Hello, Health

What to eat to kill dengue fever for good

Bugs Bunny rarely came down with the flu, and for good reason. That's because of carrots.

 |  Hello, Health  |  3-minute read |   14-09-2015
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Adding further to the last post, here are few more foods that you need to eat to stay fit as a fiddle during this changing season...

Our clear focus should be on boosting the production of white blood cells (WBCs), the disease-fighting component of our blood in the body. Bugs Bunny rarely came down with the flu, and for good reason. That's because carrots, his food of choice, contains loads of beta-carotene, which is a powerful phytonutrient that boosts the immune system's production of infection-fighting natural killer cells and T-cells (a type of WBCs). It also contains vitamin B6 which boosts the production of antibodies. Other red, yellow, orange, and dark green leafy vegetables work similarly. Amla (gooseberry) is perfect too. Or you could pop a garlic clove or two early in the morning. While this may not sound like a palatable prescription, it's worth a try as it helps the infection-fighting white cells multiply faster because of garlic's sulfur-containing compounds - allicin and sulfides. By the way, mushrooms too help with the production of white blood cells in the body, and research also suggests that they make white blood cells act more aggressively against foreign bacteria. Mushroom soup anyone? Or a simple stir fry with lots of onions!

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Similarly, if you chomp a few almonds every day, you are in the clear as these nuts provide your daily dose of vitamin E, which stimulates the production of natural killer cells - the ones that seek out and destroy unwanted guests (germs) in the body. Sprinkling some wheat germ on your morning cereal is a good idea too. Besides vitamin E, it also delivers a super powerful phytonutrient called L-ergothioneine. And the good news is that as this antioxidant is not destroyed by cooking, you can add wheat germ safely to your cakes, cookies and porridge. You could also try to stock up on sunflower seeds - another vitamin E powerhouse.

Vitamin C pitches in generously too. Chomping two guavas everyday is a good idea as this will give you enough vitamin C (papaya, strawberries and kiwi are other good options), another key antioxidant that works really hard to create a system of no-entry for viruses in our body. You can get your vitamin C from crimson foods like beets and red cabbage too.

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Getting the amino acid advantage through good quality protein is important too. Not just because good quality amino acids are needed for manufacturing antibodies that protect us against a wide range of infections, but also because they help boost the levels of glutathione, an antioxidant that supports the immune system.

It helps to make your cuppa green too. Green tea is packed with antioxidants as well as flavonoids which fight off harmful bacteria. Tea is also an excellent relaxation tool, and relaxing is one of the best ways to fight off a cold. Your immune system is suppressed when you are down and depressed.

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Finally, if you don't already do it, start adding turmeric to every dish you make, or add a bit to warm milk and drink. This rich, flavourful spice has been part of Ayurvedic folklore for centuries and now scientists agree that its golden colour, which comes from the polyphenol, curcumin, bestows it with strong cold and flu-fighting properties.

It's time to look closely at your plate. After all, all help to stop falling sick is worth a try, especially when stopping the stubborn dengue causing infected female Aedes Aegypti mosquito from biting you is not really a choice you can make.

Writer

Kavita Devgan Kavita Devgan @kavitadevgan

The writer is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).

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