukewarm turmeric water gargling is also going to help.
- Don’t overeat and make sure you are able to digest the food. Chew the food well and eat it in a relaxed happy environment.
- Lastly get sufficient sleep, do moderate exercise or yoga, practice meditation, do not panic and stay relaxed. All these steps like having deep restful sleep, doing moderate exercise or yoga, practicing meditation or body-mind relaxing techniques, prayers, listening to soothing music or watching a comedy movie or religious show will also help you to build immunity.
- Happiness, positivity, laughter, relaxed mind are some emotions that will give you a healthy emotional and mental well being. So focus on positivity, love, trust and healing. Spread the vibrations love, positivity and peace. Remember this too shall pass if we are together in our resolve to fight and yet isolated at our home. Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay at home and Be Positive.
Start today by making healthy choices with these immune-boosting recipes!
P.S. If I have missed any ingredient, then do let me know. Kindly do share this information with your friends and family.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
If needed you can alter these recipes keeping the above ingredients and suggestions in mind.
Immune Boosting Drinks
1. Turmeric Milk
Healthy Indian drink made with just 3 ingredients – milk, turmeric powder and black pepper. We usually have this drink before going to sleep.
2. Kahwa Tea
Kahwa is a fragrant, mild green tea made with whole spices, saffron and almonds.
4. Orange Juice
Fresh oranges blended together creating a sweet and refreshing drink that everyone will love.
5. Indian Almond Milk
A fragrant sweet drink with ground almonds, cardamom powder and saffron.
7. Ginger Tea
Warm, spiced Indian tea made with milk, ginger and cardamom.
A classic Indian buttermilk drink made with yogurt, black salt and roasted ground cumin. Buttermilk is an excellent body cooler, digestive and appetizer. Avoid adding ice cubes.
10. Carrot Kanji
A fermented North Indian probiotic drink made from carrots, beetroot and ground mustard and water.
11. Sweet Lime Juice
Refreshing and healthy Sweet Lime juice or mosambi juice.
Immune Boosting Soups
1. Lemon Cilantro Soup
A simple yet nutritious lemon coriander soup with mix vegetables.
3. Mix Vegetable Soup
This is an easy and tasty recipe to make a veg clear soup. This soup is light, healthy and nutritious. I suggest using veggies like Carrots, Beets, Broccoli, Bell Pepper (Capsicum), Spinach, Cabbage and mushrooms.
4. Carrot Tomato Soup
This is one of the most simplest and easy soup recipe to make. A vegan recipe.
5. Carrot Ginger Soup
A comforting vegan carrot ginger soup.
6. Cream of Broccoli Soup
One-pot tasty Broccoli soup.
7. Carrot Soup
A delicious one-pot, creamy and thick carrot soup that you will be making again and again. The recipe is also vegan and gluten-free.
Side Dishes for Good Immunity
1. Lemon Pickle
No Oil Super Easy Pickle made with just 4 ingredients.
2. Carrot Chutney
Quick and easy chutney for South Indian Snacks made with Carrot, Coconut, lentils, herbs and spices.
3. Vegetable Salad
A healthy and light summer salad with fresh raw veggies and nuts and seeds. I suggest adding veggies like baby spinach, carrot, beetroot (raw or roasted), bell pepper (raw or roasted), broccoli (steamed) and Sweet Potato (steamed or roasted). Link for Collection of 18 Salad Recipes.
5. Amla Pickle
This vegan amla pickle is Andhra style spicy and tasty pickle made with Indian gooseberry, spices, oil and lemon juice.
6. Beetroot Chutney
A vibrant colored tasty chutney for Idli, Dosa made with grated beetroot, lentils, coconut, herbs and spices.
8. Ginger Chutney
This Andhra style ginger chutney is a flavor-packed chutney or dip made with fresh ginger roots. It has a sweet, spicy and sour taste and accompanies idli, dosa or steamed rice very well. Link for Collection of 50 Chutney Recipes.
Immune Boosting Main Course Recipes
1. Sautéed Spinach with Potatoes
Homely style sautéed spinach and potatoes – Aloo Palak Sabzi.
2. Kale Leaves with mushrooms
Kale leaves and button mushrooms in a lightly spiced ginger sauce. Instead of kale leaves, you can also use spinach or amaranth leaves.
3. Beetroot Poriyal
A dry dish made with beets, coconut and spices from the South Indian Cuisine.
4. Brinjal Fry
Crispy and delicious pan-fried eggplant slices.
5. Cauliflower Fry
This is one of the tastiest cauliflower fry which is easy and inspired from the Kerala cuisine.
6. Cabbage Poriyal
A lightly spiced, sauteed and steamed cabbage recipe from South Indian cuisine.
7. Mix Vegetable Curry
This mixed vegetable curry is a simple, homely and tasty recipe of mix vegetables made in North Indian Punjabi style. I suggest using veggies like Carrots, Broccoli, Eggplant (Brinjal), Bell Pepper (Capsicum), Spinach and Cauliflower.
8. Cabbage Moong Dal – A tasty South Indian style recipe of cabbage and moong lentils with coconut and spices.
9. Capsicum Curry –
Tasty Hyderabadi style curry made with bell peppers, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices.
10. Drumstick Curry –
This is one of the simplest and easiest North Indian curry made with drumsticks. Other tasty recipes you can make with drumsticks are:
11. Cauliflower Curry
Healthy and delicious curry that goes very well with chapatis or rice.
12. Dill Leaves Recipe
This is an easy, one-pot recipe of dill leaves with potatoes made with minimal ingredients. Dill leaves are known as ‘Suva’ in Hindi and ‘Shepu’ in Marathi.
13. Tomato Curry
This is a spiced and mildly tangy tomato curry made with ground tomatoes, coconut and spices. A vegan recipe from the Goan Cuisine.
15. Baingan Bharta
A spiced and mashed aubergine or eggplant dish. This is a simple, tasty and easy Punjabi baingan bharta recipe made without the use of many masalas or spices.
Immune Boosting Rice Recipes
1. Tomato Pulao
Easy, tasty and tangy tomato pilaf. To make it more nutritious, I have also added mix veggies along with the tomatoes. Few more tomato-rice combo recipes you can make are:
3. Beetroot Rice
This vegan beetroot pilaf is made with rice, finely chopped beetroots, onions, herbs and spices.
4. Lemon Rice
This is a crunchy, flavorful and sour rice recipe. In this easy recipe, already cooked or steamed rice is mixed with a spiced lemon and peanut mixture.
5. One Pot Pulao
Trying to get more vegetables in your diet? This one-pot pilaf is made with rice and mixed vegetables of your choice. It has added spices and herbs, giving it a mild aromatic flavor.
6. Curd Rice
Curd rice is a popular and tasty South Indian dish that is served with a South Indian thali or meal. Curd rice is nothing but curd (yogurt) mixed with cooked rice, herbs and then tempered. Link for 35 Popular Indian Rice Recipes.
7. Coconut Milk Pulao
This is a mild, fragrant rice dish made with coconut milk and mixed veggies. I suggest using veggies like Carrots, Beets, Broccoli, Eggplant (Brinjal), Bell Pepper (Capsicum), Spinach and Cauliflower.