When something harmful or irritating affects a part of our body, there is a biological response to try to remove it. Inflammation can be uncomfortable, but it means that the body is starting to heal itself.
July 05, 2020
Staying at home for a long period of time can lead to increased consumption of highly processed food, which are usually high in fats, sugars, and salt. Even with limited ingredients and pantry options, we can still achieve a healthy and balanced diet. 
Eating a healthy diet is a must during the COVID-19 pandemic. What we put inside our bodies can greatly affect its ability to prevent, fight, and recover from infections.  Now that we are asked to stay at home, this is a good opportunity to start taking advantage of the available information we see online, specifically the recipes on how to cook the meals we have always wanted to try. But it’s still important to keep in mind the principles of healthy eating! 
As Filipinos, we are best known for our cooking. We have a wide variety of home-cooked meals that are not only healthy but also sumptuous and can be enjoyed by the whole family. Now that we have lots of time on our hands, it’s time to explore these uniquely Filipino dishes that can help boost our immune system! 
Pinakbet is rich in vitamin A and fibers. This dish involves sautéing vegetables with oil, garlic, and onion. Popular ingredients include bitter melon or ampalaya (known for its amazing hypoglycemic effects), tomato (famous for boosting immunity), and string beans (that are rich in protein). 
Fish dishes are rich in vitamins and minerals and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Fish Sinigang is made up of fish cooked in tamarind soup and leafy vegetables like pechay, camote tops, or water spinach. Salmon, bangus (milk fish), or maya-maya (snapper fish) are the common fish variations used in this dish. 
This healthy soup dish is highly advised for lactating moms. Sayote is one of its main ingredients which contains high amounts of folic acid – a vitamin prescribed by doctors for pregnant women. This dish can also be cooked with semi-ripened papaya and malunggay leaves, known to be a potent milk-boosting supplement. 
This dish is made up of a mix of bitter melon and monggo beans. These ingredients are known to be rich in iron, magnesium, folate, thiamine, manganese, and phosphorus. 
Ingredients used in this dish are lettuce, turnip, carrot, spring onions, and ubod (edible coconut pith). This dish is rich in vitamin A which helps in promoting good eye health and also boosts the immune system. 
Tahong or mussels are an excellent source of vitamin B12, zinc, folate, and selenium – a mineral known for its antioxidant properties. Ingredients for this dish include garlic, ginger, lemongrass, a choice of green (such as chili tops or malunggay leaves), and the freshest mussels you can find. 
This dish is made up of eggplant, topped with tomatoes, onions, and a touch of bagoong. It is the perfect side dish for heavier protein dishes such as grilled pork and fish. 
We all need proper nutrition and hydration in order to have good health. A well-balanced diet can result in stronger immune systems and lower risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases. 
Make sure to eat a variety of fresh and unprocessed food every day to get the vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, protein, and antioxidants your body needs. Don’t forget to drink enough water and avoid sugar, fat, and salt to significantly lower your risk of overweight, obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. 
Now that you have these dishes that can help boost your immune system, it’s time to cook and eat healthy!