Five super spices to help you beat the flu

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Spices other than adding the much-needed zing to your food, they are also potent immune system warriors. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

There is nothing like age-old home remedies that have been counted on by generations. Found easily in the kitchen, these spices, while adding zing to your food, are also potent immune system warriors.

Kavita Devgan, nutrition expert, Tata Nutrikorner, points out, "Try sniffing your spices; stronger fragrance means the natural oil is intact in them and hence they are healthier." Not many know that spices can actually be our saviour in today’s turbulent times, and protect us from myriad viruses by improving our immunity.

Here are 5 spices that will help you beat the flu and prepare your body.

Turmeric

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Always opt for turmeric powder that is enriched with natural oils and has at least 3% curcumin level. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

Turmeric or haldi is enriched with curcumin. Possessing antiviral qualities, it is a strong cold and flu fighter. Curcumin also helps lower the levels of inflammatory enzymes (caused due to infection) in your body and also purifies blood. Devgan mentions, "It is loaded with antioxidants, is anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial and helps keep infections at bay. Always opt for turmeric powder that is enriched with natural oils and has at least three per cent curcumin levels."

Cumin Seeds

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Cumin seeds helps keep the immune system healthy which is foremost this season. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

Cumin seeds are a good source of iron, a mineral that is an integral component of haemoglobin, which helps transport oxygen from the lungs to all body cells. Important for energy production and metabolism, it helps keep the immune system healthy.

Black Pepper

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Black peppercorns naturally boosts the immunity and works as an excellent antibiotic. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

Kavita explains that "black pepper is both an antioxidant and an antibacterial agent and thus contributes to overall wellness. It also has vitamin C, which naturally boosts immunity and works as an excellent antibiotic."

Clove

Clove helps prevent respiratory tract infections. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

Clove is an organic expectorant, which helps to break up phlegm in the throat and oesophagus and helps prevent respiratory tract infections.

Ahead, the nutrition expert gives out an important tip which is super easy to follow. She suggests, "Always place a clove under your tongue (and keep sucking on it slowly) when you step out. In fact, drinking clove tea is a great idea too."

Carom Seeds or Ajwain

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Ajwain wards off cold and nasal blockage easily. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

This component, which is easily found in the kitchen, wards off cold and nasal blockage easily. It also helps in effectively dealing with respiratory ailments associated with myriad flues.

Here is a concoction suggested by the expert:

Warm up some milk, add some powered pure haldi and a pinch of pepper to it and drink at night before going to sleep. If milk does not work for you, then add some haldi to warm water, along with ginger and pepper (both potent infection busters) and begin your day fighting fit.

Eat 2 grams of pan-roasted ajwain seeds every day. You can even have ajwain tea: Boil water, add black or green tea, and add ajwain, ginger, and elaichi. Add milk and let the mixture boil well for about three minutes.