11 West Africa meals that will boost your immune system
As coronavirus pandemic ceases the globe, experts recommend keeping your immune system healthy for your body to fight the virus, so here are 11 West Africa meals that will boost your immune system.
These meals are not specific to West Africa but are commonly eaten across West Africa.
1. Okro soup with spinach
Okro soup is a popular soup made in most parts of West Africa with Spinach leaves, pumpkin leaves and seafood. Spinach is rich in vitamin C. It’s also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Okro soup is usually eaten with swallows, find an excellent recipe here.
2. Catfish pepper soup (oily fish)
This popular West African dish brings together two superfoods that are great for the immune system, which is pepper and catfish. According to this huffpost.com article, researchers from Michigan State University and East Carolina University found that feeding fish oil high in the omega-3 fatty acid compound DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) seemed to boost the activity of a white blood cell called a B cell, a vital part of the body’s immune response.
It is typically eaten with yam, but you can drink it warm as well. Find an excellent recipe here.
3. Fried Pepper sauce
For people trying to avoid the sugar in fruit, red bell peppers are an excellent alternative source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a crucial vitamin for your immune system.
Stir-frying and roasting both preserve the nutrient content of red bell peppers better than steaming or boiling, according to a study on cooking methods. You can eat fried pepper sauce with roasted or cooked yams or boiled rice. Find a great recipe here.
4. Egusi Soup
Egusi soup is a West African soup made of pumpkin seeds. Like nuts, pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein and unsaturated fats, including omega-3. They also contain a good range of nutrients including iron, selenium, calcium, B vitamins and beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. This is another soup typically eaten with swallows but you can eat it with rice as well. Find a great recipe here.
5. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene — a carotenoid that converts into vitamin A — which helps boost the immune system and lower the risk for various diseases. This antioxidant helps protect the body from free radicals and may lower your risk for heart disease and cancer. Sweet potatoes are readily available in West Africa, find a great recipe here.
6. Chicken Suya
Suya is a barbecue meal eaten across West Africa made with special spices. In this recipe, the recommended meat is chicken for its immune system benefits. The protein in chicken helps boost your immune system, full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Find a great suya chicken recipe here.
7. Dongoyaro roots / Neem tree
The Donogoyaro roots is an age-old remedy often used in the treatment of malaria. It has been utilized in both old/traditional and modern sciences in developing viral cures, most notably malaria. Neem tree is also great for boosting the immune system
In West Africa, Dongoyaro roots are often made into beverages and drank by healthy people looking to keep their immune system sound. Find a great recipe for Dongoyaro roots here.
8. Edikaikong Soup – spinach & water leaf soup
Another delicacy which features spinach and this time also water leaves. This is a vegetable-rich soup is great for the body’s immune system, due to the presence of spinach and water leaves. Watch the video above for the full recipe.
9. Bitter leaf soup
Bitterleaf soup is one of the most traditional soups in Nigeria. It is also known for its immune system boosting properties. They aid in protecting and flushing the liver, increase blood volume and boost the immune system. Adding bitter leaf to your diet may reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as breast cancer and type 2 Diabetes, the University of Texas reports. Find a great recipe here.
10. Dark chocolate/ pure cocoa
West Africa is one of the largest exporters of cocoa. Pure cocoa pods which are sweet tasting pods, as well as pure cocoa or dark chocolate, can be great for the immune system. New studies shed light on how dark chocolate might improve our brain health and strengthen our immune system.
Oranges are full of vitamin C which is also great for the immune system
Other ways to boost the immune system according to medicalnewstoday.com
The following lifestyle strategies may make a person’s immune system stronger:
- avoiding smoking
- exercising regularly
- maintaining a healthy weight
- avoiding alcohol or drinking in moderation
- getting enough sleep
- minimizing stress
- practising correct hand-washing and oral hygiene
To learn more about how to protect yourself from the virus, click here
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What do you think of these 11 West Africa meals that will boost your immune system? Do you enjoy any of them? Comment below.
original story / Photograph Credit: nigerianlazychef.com