Keeping your immune system strong is key for healthy living because the immune system fights off infections in our body even those we are not aware of. Given the present COVID-19 pandemic having a strong immune system could be the difference between if you live or die. So I came up with this list of foods which are local and easily available in Cameroon which improve the health of your immune system. These foods should normally be part of our daily diets in high portions and more so in the current state of the world. There fore, it is imperative to increase our consumption of these foods.
Citrus fruits are a family of fruits which includes tangerine, oranges, grapefruit, lemon, limes. These fruits especially oranges and Lemons are abundant in our community. Oranges are usually consumed on the go at any time and anywhere as local vendors usually sell already peeled Oranges by the roadside. These fruits are rich in vitamin C which is said to help in the production of white blood cells. There also are low in calories, are a good source of fibre and have many other health benefits.
Watermelon is one of the most common fruits in our community and usually is available all year long. Like oranges, it is easy to find it being sold in slices by the roadside. Water Melons are rich in Potassium, one portion gives about 30% of the daily Vitamin A recommended and 25% of the daily vitamin C recommended.
Huckleberry (njama njama)
I can’t think of this meal without thinking of my mama ( she makes delicious Kati Kati). One of the most consumed vegetables in Cameroon. Njama Njama is packed with nutrients for your immune system. Huckleberry acts as an excellent antioxidant to the body. Antioxidants act as protectors to our body which is constantly battling free radicals.
early civilizations recognized its attribute in fighting infections, helps lower blood sugar and are high in sulfur-containing compounds which are thought to be the principal source of its immune-boosting properties. Garlic has been used since ancient civilizations. Back then it was used to fight off demons and protect against evil ( Vampires…LOL). It has now become part of almost every meal we eat. Garlic is excellent for the immune system, it’s a high amount of sulfur is the principal reason why it is so good for the immune system.
On a cold night, nothing is as warming as my grandmom’s ginger tea ( I might just ask her for her recipe and upload sometime soon). Ginger helps in fighting against the common cold and has a lot of health benefits.it may also possess cholesterol-lowering properties. This conclusion was arrived at in a research conducted on rats.
Papaya ( pawpaw)
After a meal at home, the next thing my Dad asks for is Paw Paw ( FYI, crunchy is the best..haha) rich in Vitamin C, You can find 224 per cent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin c in a single pawpaw fruit. Also contains Folate, vitamins B and Potassium. This means consuming pawpaw boost the production of white blood cells and thus a stronger immune system.
Chicken is integrated into so many meals, but it is time to increase its slices. Poultry is a rich vitamin B-6. This Vitamin is vital in the production of new and healthy red blood cells. So during this period increase the slices of chicken for the children. It will make them happier and keep them healthier.
Sweet potatoes are usually considered the less attractive brother of Irish potato. But could he be the brother you need more? Sweet potato is are fat and cholesterol-free. They are also rich in fibres and a medium sweet potato provides a 120% value of Vitamin recommended per day and 30% of the Vitamin C value. So eat them with groundnut soup, fry some or roast some. Just find a way and integrate it more into your weekly meal plan.
Other less common foods that boost your immune system are red bell pepper, greek yoghurt, broccoli. Helping your immune system ready for any battle is easy when you know the foods to consume. This list is made up mainly of foods and vegetables found in our local community and can be found in almost every market or every bending corner.
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay green.