Staying at and working from home may limit your exposure to viruses, but you can always use an extra boost of immunity. Cooking your own food and taking healthy snacks prepared yourself are great (and safer) ways to get the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy while on quarantine. So, when you go on your next supply run, grab these food items to help your body fight viruses and prevent infections.
Vitamin C-rich fruits are the go-to food items to boost the body’s immunity. Vitamin C can increase the production of white blood cells, which are the body’s front liners in fighting infections. Have some ice-cold fresh lemonade or orange juice. Papayas and kiwis, although not citrus fruits, are also great sources of vitamin C. Give your neutrophils a boost while getting refreshed!
Yogurt has live and active cultures – the good bacteria that stimulates our immune system to fight diseases. The plain ones are the most effective. Be watchful of the sugar content of the products when getting some.
Almonds and many other nuts are packed with healthy fats and Vitamin E which are also great for boosting our immune system.
Chicken noodle soup and tinola (clear broth chicken soup) are well known to improve symptoms of a cold, but they can prevent you getting one, too. Poultry such as chicken is rich in vitamin B-6 that helps in the production of our red blood cells.
Red bell peppers
Beta carotene is one of the resistance builders in our body and also keeps the skin and eyes healthy. A great source of beta carotene, red bell pepper is also packed with vitamin C. Load up on red bell peppers the next time you cook chicken afritada (chicken braised in tomato sauce) or chopsuey (Chinese stir-fry vegetable dish).
This wonder vegetable is packed with vitamins A, C, and E, fiber, and antioxidants. You can also make a variety of dishes out of it. It is great cooked in oyster sauce with beef, prawn, pork, or chicken. But plain steamed broccoli is the best, as the nutrients are locked in.
Garlic is known to help fight infections and to have other immune-boosting properties. Most every cuisine has garlic, and the Filipinos love it. It’s added to almost all stir-fried dishes, and of course, to our favorite fried rice.
Ginger has a reputation to be a remedy of sorts to many kinds of illnesses. It is known to decrease nausea and inflammation. This may be why many of the comfort foods we eat when we get sick are effective – like chicken tinola and sinampalukan manok (chicken in tamarind broth). Other dishes that use ginger include pinakbet (stir-fried native vegetables in shrimp paste), ginisang munggo (sauteed mung beans), and many more.
Spinach has Vitamins A and C, as well as beta carotene that boost our immune system and make us stronger. Add a little twist to your next omelette or pasta dish and make it healthier with spinach.
Speaking of healthy twists, there’s the turmeric. Usually used for curry recipes, you can add it to your adobo (meat or vegetables in soy sauce and vinegar marinade) for something different. You can also make mixed herbs rice with it. It is known for its anti-inflammatory properties just like gingers.