Amazing Food #1. Ewedu
Jute leaves (called ewedu among the Yoruba and rama among the Hausa) are used as a food source in many parts of the world being a rich source of beta-carotene, iron, calcium and vitamin C.
Amazing Food #2. African spinach
Spinach, like many green vegetables, when eaten helps to contribute to the healthy functioning of the body, immune boosting and good nutrition. In an animal study, researchers found spinach was in overall of higher nutritional value than other vegetables tested. It also helped to boost the immunity of immune-compromised white albino rats.
Amazing Food #3. Hibscus sabdariffa
Hibscus sabdariffa, commonly referred to as red calyx or zobo, is one of the commonly used herbs locally in anaemic and sick individuals to improve their health and as an immune booster. Researchers’ assessment of its effects on the immune system as an immunomodulator indicated that Hibscus sabdariffa stimulates various blood cell components production. The July 2013 edition of the African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology added that its crude extract contains compounds with immunomodulatory activity.
Amazing Food #4. Sweet potato leaves
Researchers indicated that consumption of purple sweet potato leaves boosted the immune response of 15 basketball players during a training period. The 2007 study, published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that it caused a significant increase in the multiplication of blood cells the body needs to protect itself from illnesses.
Amazing Food #5. Fermented foods
Fermented foods like ogi, locust beans and yogurt contain friendly bacteria that have a powerful beneficial effect on the intestine’s immune system. This is the body’s first line of defense against
pathogens, thus aiding in the production of antibodies.Researchers, including some at Harvard Medical School, are finding evidence of a relationship between such “good” bacteria and the
immune system. But specifically, how the bacteria interact with the immune system components isn’t known.
Amazing Food #6. Garlic
Garlic may have some infection-fighting capability. In laboratory tests, researchers have seen garlic work against many disease- causing microorganisms.Although this is promising, there is not enough well-designed human studies conducted to know whether this translates into human benefits.
But a 2006 study, which looked at the rates for certain cancers in relation to garlic and onion consumption in southern European populations found that increased intake of garlic and onions lead to a lower risk of some common cancers.
Amazing Food #7. Tomatoes
Researchers speculate that to avoid getting sick in the first place, it is important to increase daily intake of tomatoes. They speculate that the lycopene in tomatoes acts as an antioxidant, helping white blood cells resist the damaging effects of free radicals.
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 10 subjects ate a tomato-rich diet for three weeks, followed by a tomato-free diet for three more weeks. While subjects were on the tomato diet, their infection-fighting white blood cells sustained 38 per cent less damage from free radicals — atoms in the body that damage and destabilize cells — than when they ate no tomato products.
Amazing Food #8. Hot pepper
Several animal and laboratory studies have shown that capsaicin — the compound that gives chili peppers its hot sensation— can help stop sickness before it starts. Mice in one study were given a daily dose of capsaicin and had nearly three times more antibody-producing cells after three weeks than those given no capsaicin.
Results of other studies suggest that eating food containing hot components such as capsaicin may improve immune status in a study from the University of Ulsan in South Korea. Cayene Pepper can be used to revive someone who suffers heart attack.
Amazing Food #9. Apple
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. This rich nutrient, including vitamin C help to keep the immune system on guard.
Amazing Food #10. Oat
Reports of a Norwegian study indicated that oat grains contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber with antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities. They speculated that in humans, it boosts immunity, speeds up wound healing, and may help antibiotics work better.