2020 Mar 23
We are all aware that there are certain types of food out there that may help in keeping your immune system strong. While feeding your body these types of food can help boost your immune system on a daily basis, doing so at a time like this with the COVID-19 outbreak would prove to be somewhat beneficial for us.
Here’s a list of immune system strengthening ingredients you can plan your daily meals around and that are not too hard to get a hold of, given the current situation.
A majority of people turn to vitamin C as a remedy for a cold. This is because vitamin C is known to help build your immune system and also help increase the production of white blood cells, which are crucial in fighting infections. Oranges, lemons and lime are a few popular citrus fruits you can find close to you.
Red Bell Peppers
While it is pretty common for people to think that citrus fruits are the most rich in vitamin C, little do they know that red bell peppers contain twice as much as vitamin C than any citrus fruit out there. They also happen to be a rich source of beta carotene. Besides obviously boosting your immune system, vitamin C may also help maintain healthy skin, while the beta carotene present helps keep both your eyes and skin healthy.
Garlic is something that has been praised by our ancestors for generations for its immune boosting properties. They’re known to have antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. The antiviral characteristics can be vital in reducing severity of a cold, flu and even COVID-19 infections. Garlic is also known to be helpful in low blood pressure and slow down the hardening of arteries.
Check out this YouTube tutorial on our recipe for a delicious Tempered Garlic Curry:
How many times has your aththamma told us to have some inguru tea when you’re down with a cold? Plenty of times I’m guessing. Well, they were not wrong. Ginger is known to decrease inflammation, which can, in turn, reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. This is important because high inflammation of your body can busy the immune system, leaving other problems in your body unattended.
Supercharged with vitamins and minerals, spinach definitely makes it to the top as a super-food due to its high content of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, fiber, magnesium and iron. These nutrients help boost the immune system function and give the body with the nutrients needed for the division of cells and DNA repair. It’s important to note that spinach is healthiest when eaten raw, or cooked as little as possible to preserve its nutrients.
Yogurt can be a great source of vitamin D. So it’s important to look for brands that are fortified with vitamin D because it helps regulate the immune system and is considered to boost your body’s natural deference against diseases. Another important thing to look for when buying yogurt is to see if it contains “live and active cultures” on the label because these cultures help stimulate the immune system. Avoid any kind of flavoured yogurt loaded with sugar and instead, try sweetening them yourself by adding in healthy fruit juices and honey, which you can then pour into molds and freeze them, so you can enjoy some healthy yogurt pops! (And with this heat – nobody will be complaining!)
As Sri Lankans, turmeric is something we’re all too familiar with. It’s used pretty much in every curry we make but, more often than not, it’s primarily used for the vibrant colour it can give our food. But a lesser-known fact is that this bright yellow spice is something that has been used for generations as an anti-inflammatory to treat illnesses like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It’s also shown that the high concentrations of curcumin, which is what gives turmeric its noteworthy colour, can also help decrease muscle damage induced by exercise.
We all drink tea. Whether in the morning as soon as we wake up, or in the evening together with the family, tea is something us Sri Lankans can’t go a day without. That being said, if you’re looking to boost your immune system, then your daily kiri tea probably isn’t the way to go.
Instead, try green tea, packed with polyphenols and flavonoids, antioxidants, that are credited with boosting the system. Green tea is also a rich source of the amino acid L-theanine, which can aid your body in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells.
Papaya, packed with vitamin C, is a fruit we all know and love. But it’s also worth noting that single papaya can contain up to 224% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. They also have a digestive enzyme that has anti-inflammatory effects. Potassium, B vitamins and folate are also included in papayas, which are beneficial for your overall health.
An immune-boosting fruit and low on calories, watermelons contain potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and glutathione. These vitamins, nutrients and compounds like glutathione are needed by the body for the proper function of the immune system.
Turns out, the chicken soup amma makes for you when you’re sick in bed has its fair share of scientific reasons, rather than just being a feel-good food with a placebo effect. Poultry such as chicken, is high in vitamin B6, and 3 ounces of chicken meat can give you almost 40-50 percent of your daily required amount of vitamin B6. This is vital in the generation of new and healthy red blood cells. Stock made with the bones of chicken contains gelatine and other important nutrients to help boost your immunity, as well as in gut healing.
The vitamin A and vitamin C found in sweet potatoes are massively important for good immune function and just so happens to be great for your skin too. An average sweet potato can contain a thumping 120% of vitamin A and 30% of vitamin C, required for your daily consumption. Cholesterol-free, fat-free and serving up a healthy portion of fibers, you get to have all the crucial immune-boosting vitamins, without any sacrifice.
Eating right is, now, more important than ever with the COVID-19 outbreak spread across our country. Therefore, keeping your immune system the healthiest it’s ever been, is crucial. So try out these nutritious ingredients that’ll help your immune system stay in tip-top shape!