healthy foodhealthy food

Indian cuisine is not all about diversified flavours and tastes but also great treasure of nutrition and health. Our food/ diet acts as building block of our body and also develops the body’s defence system or immunity. In Ayurveda food is regarded as medicine itself. Health and disease originate from diet. The form of food, its temperature, season and its preparation all have special influence on general health and well being. Improper cooking method and junk foods have adverse effect on body and also deteriorates immunity(body’s capability to fight diseases) and also resulting in multiple lifestyle disorders like obesity, Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, Anxiety and Depression etc.

Indian kitchen is the first clinic or pharmacy as different types of spices used for cooking are also used for management of many common health issues. For example cumin (jeera) and asofoetida (heeng) are known to deal with gastric issues, turmeric is beneficial for skin ailments, cloves (long) and back pepper (kali mirch) for common flu etc.

Seasonal fruits and vegetables bear specific nutrients and minerals and benefits for body for particular season. Proper food in particular season itself is immunity booster.

For example:

  • Curd rice from South Indian Cuisine eaten during summers without tempering (tadka) provides cooling effect to body and helps prevent heatstroke/ sunstroke.
  • Seasonal fruits like oranges, Keenu, Malta eaten during sunny days of winters provide good amount of Vitamin C that helps fight seasonal flu and allergies.

Changing weather brings along outbreak of certain seasonal flu. Children, old aged elderly people and immuno compromised (low immunity) people are more vulnerable to these seasonal flu.

Prevention is always better than cure. Outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) has caused a great loss of economy and lives. Entire mankind across the globe is suffering. As of now no medication is available to Coronavirus disease its better to boost body’s immune system.

This boost in immunity can be easily achieved by simple mix and match of certain Indian spices. Different fruits and vegetables also act as natural immunity boosters.

Certain modifications in food cooking methods and use of certain ingredients can help prepare immunity boosting foods and drinks.

Learn here about immunity boosting foods and their ingredients.

10 Immunity Boosting Spices from Indian Kitchen

  1. Turmeric (Haldi)
  2. Cloves (long)
  3. Black pepper (kali mirch)
  4. Asofoetida (Heeng)
  5. Cardamom (Elaichi)
  6. Cumin (Jeera)
  7. Fennel Seeds (saunf)
  8. Carom seeds (ajwain)
  9. Fenugreek (Methi)
  10. Coriander (Dhaniya)


  • Turmeric or haldi is a spice and medicinal herb of Ginger family that has been used in Indian cooking methods and also has multiple medicinal properties.
  • Curcumin present in turmeric has anti inflammatory effects and is a strong anti oxidant.
  • Curcumin also improves brain function and prevents brain diseases.
  • Turmeric milk (golden milk) has been used in Indian households since ages to reduce pain and inflammation, manage seasonal cough and cold and as immunity booster.
  • Anti oxidant property of turmeric is used in treatment and prevention of different types of cancers. This also delays aging and age related issues.
  • Turmeric is also helpful in treating and preventing Alzheimer’s disease and Arthiritis.

Cloves (Long)

Clove is a versatile spice that gives beautiful aroma and warmth to different food items. The compounds in cloves have several health benefits and is one of the most important traditional medicine.

  • Cloves have been used in Ayurvedic Medicine to strengthen immune system, aid in digestion and reduce inflammation.
  • Active components of cloves are anti inflammatory, analgesic, anti oxidant, antiseptic.
  • Regular use of cloves in food regulates gut motility thereby maintaining digestion.
  • Essential oil (eugenol) acts as local anaesthetic used to cure toothache.
  • Cloves are good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B1 and Vitamin C.
  • Eugenol in cloves reduces blood sugar levels in diabetics.
  • Cloves also have natural anti parasitic effect.

Black Pepper

Black pepper is one of the most commonly used spice not only in India but also all over the world.

  • Black pepper is rich in Piperine that is a potent anti oxidant.
  • Regular use of this spice in food improves digestion.
  • Decoction prepared with cloves, black pepper, ginger helps managing seasonal flu.
  • Honey with black pepper powder helps cure cough and cold and also reduces chest congestion.
  • Piperine in black pepper helps to manage depression.

Asofoetida (Heeng)

Asofoetida (Heeng) is dried gum/ latex extracted from root of living plant.

This sulfurous smelling spice is important component of Indian Cuisine.

It bears an important position in traditional Indian Medicine because of its anti inflammatory, carminative, anti septic , sedative and diuretic properties.

  • Heeng helps in relieving chest congestion and releasing phlegm when applied on chest mixed with warm water. Hing may also help in relieving respiratory disorders like asthma, bronchitis, dry cough due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antibiotic effects.
  • Asofoetida is a natural blood thinner thereby maintains blood pressure and helpful in management of hypertension.
  • Coumarin present in asofoetida maintains proper blood flow so prevents heart diseases.
  • A pinch of asafoetida mixed with fenugreek powder and a pinch of salt in a glass of buttermilk consumed during periods helps relieve menstrual cramps.
  • Application of asafoetida mixed in warm water around naval area of kids helps relieving flatulance and colic.
  • Heeng and garlic paste mixed together acts as natural antedote in stings and insect bites.
  • Anti inflammatory action of heeng help reduce acne and gives radiant glow to skin.

Cumin (Jeera)

Cumin is spice (seeds) derived from Cuminum cyminum plant of Parsley family that is used as whole or ground form in different food preparations especially in Indian Cuisine.

  • Besides from this, the medicinal values of cumin are known to many parts of world including South East Asia and Iran.
  • Cumin is known to manage colic, gastritis, indigestion, bowel spasms, menstrual problems and Diabetes mellitus.
  • Rich fiber content in jeera/ cumin improves digestion and improves absorption of nutrients. Because of this reason cumin is a main ingredient for cooking in India.

Fennel (Saunf)

Fennel seeds (saunf) is derived from flowering plant of carrot family.

Fennel is a flavourful herb with medicinal properties.

The components present in fennel are linked to a range of health benefits.

  • Vitamin and mineral content contributes to strengthen bone structure.
  • Potassium, calcium and magnesium present in fennel decreases blood pressure naturally.
  • Significant amount of fiber and other nutrients decrease risk of heart disease.
  • It has antioxidant action due to which it prevents inflammation and decrease tumor growth.
  • Selenium in fennel improves immune response to infections.
  • Fennel helps to prevent constipation.
  • Dietary fibers in fennel help in weight management.
  • Fennel acts as mouth freshner. Because of this aromatic property fennel is served in Indian Restaurants and eateries at the end of a meal.

Cardamom (Elaichi)

Cardamom is a spice of Indian origin with intense flavour used in sweets, curries, tea and other beverages.

This aromatic spice also has got great medicinal value.

  • Anti inflammatory action of cardamom protects from chronic diseases like arthiritis.
  • Aroma of cardamom activates taste and sensory elements thereby aiding in digestion.
  • Cardamom tea makes an effective remedy for seasonal flu.
  • Cardamom is a natural mouth freshner. It prevents bad breath and is known to fight bacteria causing bad breath.
  • Cardamom tea is known to flush out toxins from body and keeps internal system clean.

Fenugreek (methi)

Fenugreek is a herb from southern Europe and Asian origin that is known for its nice flavour and medicinal effect. Fenugreek leaves and seeds are used in Indian food.

  • Fenugreek is rich in fiber and anti oxidants therefore aids in digestion and relieves stomach pain.
  • Fenugreek is known to relieve menstrual cramps.
  • Regular and controlled intake of fenugreek during pregnancy helps ease childbirth. But this should not be taken in excess amount as may result in miscarraige or early childbirth.
  • Fenugreek is believed to increase milk production in lactating mothers.
  • Components present in fenugreek helps induce increased production of insulin thereby maintains low blood sugar levels.
  • Hot methi tea accelerates metabolism and helps control obesity.
  • Tea prepared with fenugreek seeds act as antacid that relieves stomach problems like ulcers and constipation.
  • Regular use of fenugreek promotes heart health.

Carom Seeds ( Ajwain)

Carom is an aromatic spice commonly found in Indian kitchens commonly known for its effectiveness in digestion.

This can be chewed as it is , powdered or soaked in water or can be used as tempering in various preparations and even added in Indian breads (rotis or pooris) while preparing dough.

  • Ajwain provides instant relief in stomach pain and indigestion.
  • Carom water acts as great mouthwash and relieves bad smell from mouth.
  • Ajwain water has great effect in relieving indigestion in pregnant ladies and is also known to cure common cold. Pregnant and lactating ladies are given carom water regularly to boost immunity.
  • Ajwain used with other ingredients like curry leaves helps control early greying of hair.
  • Anti inflammatory action of ajwain helps manage arthiritis.

Coriander (Dhaniya)

Coriander is a herb of Parslay family that is used as condiment and garnish filled with multiple health benefits. Coriander seeds are aromatic and used whole and ground.

Coriander leaves are also known as Cilantro commonly used for garnishing and known to add special flavour to food.

  • Coriander is a great source of dietary fiber, manganese, iron and magnesium.
  • Coriander promotes liver function and regulates bowel movement hence good for digestive system.
  • Regular use of cilantro promote nervous system.
  • Coriander (cilantro) contains good amount of iron that helps prevent anemia.
  • Antioxidants in coriander prevents eye diseases.