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Boost Immunity This Monsoon: The Tasty Way

Sweet nutrition which packs a punch to improve immunity

2020 is unlike any year we have seen and in parts of the country this monsoon is unlike any we have seen.

Staying healthy is essential to staying happy; and while we are well versed with the power of the mind for wellness, or the “top-down” approach as some call it, however one shouldn’t underestimate the “bottom up approach” either.

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With the rains comes the common cold and cough, flu and viral fevers, in addition we have COVID-19 to deal with as well. If you get sick, your immunity is lowered making you more suspectable to virus.

Immunity
If you get sick, your immunity is lowered making you more susceptible to virus. Pixabay

Our mood, health, energy and reactions are heavily influenced by our second brain; our gut, which is a result of what we eat. Try these simple recipes to help get super charged with the nutrients you need.

Overnight Chia Pudding

I call this a pudding because it truly tastes like one. Chia seeds are filled with fiber, antioxidants essential fatty acids and good quality protein; add to this the humble curd and you have a good dose of probiotics, protein and fats. Fruit adds fresh sweetness and flavour along with phytonutrients and essential vitamins. Cinnamon adds flavour and you get its medicinal properties too– antioxidants and anti-inflammatory.

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons chia seeds

6-8 tablespoons of homemade / store bought curd

3/4 cup chopped Mango

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder / vanilla essence (optional)

1tsp of my seed powder (optional)

6 – 7 thin slices of coconut ( optional)

METHOD

Mix all the ingredients together the night before and you are good to go in the morning

The yogurt / curd mixture should be runny like a milkshake or dosa batter.

Store it overnight in the fridge

Before serving top with the chopped mango and the coconut slices

FLAVOUR OPTIONS

One small banana + half an apple chopped small

One small banana + half mango + coconut meat

One small banana + 1 tsp instant coffee powder 1/2 cup strawberries

One small banana + 1 tbsp cocoa powder + toasted almond slices

Pina colada – Coconut Milk + Pineapple

Hot Chocolate

Chocolate has long been known for its antioxidant properties and magnesium. This helps fight free radicals, however one can’t say the same for commercial chocolate which is mostly sugar. Using cacoa gives us the myriad benefits this super food has to offer, in addition to how comforting it is to hold a hot cup of chocolate.

Immunity
Chocolate has long been known for its antioxidant properties. Pixabay

This simple hot chocolate tastes like molten chocolate in a cup. Try this low calorie version every time you crave chocolate and you’ll thank me. I prefer to use unsweetened cocoa powder as this helps control the amount of sugar you want to add. You can use any sweetener of your choice. If you just keep boiling this down slowly you get a chocolate sauce. If you want to make the sauce more indulgent, just add a tiny bit of butter at the end.

INGREDIENTS

1 heaped tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 inch square of jaggery (or sweetener of choice)

1 cup water

METHOD

Mix the cocoa powder into room temperature water

Mix till there are no lumps remaining

Add the jaggery or sweetener and simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes

Once it starts to boil down, reduce to about 3/4 cup

Switch off when you think its thick enough

Sprinkle with Chocolate Powder and serve hot

Super seed powder

Seeds are a nutritional powerhouse and a must include for everyone. Especially for vegetarians and vegans, due to their plant based protein and omega 3. They are a brilliant source of protein, healthy fats, fiber, minerals and vitamins. Each seed has its unique benefits which is why my recipe uses a mix to ensure we get a little of all the important ones. I grind the to ensure max absorption.

How to use it? Just add it to your overnight oats, atta dough or sprinkle on your curd. This is a versatile recipe you should make ahead and use daily for everyone in the family. Think of it as your multi-vitamin.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup flax seed

1/2 cup hemp seeds

1/2 cup mixed seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, watermelon)

1/4 cup cacao nibs

1 tsp turmeric (haldi)

1/2 tsp ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

Mix all the seeds

Use the chutney jar of the grinder

Ensure its completely dry

Do a quick pulse, open and mix

Do short pulses to reach a powder consistency. Do not over grind or it will turn into a a clumpy mess

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator

Also Read: Consume Vitamins, Minerals to Boost Immunity, Fight Pandemic: Experts

NOTES

You can use any blend of seeds. I’ve incorporated all to ensure a variety of nutrients

Do not exclude hemp seeds with shell as it is it extremely high in protein

I usually mix in some chia seeds into the powder. So they remain whole

BENEFITS

Haldi or turmeric – It adds a boost with its anti-inflammatory properties and it keeps the seed powder fresh longer.

Pepper to boost the absorption of turmeric

Raw cacao nibs

(Simrun Chopra, Lifestyle and Transformation Coach). (IANS)

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