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Indian foods, specially herbs/spices have been for ages known to have been used for boosting immunity. This is attributed to the high ORAC values of the spices, their anti-oxidant capacity and having what is called as high ORAC values. ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity, a lab tool used to quantify the total antioxidant capacity of a food. Free radicals or oxidants are molecules that have an unpaired electron and can cause damage to the DNA. The less free radical damage there is, the higher the antioxidant capacity of the food, and therefore higher the ORAC score.
Higher the ORAC score, better will be oxygen carrying capacity of blood and also lungs’ oxygen capacity.
SPICES & ORAC Value (per 100g) :
Clove powder : 3,14,446 (clove has the highest ORAC value in the world)
Cinnamon powder : 2,67,537
Turmeric powder : 1,02,700
Cumin seeds powder : 76800
Black peppercorn powder : 34053
Ginger powder : 28811
Coriander seeds powder : 5141
Cardamom powder : 2764
Fennel seeds powder : 307
A great way to make a blend would be a mix of Turmeric powder (Haldi), Cumin seeds (Jeera), Coriander Seeds (Dhaniya), Fennel seeds (Saunf), Ginger Powder (Saunth), Black peppercorns (Kali Mirch), SriLankan Rolled Cinnamon powder (Dalchini), Cardamom powder (Elaichi) and Clove powder (Laung).
Benefits of this spice mix regularly:
• Helps stimulate and boost your immunity. Specially in children.
• Helps defend you against common disease-causing micro-organisms.
• If you are on any medication, consult your doctor before consuming this powder.
• If you have gastric issues (high pitta) eg acidity – consume less than ½ teaspoon per day post breakfast or lunch.
Additional ways to increase your immunity :
• Don’t smoke.
• Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
• Exercise regularly.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
• If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
• Get adequate sleep.
• Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
• Try to minimize stress.