Orange foods that boost your immunity

Orange fruits and vegetables are a great way to battle off illness and disease. Most naturally, orange foods get their colour from beta-carotene and besides being delicious, they are healthy options that not only boast your immune system but also help reduce your sight-related problems and are a great option to satisfy your sugar cravings.

Oranges are good for your skin, heart and good eye health. Fausta Akech, a nutritionist at Healthy U, says oranges contain vitamin C, A, calcium, thiamin, choline, zeaxanthin, carotenoids, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, selenium and copper. Because of their high vitamin C content, oranges are associated with boosting the immune system.
Oranges can boost the immune system and improve your skin; they improve heart health by controlling sugar and cholesterol levels. Oranges may additionally help reduce the risk of respiratory diseases such as flu, certain cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers and kidney stones.
Like most citrus fruits, oranges produce more juice when at room temperature. Vitamin C gets destroyed fast when exposed to air, so eat an orange quickly once cut up.

Orange fleshed sweet potato
Orange fleshed sweet potato are very rich in beta-carotene, whichis an excellent source of Vitamin A. In countries such as Uganda where vitamin A deficiency among children is rampant, consumption of orange-fleshed sweet potato is a good solution.
She says, “Vitamin A helps improve resistance to infectious disease, increases morbidity and prevents dry eyes. It also reduces mortality in pregnant women and lactating mothers and their children.”
Sweet potatoes generally have a soothing effect on the stomach and the intestines. They contain vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, and calcium which are good at treating stomach ulcers.

These have for long been known as a superfood for eyes because they are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron. They get their orange colour from the antioxidant beta-carotene, which gets converted into vitamin A during digestion.
“Carrots are a rich source of carotenoid from Vitamin A, which plays an important role in keeping the mucus membranes in the eyes healthy. Vitamin A is also responsible for preventing age-related macular degeneration, which in extreme cases can lead to blindness in elderly people,” she remarks.
Carrots also contain fibre, vitamin K, potassium, folate, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin E and zinc. They prove effective against lung cancer, prostate cancer, vision loss and leukaemia.

Pumpkin and squash are two foods that are closely related in the vegetable family. They are loaded with fiber as well as beta-carotene.
“The squash family of vegetables is good at fighting cancer, especially lung cancer, reducing the risk of heart disease and fighting against type-2 diabetes. Pumpkins are great for urinary tract support and aid in the function of the kidneys. Pumpkin seed oil can be used to treat burns and wounds.”

Quick bites
• Most naturally orange foods get their colour from beta-carotene
• Orange colour foods are nutritionally rich and delicious
• Avoid overeating these foods to maintain a balanced diet

Immunity boosters at home

Black garlic: Double the benefits without the odour
Black garlic is regular garlic that has undergone a month-long fermentation process under strictly controlled heat and humidity. The process results in a soft, jelly-like texture that is free from odour.

Black garlic has a much higher content of allicin, the active ingredient in garlic that helps boost circulation by increasing the production of hydrogen sulphide. It is rich in amino acids and has almost double the amount of antioxidants.

It also contains an additional very specific compound called S-Allycysteine (SAC) in very high concentrations which has been shown to assist with the absorption of allicin. Black garlic is well tolerated by the digestive system so the chance of gastric distress is completely minimised. The numerous sulphur compounds in black garlic help maintain healthy blood pressure levels and may also aid normal clotting.

Black garlic stimulates white blood cell activity required by the immune system for fighting infections, including colds and fungal infections including candida. It has potent antimicrobial properties that can be used to treat cholera and dysentery.

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