What are immunity enhancing foods? – Any food that transforms quietly into Ojas is good for immunity. ?Ojas? is the end product of complete digestion that creates radiant good health, stable emotions, and immunity.
?Ama?, the digestive impunities or the toxins caused by eating hard-to-digest foods or by unhealthy eating habits, creates the opposite effect – It compromises immunity and health.
Here are seven ways to boost the immune factor of your meals.
(1) Choose intelligent, easy to digest foods: Intelligent foods include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain, legumes and light dairy products. If you choose fresh, whole foods that are not altered by processing, then your meal is going to wake up the intelligence of nature and convert quickly to Ojas.
Foods that are processed, canned, frozen or packed are harder to digest and thus create ama and block nature?s intelligence from reaching the cells.
Organically grown foods are best because not only are they free from harsh chemicals, but they also contain more minerals. Vegetable proteins such as panir (homemade cheese); milk and pulses (split mungdal, lentils and other varieties of small split beans) enhance ojas and immunity. Meat is not a recommended protein because it is difficult to digest and creates ama.
(2) Cook with immune-boosting spices: Cook your food in a way that doesn?t disturb the foods natural intelligence. Different spices also have specific immune-boosting properties. Like turmeric has an immune-modulating effect because it is detoxifying in nature and enhances the intelligent of the immune cells. Cumin seeds burn ama. Black pepper clears the channels and ojas, can reach the deeper tissues.
(3) Eat immune boosting foods: Apples support the immune system because they contain antioxidants and both insoluble and soluble fibre which cleanse the bowels. All sweet, juicy fruits, such as pears, peaches, plums, sweet pineapple and mangoes enhance immunity because they transform quickly into ojas. A papaya after lunch enhances digestion and increases immunity.
Leafy green vegetables are great immunity boosters because they provide, iron, calcium and other minerals. Whole grains provide cleansing fibre and contain many essential nutrients.
Last but certainly not least, ghee and milk are cherished in ayurvedic traditions for their ojas enhancing effects. Milk is the most easily digested fat, contains essential fatty acids and is a great immunity booster. Drink milk alone away from meals, to avoid indigestion.
(4) Cook your food but not too much: Food becomes more digestible when you cook it. But you don?t want to cook it too much, as that reduces its immune boosting effect. The food should be soft and easy to chew but not mushy.
(5) Eat at the right time: Eat your meal in the middle of the day, when the sun is at the highest and digestion strong. Eat a light breakfast and at night, when digestion is weaker. This will enhance immunity.
(6) Eat the proper quantity: Eating the right amount for your body type not too much or too little enhances ojas and supports the immune system.
(7) Choose foods according to your body type and season: It is not correct to say that you can eat anything you want, as long as it?s good food. If you want to stay healthy, you need to choose foods that will bring a balance to your body type and for the particular season. Whatever influence the weather and climate have on your body which create an imbalance in your system needs to be countered with the food you eat.