By Patricia Aceng
The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken the country and while, dozens are flocking hospitals for medication and immune boosters, it has been advised by doctors and nutritionists that some of our lifestyle habits need to be adjusted and we ought to include immune boosting foods on our menu.
Immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues and organs which help the body fight infections and other diseases.
Our immune systems need to function at their peak at all times.
Our diets have a great impact on our immune system and health in general.
Some foods contained nutrients that help the immune system function whereas others can actually decrease its power to fight back in case you get ill.
First, we need learn some factors that can weaken immunity, and these are: poor nutrition, smoking, alcoholism, stress, sedentary lifestyle, too much exercise, grief and more.
But the good news is that amidst all these factors, you can boost your immune system by totally putting a stop to some of them and improving the quality of your diet intake.
Observe good diet
Maintaining a healthy balanced diet helps our immune system to remain strong and active against any attack to the body.
There are specific foods that supply some nutrients that help to boost the body’s immune system and these include:
Citrus fruits like Lemon, grape fruit, oranges, tangerines, lime. These fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, a natural antioxidant that improves the immune system and has antibacterial and antiviral qualities that help to fight viral infections, sore throats and even alleviate stress.
Taking lemon/orange water mixed with honey can be a great way to boost the body’s capability to fight diseases and infections.
Apart from vitamin C, citrus fruits also provides B-complex, Calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and fiber.
Garlic is an excellent source of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), manganese, selenium and vitamin C. It has antimicrobial and antifungal properties which act as an immune booster.
Broccoli is super charged with vitamins and minerals. It also has vitamins A, C and E as well as fiber and many other antioxidants that are excellent immune boosters. The key to keeping its power intact is to steam it.
Spinach is rich in vitamin C, it also contains numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which increases the infection fighting ability in our immune system.
Spices and herbs
Turmeric is a yellow spice that many people add to food like rice, meat and other sauces. Consuming it improves immune response due to the curcumin compound it contains.
Ginger also helps to decrease inflammation. It helps to reduce a sore throat and inflammatory illnesses.
Other non-citrus vitamin C sources include; papaya, mangoes, guava, potatoes, apples and pears. Immune boosting tonic recipe (Ginger, Lemon, Garlic, Honey).
This garlic-ginger- lemon- honey mixture is a great remedy for those looking to boost their immune system while dealing with a cold or flu. It also helps to fight mild infection fast without antibiotics in a more natural way.
By combining garlic, ginger, lemon and honey, you will get a powerful DIY (Do It Yourself) immune boosting tonic (a natural antibiotic recipe) that will make your immune system stronger and capable enough to fight a viral, bacterial or yeast infection.
1 medium sized lemon.
2 cloves of ginger.
1 cluster of garlic.
1 tablespoon of honey.
- Wash the ginger in a clean water and peel off the thin skin and then cut it into small pieces ready for blending.
- Peel off the cover of the garlic cloves and chop into small pieces.
- Cut the lemon vertically into two parts and then squeeze out the juice. Sieve the juice to remove off the seeds.
- Put the chopped garlic and ginger into the blender, add the lemon juice to the mixture and then add ½ cup of water then blend. (if someone already has a cold, , warm water is recommended)
- Sieve (if necessary) the blended mixture, add ½ cup of water.
- Add 1 table spoon of honey and take. (One glass per day is enough)
Following general good health guidelines is one of the best steps you can take towards naturally keeping your immune system strong.
Every part of your body, including your immune system functions better when protected from environmental assault and reinforced by healthy living strategies such as;
If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation
Get adequate sleep
Observe primary health care
Try to minimize stress.
The writer is a professional nutritionist and dietitian.