8 Ways To Enhance Immunity During Monsoons


As the monsoon descends upon us, a breathtaking spectacle of nature unfolds. However, with the refreshing raindrops and lush landscapes, our immunity may face challenges. The damp and humid environment becomes a breeding ground for infections, urging us to strengthen our defenses. Hence, prioritizing a healthy diet becomes essential to ensure your immune system remains robust during this season.

Here are a few effective ways to boost your immunity throughout the monsoon season:

1. Boost Your Vitamin C Intake: Vitamin C is the best immune booster, safeguarding against infections during the rainy season. It strengthens your immune system by enhancing the function of immune cells that destroy harmful microorganisms. Vitamin C also helps prevent and manage various respoiratory diseases such as common cold, cough etc. Ensure to consume enough vitamin C naturally or through supplements[1]. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and vegetables such as red bell peppers, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and tomatoes are natural sources of vitamin C.

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2. Ensure Adequate Vitamin D Levels: Vitamin D is more than just important for bones and calcium balance. When exposed to sunlight, your skin produces Vitamin D, which helps fight off bacteria and viruses. If you don’t have enough Vitamin D, you may be more prone to infections and have a higher risk of autoimmune conditions.[2]. Seek midday sun exposure and consider dietary sources like salmon, milk, fortified cereals, egg yolks etc or supplements for sufficient vitamin D intake.

Don’t let rain hamper your vitamin D levels. Get yourself tested today!

3. Incorporate Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain and heart health and boost immunity[3]. They possess anti-inflammatory properties. By reducing chronic inflammation, omega-3s can help support the immune response, enabling it to better defend against infections and diseases. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids may enhance the activity of white blood cells, which are key players in the immune system’s defense mechanism. Fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and plant oils are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

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4. Take a High-Protein Diet: Proteins are the building blocks of our immune system. They help produce antibodies to fight harmful pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and other foreign invaders[4]. Include soy, dairy products, lean meats, whole grains, legumes, lentils, nuts, and seeds in your diet to ensure sufficient protein intake.

5. Include Antioxidant-Rich Foods: Antioxidants help neutralize harmful molecules called free radicals that can cause oxidative stress in the body. High levels of oxidative stress can weaken the immune system. Antioxidants counteract this process by stabilizing free radicals and reducing their damaging effects[5]. Strawberries, dark chocolate, spinach, and beets are some examples of food rich in antioxidants.

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6. Follow the Ayurvedic Approach: Indian spices and herbs possess remarkable immune-boosting properties. Herbs like basil, spearmint and spices like cloves, ginger, and turmeric possess remarkable therapeutic properties. Including these herbs and spices in a balanced diet can significantly enhance the body’s immune system, protecting against diseases, including highly contagious viruses[6]. Herbal juices like amla, giloy are also known for their immunity-boosting property.

Expert Ayurvedic Tip: Consume Tesjasya Amla juice first thing in the morning to strengthen your defense mechanism.

7. Increase Intake Of Probiotics: Probiotics are widely recognized for their potential to boost immune function through various mechanisms. They are thought to stimulate the production of immune cells, fortify the gut lining, and inhibit the growth of detrimental bacteria within the digestive tract[7]. Curd is a common probiotic that you can add to your daily diet.

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Apart from the above immunity boosters, ensure adequate sleep and engage in a regular exercise routine. Adequate sleep helps to recharge the body and support immune function, while regular exercise strengthens the immune system. If outdoor exercise is not feasible during the rainy season, consider practicing yoga or aerobics indoors to stay active and boost immunity.

By embracing a diet rich in immune-boosting foods, you can stay healthy, ward off infections, and enjoy the monsoon season.

(The article is written by Dr.Subita Alagh, Senior Executive, and reviewed by Monalisa Deka, Senior Health Content Editor)

1. Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017 Nov 3;9(11):1211. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/
2. Aranow C. Vitamin D and the immune system. J Investig Med. 2011 Aug;59(6):881-6. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/
3. Ergas D, Eilat E, Mendlovic S, Sthoeger ZM. n-3 fatty acids and the immune system in autoimmunity. Isr Med Assoc J. 2002 Jan;4(1):34-8. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11802309/
4. Daly JM, Reynolds J, Sigal RK, Shou J, Liberman MD. Effect of dietary protein and amino acids on immune function. Crit Care Med. 1990 Feb;18(2 Suppl):S86-93. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2105184/
5. Ali SS, Ahsan H, Zia MK, Siddiqui T, Khan FH. Understanding oxidants and antioxidants: Classical team with new players. J Food Biochem. 2020 Mar;44(3):e13145. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31960481/
6. Isbill J, Kandiah J, Kružliaková N. Opportunities for Health Promotion: Highlighting Herbs and Spices to Improve Immune Support and Well-being. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2020 Oct;19(5):30-42. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7815254/
7. La Fata G, Weber P, Mohajeri MH. Probiotics and the Gut Immune System: Indirect Regulation. Probiotics Antimicrob Proteins. 2018 Mar;10(1):11-21. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5801397/

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