It's no secret that the rainy season, though a relief from the usual Lagos heat tends to bring with it ailments such as cold/flu, and trigger allergies that weaken the immune system. Many toxins thrive in highly humid environments and the rains provide the optimal conditions for them.
Faced with this reality, the best approach to bolstering immunity and combating these disease-causing toxins requires paying close attention to what we consume during this season.
Thankfully, The rainy season which typically occurs between April to September in Nigeria is a time when a variety of healthy superfoods are in season and readily available in the local markets.
As the rains continue this month, here are 10 superfoods you should add to your cart on your next grocery shopping trip to boost your immunity and promote health from the inside out:
Dates: Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which is grown in many tropical regions. An excellent natural sweetener, dates are high in nutrients, fibre and disease-fighting antioxidants. A great way to incorporate dates into your diet is by swapping sugar or other sweeteners with date syrup.
Beetroot: This vibrantly-coloured vegetable contains essential nutrients and vitamins including manganese, potassium and vitamin C and is also a great source of fibre. Its health benefits include lowering blood pressure levels and decreasing the risk of many diseases. Beetroots can be consumed raw, cooked, or juiced. If you enjoy juicing your beetroot, you’ll be sure to love our deep roots juice which is a perfect blend of beets, apple, lemon and ginger.
Apple: Beyond the crunch and delightful taste, apples are loved for their numerous health benefits which include improving gut health, lowering cholesterol levels and supporting a healthy immune system. This versatile fruit contains immune-boosting vitamin C which is just what you need in the rainy season.
Banana: This berry (yup, BERRY!) is a good source of vitamins C, dietary fibre and manganese. Bananas help to promote relaxation and regulate sleep and they contain citrus Pectin which makes them an all-natural detox. It’s interesting to note that the riper a banana is, the more nutrients it has.
Avocado: Loved by many for its rich flavour, and buttery texture, the avocado contains impressive amounts of fibre, potassium and vitamins which is great for your health and they are so satisfying. Avocados come in hundreds of different varieties. And the avocado tree is a member of the flowering plant family, Lauraceae.
Oats: This nutritional powerhouse is a popular breakfast option for good reasons. Top of which is its high dietary fibre content and nutritional value. Oats can be enjoyed either as whole grains or in value-added forms like bread, biscuits and breakfast cereals. Studies have shown that oats aid the immune system’s response to disease and infection.
Ginger: This ancient root should be your best friend in the rainy season. Whether it’s clearing up the sinuses, fighting bloat or eliminating nausea, ginger can always be trusted to deliver these benefits and many more. Its strong antimicrobial and antifungal properties help it fight inflammation and is a star ingredient in combating cold-related symptoms which are prevalent in the rainy season.
Mint: Mints are becoming increasingly popular in food and drink recipes today. This aromatic leaf which is loved for the cooling sensation it imparts is known to significantly improve symptoms of cold, relieve indigestion and improve irritable bowel syndrome. Mints are typically consumed in small quantities yet they add a powerful and distinct flavour to whatever recipe they are featured in.
Almonds: These nuts, though small in size packs a punch when it comes to delivering nutrients. Rich in heart-healthy fat and antioxidants, almonds aid in weight regulation, improve gut health and not to mention they are good for your skin. And the best part is, they can be enjoyed in various ways - whole, chopped or ground- each one a delicacy.
Carrots: A star Ingredient in our second best-selling juice Stranger, carrots are rich in antioxidants, vitamin A and dietary carotene - a compound which plays an important role in eyesight. They are a great addition to your diet in the rainy season as they help to improve gut health and boost the immune system.
Adding any of these superfoods to your diet is a great way to gain an edge over the many ailments that are popularly associated with the rainy season.
Which ones are you stocking up on this month? Share with us in the comments!