Healthy Foods

The Philippines has a lot of homemade foods to offer. Delicious and healthy at the same time!

In these exhausting times of the virus outbreak, our health is at stake and we need to take care of it whatever it takes. Intermountain Healthcare claimed that one of the best shields to fight COVID-19 is by having a strong immune system. This can be achieved through physical activities and eating healthy foods which is a great way to get the nutrients our body needs. And there are lots of healthy Filipino foods you can try!

“Just like poor nutrition can deteriorate your immune system, quality nutrition can be the foundation for strength.”

Charlotte Hunter, Registered Dietitian

According to Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), those who have a higher chance of getting the virus are people with underlying medical conditions and have a weak immune system. To keep the contagious disease from our body, we need to avoid other complications that may intensify them.

What exactly are the needed nutrients to help you fight the virus?

Here are the essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to our immune system as listed by Intermountain Healthcare, which can also be found in healthy Filipino foods:

  • Vitamin C has antibodies that eliminate bacteria and infections.
  • Vitamin D maintains the bones and avoids infections.
  • Vitamin A preserves our body against infections by making the skin and tissues healthy and the immune system.
  • Vitamin E an antioxidant that helps fight cell damage.
  • Zinc works as an antioxidant and boosts our metabolism which helps in healing wounds.
Although vaccinations has started, many are still unable to get their doses due to several reasons including the availability of vaccines.

While waiting for your turn, here are some healthy Filipino foods you can try cooking and making at home. These can help strengthen your body to fight the COVID-19 virus.

Nilagang Mani (Boiled Peanuts)

Simple and easy to cook yet tastes so good! Boiling makes the nuts softer hence easier to chew unlike Adobong Mani (fried nuts) which is also oily. Consuming oily foods makes one more prone to heart diseases, and vulnerable to catching the virus.

Peanuts have high levels of Vitamin B3, E, and Zinc.

Courtesy: TAGALOG LANG

Peanuts do more than just boosting our memory! It also lowers the risk of dying from almost all kinds of diseases. If having a long life is one of your goals, you should definitely eat this as your snack. Check out the recipe here.

Ginanggang (Grilled Banana)

Ginanggang from Mindanao consists of grilled saba (Cardava Banana) brushed with margarine or butter then sprinkled with a bit of sugar. Saba is a breed of healthier banana raised in the Philippines.

Moreover, adding butter gives it additional calcium since it is made of milk.

This recipe is considered healthier versus Banana Cue and Maruya (Banana Fritter) as it uses less sugar and oil, and is also more flavorful compared to boiled bananas. Here’s how you can cook it by grilling. If you have an oven, you can try the baked version.

Cardava banana contains Vitamins A, B, and C and is rich in Potassium that greatly helps blood circulation.

Courtesy: Edge Davao

Binatog (Boiled White Kernels)

Binatog is made up of processed corn kernels and is a popular Filipino midday snack that is served either sweet or salty. It’s kind of nostalgic as this was one of our usual merienda during our childhood days where we have to wait for vendors who roam in the afternoon. Now, you can try this at home.

Corns have B Vitamins, Zinc, and Fiber that helps feed the good bacteria in our digestive system.

Courtesy: Panlasang Pinoy

Buko Juice

Buko juice is coconut water mixed with coconut meat and milk for that refreshing flavor. In the scorching heat of the summer, you can easily grab this soothing and energizing drink at your favorite vendors on the sidewalk. You can also try making it at home with this recipe.

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Young coconut meat contains Vitamin C and antimicrobial properties that can help eliminate bad bacteria residing in our mouths. This prevents root canal infection and other problems that may occur in teeth.

Courtesy: Ang Sarap

Sinigang na Bangus (Milkfish with Sour Broth) 

This is a conventional Filipino dish best paired with hot rice. The variation of cooking milkfish with tamarind makes the broth sour yet tasty. You can thicken the soup by adding crushed taro and better served hot during cold weather! Here’s the perfect recipe if you want to try it. Remember: fish is always healthier than any other type of meat.

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Vitamins A, B1, B12, and Zinc are present in milkfish. High in Omega 3 fatty acid that benefits the heart, reduces blood clotting, and also lowers blood pressure as tamarind does. Meanwhile, taro has a dietary fiber in it, which lowers cholesterol levels.

Courtesy: Panlasang Pinoy

Ginisang Munggo (Sautéd Mung Beans)

This is another popular Filipino food paired with rice and is traditionally served on Fridays. Much tastier and healthier when you add Malunggay leaves.

Malunggay helps lower blood sugar levels and fight against bacterial diseases. Meanwhile, contrary to popular belief, Mung beans don‘t cause arthritis! In fact, it eases that. So if you are suffering from it, you might opt to try this one. Of course, any day, not only on Fridays.

Mung beans are rich in protein, fiber and also contain Vitamin B1 and Zinc. Malunggay has a high amount of Vitamin B6 and C.

Courtesy: Pinch of Yum

Sizzling Tofu

If you are fond of spicy foods, this one is a must-try for you! A Filipino vegetarian dish mostly served in restaurants. But luckily, it is easy to make even at home! Here’s the recipe for you to try out.

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It has Zinc, Vitamin B1, and a great amount of protein that is good for bones and muscles. It is cholesterol-free, so worry not about the drawbacks that other meats have.

Courtesy: Panlasang Pinoy

Not only in July should we observe nutrition month or become health-conscious, especially now in times like these that our healthcare system might break down. Let’s make everyday Nutrition Day by eating healthy foods! These delicious Proudly healthy Filipino foods can easily be made at home and will surely delight you and your health!

Stay safe and healthy while waiting for your vaccine.

Tara, kain! (Let’s eat!)

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Written by

Arsenio Navales

A journalism student from Cavite. Fond of writing ever since he was a kid, introspective, and loves his family (dogs and cats included). Believes that a too shallow idea coincides and too deep upsets. Think not shallowly or deeply, but uniquely! Uniqueness breeds innovations!