Living healthy is so important, especially in this season, where the world is being affected by a pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus that causes the coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19).
According to the WHO, the corona virus has infected over three hundred and seventy two thousand individuals (372,757 reported cases) with new incidents occurring every day in different regions.
It is therefore crucial to maintain and enhance our immune system in order to remain in good health.
With a strong immune system, you can be around sick people, but not get their sickness. Wouldn’t that be incredible? You wouldn’t have to miss work or lie in bed all day, but you could power through this season untouched. The key to this is a strong immune system.
Eating healthy meals is the surest way to boost your immunity and enhance your health. Outlined below are some ethnic Nigerian meals that aid in boosting the immune system.
• Egusi: This popular dish is rich in healthy lean fats, proteins, and several vitamins. Egusi is great for the skin, digestion, fighting inflammation, and treating boils. Egusi is made with pumpkin leaves, ginger and melon seeds, which are the main constituents of the meal. Pumpkin leaves are rich in antioxidants that help prevent cancer, prevent anaemia by boosting blood production, and also serves as an anti-diabetic agents that can help regulate the blood glucose level.
• Plantain pottage: Plantain pottage is an easy-to-make meal that is delicious and healthy. Made with unripe plantains, it is a good source of essential nutrients like potassium, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamin C, iron etc. It is also rich in fibre, magnesium, calcium, vitamins A and B6, and so much more. Some health benefits include boosting the immune system, aiding digestion, providing the body with adequate energy, preventing anaemia and controlling blood sugar (which makes it perfect for diabetic patients).
• Moi moi or Moin-Moin: Made from beans (an excellent source of protein, fibre and other nutrients), this is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Some people add eggs to it, making it even more nutritious. Health benefits include: cellular repairs, immune recovery, and healthy skin. Moin moin also contains soy from the seasoning cubes used in its preparation, which is good for growth and proper adrenal function.
• Chicken and vegetable stir fries with turmeric and Ofada rice: Almost every Nigerian eats rice. Rice is the most consumed carbohydrate in Nigeria and ofada rice (which is a healthier version of white rice) is also a favourite amongst most demographics in the nation. Chicken, turmeric, and vegetables are a good combination with ofada rice to provide individuals with a wholesome meal experience. They contain proteins, lipids, vitamins and minerals that improve immune functions and combat cellular damage. Turmeric is known as an anti-oxidant and an anti-microbial spice that augments the dietary system in forming antibodies, agents that defend the body against contagions.
Other foods and fruits you can add to the above ethnic meal options include fruits like oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons and limes. All of these are excellent sources of vitamin C which helps maintain the body’s defense against bacterial infections.
Living healthy is a necessity. So eat healthy to remain hale and hearty.