Add these superfoods to your diet
Red Bell Peppers
Unbelievably, red peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits, including oranges, as well as beta carotene (the main dietary source of vitamin A). Did you know COVID-19 attacks the cilia - tiny, hair-like structures - lining the lungs? Apart from being an essential component of proper immune function, vitamin A also helps strengthen and rebuild the cilia.
Another vitamin C, beta carotene and antioxidant powerhouse, spinach increases the body’s infectionfighting ability while protecting its immune cells from environmental damage at the same time. However, the vitamins and nutrients packed in spinach are easily destroyed by heat, hence best consumed raw or very lightly cooked.
Garlic’s immunity-boosting abilities stem from its heavy concentration of sulphur-containing compounds, which help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and help fight off infections and the common cold. Chop or mash fresh cloves and let sit for a few minutes before cooking to allow the garlic to oxidise and activate its antiviral compounds.
Probiotics and fermented foods
Probiotics and live microbes in fermented foods bolster a healthy gut, ensure better digestion and build a stronger immune system. Foods produced from simple lactic acid fermentation are loaded with nutritional goodness, so take your pick from yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, miso, and sauerkraut. Better yet, reach for products with live and active cultures for an extra boost of vitamin D.
Just like spinach, this green powerhouse is also rich in vitamin C, packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants like vitamin E that support our immune system and help fight off bacteria and viruses. Best eaten raw or just slightly cooked.
Did you know mushrooms are often called the ‘sunshine vitamin’ as they are a significant source of vitamin D? Fungi also have high levels of certain antioxidants such as ergothioneine, an immune system stimulator; and glutathione in porcini and white mushrooms, which keeps the body’s immune system in top shape by ensuring optimum white blood cell function.
Research show that this humble tropical fruit is brimming with 157 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, along with carotenoids (vitamin A), folate and B vitamins. Papaya also contains the digestive enzyme papain, which has anti-inflammatory effects, helps heal wounds and is a natural pain reliever.