Your immune system helps protect you from various
infections and conditions, such as colds and cough including other minor ailments, and is an important part of preventing allergies and cancers. In order to function properly, your immune system requires several nutrients that you can get from your diet every day. These nutrients include protein, vitamins A, C, and E, plus the minerals zinc and iron.
Probiotics are friendly bacteria found in some foods and can help balance the flora in your digestive system. They’re not nutrients, but they are also helpful.
A balanced diet should provide all the nutrients and probiotics you need, but to be on the safe side, you can add these ten foods to your weekly meal plan. Each one is high in two or more of the nutrients needed to keep your immune system healthy.
Almonds are easy to find in any grocery store. They’re perfect as a healthy snack and can be added to salads and yogurt. Almonds are high in vitamin E that acts as an antioxidant in your body and helps immune system function.
Almonds are also high in iron and protein that are also essential for your immune system.
Avocado is best known for being a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, similar to olive oil, but it’s also a good source of vitamin E, vitamin C, iron, and zinc. Add avocado slices to a sandwich, make guacamole, or top a healthy salad with cubes of avocado.
One cup raw chopped broccoli almost a full day’s worth of vitamin C, which is essential for immune system function because it helps stimulate the formation of antibodies. Broccoli is also an excellent source of vitamin A and is a good source of plant-based iron, which is also good for your immune system.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable that’s related to cauliflower, arugula, and broccoli. It’s rich in so many nutrients including vitamin A, which is important for healthy skin and mucous membranes.
Kale also has plenty of vitamins C and E, iron, and zinc.
Mangos used to be a bit on the exotic side and weren’t always easy to find in grocery stores. But, that’s changed and today they’re available in both the produce and freezer sections of most grocery stores. That’s good because mangos are loaded with both vitamins A and C, plus they offer vitamin E.
Oysters are good for your immune system because they’re very high in zinc and an excellent source of protein and iron. Oysters also have a bit of vitamin A. Try oyster stew for dinner or have raw oysters as an appetizer. You’ll find canned or fresh raw oysters in most grocery stores.
Red Sweet Peppers
Red sweet peppers are good for your immune system because they’re high in both vitamins C and A. They also offer vitamin E.
Red sweet peppers are also low in calories, so they make a great addition to any meal – add them to omelets or saute them as a side dish.
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, and they also offer quite a bit of vitamin C, vitamin E, and a bit of plant-based iron. Sweet potatoes can be baked in the microwave or conventional oven and served with a bit of butter or maple syrup.
Tuna is best known as a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, but it’s also high in zinc, selenium, and protein that are all essential for immune system function. Tuna is quite a versatile fish. It can be eaten raw, seared, or grilled, or you can keep a few cans of tuna on hand for sandwiches and salads.
Yogurt is probably the best-known dietary source of probiotics that can give your immune system a boost, but it’s also high in protein. You’ll also get a bit of vitamin A and zinc.
Keep your yogurt nutritious by choosing plain yogurt and adding nuts, berries, and just a little honey.
On a final word eating a healthy balanced diet is a great way to ensure you get all the nutrients you need for good general health, but it also helps to boost your intake of these nutritious foods to make sure your immune system has the nutrients it needs to work properly. Adapted from verywell.com
Ntubiri is a local delicacy of the Ikwerre ethnic nationality, usually prepared with water yam extract. It is commonly patronised in the day as lunch or some time at night when heavy meal is not required Ntubiri is a great source of fiber, potassium, manganese, copper, and antioxidants. It is linked to various health benefits and may boost brain health, reduce inflammation, and improve blood sugar control.
To prepare a serving for a standard family, get a standard size water yam tuber, crayfish or fresh prown, oil, periwinkle (unprocessed), pepper, salt, onion, and seasoning cube if desired.
Thoroughly wash the yam, peel and grate.Wash your fresh or dry prown, cut the periwinkle, slice your onion, and mix the yam substance with the ground crown, pepper, salt, seasoning and set aside
Set your pot on your source of heat add a little red oil. When hot, put the sliced onion and the washed periwinkle and allow to boil in the oil. Put a little water and then gently put the yam mixture, cover and allow to cook for ten minutes.
The meal can be served with any chilled drink. Enjoy your weekend.
Cowpea And Nutritional Benefits
Cowpea contains flavonoids also called bioflavonoids which are mainly found in legumes, citrus fruits, red wine, apples etc. The antioxidants are very good for the body as it helps in the fight against cancer, reduce cancer risk and other health conditions such as stroke, heart diseases and asthma.
It also contains folate which helps in the body’s red blood cell production and in dead cells regeneration.
Helps Boost the Immune System
Adding cowpeas to your diet may help in boosting your immune system, for example, some of the antioxidants which can be found in kidney beans help to remove the free radicals in the body, thus making the immune system stronger.
Cowpea is an edible bean which is predominately cultivated and eaten in Africa and Asia, and in other parts of the world especially countries in the arid areas.
There are also various species of cowpea or beans present globally, and though they may be commonly referred to as beans, they have names specific to them, this includes Black-eyed peas which are popularly referred to as White or Brown beans, Adzuki beans, Sweet beans, Black Beans, Chickpeas, Kidney beans, Mung beans, Pigeon peas, Pinto beans, Bambara beans etc.
In some countries, beans have its own local names such as Chawli for Blackeye beans in India, Chori for Adzuki beans in India, Ewa for Blackeye beans in Nigeria and also Black Beans (popularly called Akidi), Pigeon peas (fio-fio).
Beans in most countries, especially in Africa is the primary protein food source and can be specially cooked by boiling either as white beans or porridge beans; in Brazil, the black beans are cooked and served with stew and the food delicacy is known as Feijoada.
Cowpea or beans can also be processed into various nutritional grades of products for diverse purposes while maintaining its nutritional value.
Beans can be grounded into flour known as beans flour which is used in the making of moi-moi (beans pudding), Akara (beanballs or cakes) and can be commercially used as a baking flour too.
Cowpea And Nutritional Benefits
The antioxidants which are present in cowpeas and other legumes helps in the removal of the chemical substances or toxins in the body, thereby providing the body with a better health condition.
Just like other proteinous foods, cowpeas contains also tryptophan which helps to induce sleep and can help alleviate other related sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia and more.
It also helps stabilize mood swings, restless especially in the night, anxiety and more.
Helps in Weight Management
It also helps in weight loss, as the fibre (dietary fibre) content in cowpeas or beans can help in reducing appetite and craving for foods thereby eliminating situations of extra foods intake or overeating.
It also contains low calories and also has low cholesterol content.
Improves the Skin
Cowpeas is one of the bodybuilding foods which provides maximum benefits to the body in general, not only does it help in the normal functioning of the body but it also helps improve the skin.
The vitamins in cowpeas such as vitamin A and B, as well as proteins and antioxidants, present helps to improve the skin as it protects it from ageing, wrinkles, etc., and also repair the body tissues.
Makes Bone Healthier
Cowpeas also contains numerous vitamins and minerals which are good for the bone such as iron which only does not help in the prevention of anaemia but also produces collagen which is one of the major components found in the bone.
·It contains magnesium which plays a vital role in the bone structure, this mineral works together with calcium as it helps in the absorption of calcium thereby processing it to provide the bones with the firmness and strength that it needs. it also helps in keeping the calcium level in the body normal.
Manganese is also one of the minerals which can be found in cowpeas as it helps in the absorption of the mineral – calcium, and it also helps in better functioning of the nerves and brains.
·Few kinds of beans such as Pinto beans contain a small amount of calcium which is also one of the main essential nutrients that the bone needs.
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