Boosting Immunity

Kolkata : In the wake of the current pandemic, enhancing the body's natural defense system (immunity) becomes all the more imperative.  While there is no medicine for COVID-19 as of now, it will be good to take preventive measures which boost our immunity in these times. Students of Food Science & Nutrition Management of J. D. Birla Institute (JDBI), have researched and listed the composition, health benefits and ways to use some Indian superfoods like amla, turmeric, garlic, methi seeds, honey, coconut oil to boost immunity and improve health.






Protein, dietary fiber, fats (mufa, omega 3 & omega 6 fatty acid, low saturated fatty acids), tocopherol, folate, phytosterols, minerals (zinc, copper, considerable amount of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium with low sodium), selenium (highest source- barzil nuts) & polyphenols.


·         Cardioprotective

·         Immunomodulatory effect

·         Prebiotic properties that improves digestive health

·         Antimicrobial activity (especially almonds)

·         Anticarcinogenic property

·         Anti-inflammatory property


·         Lead to weight gain

·         Nuts increases cholesterol and it is not suitable for patients with heart diseases.

·         Nuts should peeled before eating.

·         Roasted nuts are better than raw nuts

·         Soaked almonds are better than raw almonds

How to Consume:

·         Whole (salted or unsalted)

·         Soaked / roasted

·         As butters and spreads

·         Oils

·         Powdered forms in sauces, pastries, ice-creams, baked items and others.




Good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, selenium; acceptable amount of phosphorus, calcium, potassium, iron, copper & organosulphur compounds.


·         Imporves digestion

·         Improves cholesterol level & controls blood pressure

·         Combats common cold

·         Anti-diabetic and renoprotective effect

·         Detoxification agent

·         Antimicrobial property

·         Anti-inflammatory property (benficial for respiratory disorders)

·         Anticancer activity


·         Wearing garlic prevents cold

·         Garlic does not detoxify the body

·         Garlic should not be used to treat acne

How to Consume:

·         Raw or seasoned.

·         As a supplement in form of capsule, garlic oil softgels, tablets.




Vitamic C, amino acids, minerals, tannins (emblicanin A and B, and others), gallic acid, ellagic acid, alkalolds & flavanolds (quercetin).


·         Immunity booster & Immunomodulatory

·         Anti-pyretic Cardioprotective

·         Antioxidant

·         Anti-inflammatory (helps in releving respiratory disorders)

·         Anti-cancer activity


·         Cooked and raw amla has same nutritive value

·         Amla can be consumed in an empty stomach

·         Even excess consumption of amla does not cause constipation

·         Amla can be consumed by all patients suffering from kidney ailments

How to Consume:

·         Raw form

·         Processed form as pickle, sauce, squash, murabba, candy

·         As a supplement in powdered form, capsule, juice, tablet




Carbohydrates (fructose, glucose, sucrose and other disaccharides, oligosaccharides like erlose, theanderose, panose), proteins and amino acids (enzymes like catalase, peroxidase, amylase, glucose oxidase; 18 free amino acid, proline in abundance), trace amounts of vitamins B, vitamin C, minerals, polyphenols (flavanoids like pinocembrin and phenolic acids) & organic and aromatic acids.


·         Antioxidant property

·         Antimicrobial property

·         Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities

·         Anticancer activity

·         Wound healing

·         Neuroprotective (nutraceutical property)

·         Beneficial for gastrointestinal diseases of periodontal and other oral disorders, dyspepsia, diarhoea


·         Sugar free or artificial sweetners are better than honey

·         Intake of honey with lemon water in the morning helps in weight loss

·         The nutrient composition and related properties are same for all varieties of honey

·         Crystallized honey is spoilt honey

·         Honey with white foam cannot be consumed

·         Metallic spoons can be used for honey

How to Consume:

·         Can be consumed directly or as a substitute for sugar


Documented by the students of Food Science & Nutrition Management, J. D. Birla Institute, Kolkata

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