Root and leafy vegetables comprise of different types of immunity-boosting foods
With the global pandemic raging, it comes as no surprise that people are all looking for ways to boost their immunity. While we are in no way suggesting that eating these immunity-boosting foods is an adequate defence against contracting Covid-19 (and for the avoidance of doubt, one should always seek professional medical advice), it can’t hurt for us to be as healthy as possible.
Besides, ensuring that you sleep adequately (at least 7 hours a night), keeping hydrated and exercising regularly, here are five easily accessible immunity-boosting foods.
- Carrots and Sweet Potatoes
These humble root vegetables are rich sources of beta carotene which research has shown, aids the immune system by helping it to produce white blood cells which fight bacteria and viruses. A baked sweet potato packs over 150% of the daily vitamin A goal, and a cupful of raw carrots contains over 100% of the recommended intake of the same.
An added incentive is that these also aid in the formation of mucous membranes in the respiratory tract. These membranes form a protective barrier to keep germs out of the body.
Tumeric has been a part of Asian cooking since time immemorial and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Studies indicate that it boosts immune cell activity and enhance our immunity systems.
There are many ways to consume tumeric. For example, it is added to many curry dishes or soup. For those who do not have time or the desire to cook, tumeric can be added to smoothies. There are even tumeric lattes these days!
Garlic is a wonder food. Not only is it used as a base ingredient for sauteeing food, but its sheer accessibility and affordability also makes it attractive.
Research has demonstrated garlic’s immune-supporting capabilities. In one study, 146 volunteers were assigned randomly to receive either a placebo or a garlic supplement daily for 12 weeks throughout the cold season. The garlic group experienced significantly fewer colds (and if they did catch a cold, they recovered quicker) than the placebo group.
More recent research has found that aged garlic extract may enhance immune cell function in humans. In this study, healthy adults aged between 21 and 50 received either a placebo or aged garlic extracts for 90 days. While there was no difference in the number of illnesses between the groups, those who received garlic had reduced cold and flu severity, fewer symptoms, and a smaller number of missed days of work or school.
4. Green Leafy Vegetables
Everyone knows that green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach are good for you but do you know why?
Apart from the vitamins and minerals they contain, green leafy vegetables provide anti-inflammatory antioxidants, as well as vitamins A and C, and folate which aid the combatting of inflammation in the body.
In addition, bioactive compounds that release a chemical signal that optimise gut immunity are also found in green leafy vegetables.
Why not saute garlic with olive oil and tumeric with your vegetables?
5. Sunflower Seeds
Some might view these seeds as bird food but Sunflower seeds are a fantastic source of vitamin C and vitamin E which play a key role in immunity. Vitamin D is fat-soluble vitamin and supports the body’s ability to fend off invading bacteria and viruses.
Not only are these seeds easy to graze on throughout the day, they are also a healthy snack alternatives to chocolate, biscuits and the like.