We are in the times and seasons of ‘’your health is all that matters’’. The top priority on the list of every home at this period is health, safety, and wellbeing. The coronavirus pandemic has claimed millions of lives all over the world and has left people doing all it takes to be alive and healthy.
Also, we are at that time of the year when the weather is not best for our immunity. The rainy season is when our immune system is most susceptible to attacks of all kinds of diseases causing microorganisms. Health conditions such as malaria, recurrent flu, and other foodborne diseases accompanied by the rain season. As a result, we must not fail to pay extra attention to boosting and enhancing our immune system.
The good news in this part of the world is that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the rainy season on our health, can be drastically minimized if we choose to take advantage of the enormous African foods and diet heritage available at our beck and call.
African diet is a way of eating traditional foods of our African roots. This African diet is essentially nutritious, delicious and they are also recommended for healthy immunity. Healthy eating is the most important factor in maintaining the overall wellbeing and maintenance of a healthy immune system. Besides boosting our immune system which is ultimate at this time, the food we eat influences our physical, mental and emotional well-being.
African foods are rich in whole plants, fruits, vegetables, and herbs essential in strengthening our immunity naturally. Find below some of the affordable African foods, great for your immune system
Pumpkin leaf: Popularly known as ugwu by Nigerians, it has numerous benefits. One such is that it helps to increase blood volume and also boost the immune system. This natures’ gift also has antibacterial properties. Pumpkin leaves have a healthy amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron, while still low in calories.
Jute leaf: known by most Nigerians as ewedu. Ewedu is good for weight loss because of its low calorific content. Ewedu also helps strengthen the immune system, relieves stress and maintains a healthy heart. Ewedu is a folk remedy for aches and pains, dysentery, enteritis, fever, dysentery, pectoral pains, and tumours.
Red Pepper family: Besides being attractive or colourful when added to your freshly made sauce or food, red pepper(tatashe), Cayenne pepper(shombo), hot peppers are full of beta carotene and antioxidants that support your immune system and will aid in fighting off colds and flu. Increased body temperature from consuming hot peppers can trigger the immune system into fighting the cold and flu virus.
Okro: It is a nutrient powerhouse, packed full of vitamins such as folate and vitamin c, and soluble and insoluble fiber, It helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, keeps the intestinal tract healthy, boosts the immune system, among other numerous benefits.
Ginger, Garlic and Tumeric: Ginger root is among the healthiest (and very delicious) spices on the planet earth. Ginger is loaded with bioactive compounds that are so beneficial to the body and also the brain. Studies have shown that ginger could reduce nausea and alleviate inflammation. Garlic, ginger and turmeric have a long history of both boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation. Food can be preventative medicine when you eat a diet packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals and gut-friendly properties, such as probiotics.
Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines and grapes are strong immunity boosters. They have vast amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells, which play a vital role in fighting against infections. That is the reason most people turn to vitamin C after catching a cold. Citrus fruits are currently in season and are usually available all year round in Nigeria.
Mangoes: commonly referred to as the king of fruits, it would interest you to know that an average-sized mango contains up to two-third of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. The powerful antioxidant helps boost the immune system and prevents cold and flu. Mangoes are currently in season and are very affordable
Pineapples: Pineapples are tropical fruits that are rich in vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants. They may help boost the immune system, build strong bones and aid indigestion. Despite their sweetness, pineapples are low in calories.
African pears (Ube): African pear or bush pear is a native fruit of West Africa. It is popularly called Ube in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria. It is mainly eaten with roasted or cooked corn; remember we are in that season, right? The Immune boosting property in African bush pear comes from vitamin C and essential minerals that act as antioxidants which helps to strengthen immunity and improve the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.
Ofada rice: the presence of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, C, and E help to make the body strong and boosts the immune system against certain diseases. Ofada rice also contains three times more vitamin B and ten times more vitamin B1 and B6 than the polished white rice.
Potatoes: A medium potato contains around 164 calories and 30 percent of the recommended daily B6 intake. Research has found that vitamin C may help reduce the severity and duration of a cold. Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C.
Boost your immune system naturally with Extrammune. Extrammune is a Natural immunity booster that enhances the body’s defense system by supporting the formation of infection-fighting cells. It reinforces resistance against infections, especially in children. Extrammune enhances the generation of white blood cells thus strengthening the body’s defense and helpful in preventing recurrent episodes of infections. It is beneficial in reducing the harmfulness of disease-causing bacteria. Extrammune also helps to potentiate the power of antibiotics making them more effective.
Extrammune is available in tablets for adults and syrup for both adults and children in pharmacies around you.
During this season, the most common diseases and infections include common cough and cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, various upper respiratory tract and lower respiratory tract infections, diarrhoea or dysentery, chiefly caused by viruses that have similar symptoms with the current world pandemic, the coronavirus.
Ensure to tirelessly continue to take the necessary precautions to keep safe from the health challenges of this time.