Air pollution has become a serious health hazard in India. Recent studies listed several Indian cities among the most polluted in the world. The toxic fumes make it difficult to breathe without a mask. The high level of concentration of pollutants in the air is there for a number of reasons, such as stubble burning, C02 emissions by factories and vehicles. There are a number of foods that we can add to our diet to help our body breathe easy in these testing times. These green foods are naturally enriched with good nutrition and antioxidants, and are a must-have on a daily basis.
Here Are 7 Green Herbs And Vegetables To Include In Your Diet To Combat Pollution:
1. Amaranth Leaves (Cholai)
Amaranth leaves or Cholai ka saag is enriched with Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene. According to consultant nutritionist Rupali Dutta, Vitamin C is the 'single most potent antioxidant' for our body. "Lungs are the first mechanism affected by smog and the most potent vitamin to combat lung-related health conditions is vitamin C. Foods like amaranth, avocados, tomato and green-leafy vegetables are the most efficient sources of vitamin C."
2. Coriander Leaves
There's a reason why so many Indian dishes are garnished with coriander leaves - and now we have another one to do so! Another great source of Vitamin C, coriander is a must-have in the daily diet to keep lungs healthy. Coriander leaves can also be converted into a healthy chutney to accompany meals.
(Also Read: Recipe Video: Spice Up Your Meals With This Spicy But Healthy Green Chutney)
One of nature's most powerful herbs, Tulsi has been recommended since times immemorial as a great way to naturally cure cough and cold. As per Dr. Ashok of the Himalayan Drug Company, "Tulsi modulates healthy immune response and supports early recovery from respiratory illnesses; it suppresses cough and assists in calming and dilating the lung's airways, thus relieving chest congestion."
Methi or fenugreek is a winter green which is eaten in various forms across the country. The humble leafy vegetable makes for a great addition to the diet due to its high content of beta-carotene, a nutrient which boosts antioxidant activity in the body while controlling inflammation.
(Also Read: Winter Greens: Juice Or Blend, Is It Safe To Have Leafy Veggies Raw?)
There are a number of herbs that contain significant quantities of immunity-boosting properties, and parsley is one of them. Enriched with the goodness of Vitamin A, C and K, parsley also contains good amounts of antioxidants. Oregano and basil too are herbs which can be added to the diet to combat air pollution.
Broccoli is a vegetable known well for its health-boosting properties, but did you know it can help tackle pollution too? A 100-gram serving of broccoli has 89 grams of vitamin C (as per USDA), which is even more than a lot of citrus fruits. This high Vitamin C content helps the body regenerate Vitamin E - a nutrient which helps defend against injury to human tissue.
(Also Read: 5 Green Foods To Add To Your Grocery List For Health Benefits)
Spinach is endowed with a variety of nutrients such as Vitamin A, C and K as well as minerals like magnesium, iron and manganese. Further, the high levels of beta-carotene in spinach help strengthen the immune system and protect against diseases. According to Delhi-based Nutritionist, Dr. Rupali Dutta, "The green colour of spinach is because of chlorophyll, which is a strong antioxidant with anti-mutagenic properties."
Apart from this, consumption of immunity-boosting ingredients such as turmeric can always go a long way in protecting your body against diseases. Experts also recommend staying indoors and only venturing outdoors when necessary.
Stay safe, stay healthy and stay indoors!
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
About Aditi AhujaAditi loves talking to and meeting like-minded foodies (especially the kind who like veg momos). Plus points if you get her bad jokes and sitcom references, or if you recommend a new place to eat at.