Immune-Boosting Foods to add into your grocery list
As COVID-19 hits ever closer to home, adding on to the procedures of good hygiene practice of washing your hand frequently, wearing a facemask when unwell and to avoid physical contact as much as possible, taking ownership of your health and feeding your body certain foods is another way to keeping your immune system strong and those viruses further away.
Not that stocking up on supplements during your pharmacy run is bad, supplements are widely known to only be able to fill up the certain dietary gap while the fresh food you eat is loaded with multi-nutrients. And not to mention, fresh food can actually be a lot less costly than supplements. So here are some food that you can stock up on the next time you are at the supermart.
With most vitamin C supplements sold as orange-flavoured, it’s not a wonder that the orange is known as the powerhouse fruit of Vitamin C. The orange fruit is not only naturally packed with vitamin C but have also been proven to be a good source of fibre and potassium, both of which are essential to support heart health.
If the sweetness of the orange is not your thing, the citrus family also includes the grapefruit, lemons and limes which also provide the same benefits as the orange. A common trick to increase your vitamin C intake is to add lemon in your water – proven to improve hydration, aids weight loss, and also prevent kidney stones.
Learn a thing or two from the nation of longevity – green tea is synonymous to the Japanese, valued for its health benefits and restorative properties Green tea provides an excellent source of antioxidants, which helps in strengthening the immune system. They also aid in fighting against infection by helping immune cells to produce germ-fighting compounds and also strengthen the liver.
A study was done at the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences with a group of 80 people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. They were placed in either a placebo group or 500 mg of green tea extract diet daily for 90 days. After 12 weeks, the group that consumed green tea extract daily, shown significantly reduced liver enzyme levels.
If you have not heard of the “trend word” of 2020 – “Superfood”, let me fill you in – Superfoods are mostly plant-based food ( with some exception of fish and dairy) that are thought to be nutritionally dense and beneficial to the health. One good example of a superfood is the bell peppers. They are known to be excellent sources of vitamins C and A and also antioxidants that neutralize free radicals, thus helping to reduce the risk of heart disease, some cancers, and cataracts, and also alleviate symptoms of arthritis and asthma.
Did you know the different colours of bell peppers does more than adding colours to dishes? Red peppers pack the most nutrition because they have been on the vine the longest. Green peppers are harvested earlier before they have a chance to turn yellow, orange, and then red. Compared to the green bell peppers, the red ones have almost 11 times more beta-carotene and 1.5 times more vitamin C!
Yoghurt is one of the best sources of probiotics – friendly bacteria that improve digestion and in recent years, prove to be a great source of Vitamin B and an excellent immunity booster. The live bacteria in probiotics aids in the digestion of lactose and also keep the digestive tract healthy. Topping your yoghurt with some fruits such as blueberries or strawberries and you will a good addition of vitamin C and antioxidants.
Since ancient times, ginger has been an excellent culinary spice and medicinal marvel. The medical properties of ginger are endless. From treating pregnancy-related nauseousness to sea-sick vomiting, reducing inflammation from the onset of osteoarthritis to the lowering of blood sugar, these are just a few of the many health benefits of ginger.
Do not let the pungent flavour of ginger turn you off though. There are well over 1,000 varieties of ginger that you can always give it a shot with. From gingerbread to ginger tea to ginger candy – your options are endless.