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4 Food Products and Vitamins for Boosting Your Immune System

4 Food Products and Vitamins for Boosting Your Immune System

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The previous year has highlighted just how important it is to keep you body healthy and to be aware of any way you can improve your well-being. Because of the pandemic, you may have started paying attention to wellness and health advice that didn’t seem so important before, such as reading the nutrition facts on packaged food or learning more about consistent hand sanitation.

However, one of the most important ways you can stay healthy is by boosting your immune system.

How do you boost your immune system naturally? Exercise every day — and incorporate healthy food in your diet. It’s essential to make sure you get enough food loaded with vitamins, such as coconut water to help your body fight invaders.

Learn what makes these five immune-boosting food products so important to your body’s defenses and how to incorporate them into your menu.

  1. Citrus Fruits

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Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

Contains: Vitamin C

Vitamin C is probably the most known immune-boosting vitamin. This is probably why people began hording vitamin C supplements early in the pandemic. But there are tastier ways to get vitamin C than opening a bottle.

Citrus fruits include a lot of the sweet and tangy fruits you’re probably already familiar with. These include oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits. Their prices usually depend on the season, with oranges and their smaller cousins, like ponkan, more widely available and cheaper than lemons and limes. Grapefruits are significantly harder to find in the Philippines, but you can always eat suha or pomelo instead.

How to Put in Your Menu:

It’s perfectly fine to eat citrus fruits on their own without any garnishing. But if you want to spice up your meals and make citruses a little more interesting, you can always add them as topping to your salads.

Cut out some orange or pomelo wedges and garnish your greens with them. Or you can cut them into very thin slices and carry around some water infused with vitamin C and an energizing twist.

  1. Garlic

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Photo by Nick Collins from Pexels

Contains: Alliin

Garlic may not be the most wonderful smelling of bulbs, but it is loaded with vitamins that can boost your immune system. Alliin is an active substance that’s found in garlic bulbs. When your crush or chew garlic, alliin transforms into allicin. This substance contains a hefty amount of sulfur, hence the smell and eye-stinging aroma.

Research has shown that garlic can help you resist or even reduce the effects of getting sick. One study discovered that eating garlic can reduce the risk of catching a cold by as much as 63 percent and reduce the length of the disease by 70 percent.

How to Put in Your Menu:

Unless you’re particularly picky, you’ve probably eaten a lot of garlic in the past month alone. Garlic is everywhere in Filipino cuisine, from flavoring adobo to resting on top of comforting (and highly essential) lugaw as fried chips.

But if you want to make it a little fancier, you can always turn your garlic into confit. Just pop about two dozen garlic cloves into a small saucepan and submerge them with olive oil. Then cover the pan in foil and bake until the garlic is soft. You can serve confit as a delicious cracker and bread topping.

  1. Legumes

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Photo by Digital Buggu from Pexels

Contains: Zinc

When people want to know how to boost their immune system, they almost never think that the answer can be to eat more beans. But research has revealed that legumes like mongo, white beans and red beans are rich with zinc. This mineral is essential in helping your body recuperate from injuries, maintaining your immune system and fostering normal growth. Luckily enough, legumes are some of the most affordable staples in the country, with mongo being a particular favorite.

How to Put in Your Menu:

There are so many ways you can incorporate legumes and beans into your diet, the simplest of which is mongo and pork.

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Sauté chopped garlic and onions in some oil, brown some pork and pour in a lot of mongo beans that you’ve soaked for a few hours. Add tomatoes and other garnishes and you’ll have a tasty but very nutritious snack.

You can even make desserts from legumes by boiling red of mongo beans and making them into a sweet paste for a rich, milky treat.

  1. Spinach

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Photo by Jacqueline Howell from Pexels

Contains: Vitamin C, Beta Carotene

Would any list of immune system boosting food be complete without spinach? Popeye may have been right in chugging down the stuff by the can because it is absolutely full of vitamins and nutrients your body needs to ward off infections and diseases. Aside form having a hefty helping of vitamin C in its leaves, spinach also contains beta carotene, a great antioxidant that researchers note can prevent tumor cells from developing in your body.

How to Put in Your Menu:

Young spinach leaves make excellent salad bases, and you can create a very tasty and refreshing one by combining them with chopped peanuts, orange wedges, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

If you want to make spinach part of your main course, put them in a hot pan with just a tablespoon of olive oil, minced garlic, and two tablespoons of oyster sauce. Cook until heated but not wilted. In a separate skillet, fry cut up cubes or slices of firm tofu until crispy and golden brown. Drop the cooked tofu into the spinach and dig in.

Improving your immune system doesn’t just mean sipping chamomile tea or grinding acai berries. The common food products you find in a local grocery or wet market can be the key to a brand new, healthier you. Learning to recognize them and how to use them in your diet can be a real lifesaver in the long run.

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