21 alternative and cheaper source of vitamins to boost your immune system

Viruses and other diseases have taken its toll on societies and economies. Do not let any sickness beat you. Protect yourself and your loved ones by eating healthy-but-won’t-break-the-bank foods. The following are mixed of vegetables and fruits that are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. You might even get surprised that you are ignoring them in front of your house or the roadside going to work.

1. Camote/sweet potato tops (Ipomoea batatas)

Camote tops are good source of protein, niacin, calcium, iron, vitamin A, B6 and C, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese. Camotecue got you for your dessert!


2. Alugbati (Basela alba)

Have you seen some purple vine creeping on your gate/wall? Take a closer look and if they are indeed Alugbati, well you have a free source of macronutrients, vitamins and minerals.


3. Saluyot (Corchorus olitorius)

The slimy Saluyot may not be appetising to others but your body will thank you for this very nutritious veggie. The leaves are rich in beta-carotene, phosphorus, iron, calcium and vitamin c.


4. Banana (Musa acuminata x balbisiana)

This fruit is not just for those who want to lose weight or need additional potassium. Saba bananas are low in fat and protein bu they are good source of vitamins B6 and C, magnesium, copper and manganese.


5.Guava (Psidium guajava)

In the province, kids climb guava trees to pick and eat some of its fruits. Guava is a traditional remedy that is used for ages and scientifically proven. Get your daily dose of vitamin A and C, potassium and dietary fiber from raw guava fruit.


6. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)

This famous vegetable fruit in our list is rich in antioxidant lycopene that has been linked to reduce risk of heart disease and cancer. Tomatoes are also source of vitamin C and K, potassium, and folate.


7.Papaya (Carica papaya)

Papaya isn’t the best tasting fruit but it boasts several health benefits. This soft tropical yellowish-orange fruit contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, folate, vitamin A, C, E, and K.


8.Ampalaya/bittergourd (Momordica charantia)

Relative of your zucchini, squash, pumpkin and cucumber, this veggie will be your taste buds’ least favourite but your immune system will thank you . Ampalaya is rich in vitamin C. The fruit also contain vitamin A, folate and antioxidant compounds.


9.Malunggay (Moringa oleifera)

Malunggay is not only for lactating mom. It has received praises over  years due to its health benefits. The plant is used as ingredients in traditional herbal medicine and an excellent source of  riboflavin, iron, vitamins B6 and C.


10. Cassava leaves (Manihot esculenta Crantz)

In some areas, young cassava leaves are eaten as vegetables. This plant part contains up to 10x the amount of protein found in the roots, low in calories but rich in fiber, and good amount of vitamins B and C. Process the leaves well to remove toxic compound.


11.Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)

Before you ignore the slimy okra, consider that this veggie contains a lot – vitamin K, potassium, sodium, vitamin C, thiamin, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin A, iron niacin, phosphorus and copper. Did you catch your breath?


12.Calamansi (Citrofortunella microcarpa)

Calamansi is a citrus fruit native to the Philippines. Do not underestimate this cutie because this could protect you from common cough and cold since they are rich in vitamin C. The fruit also contains phosphorus, calcium and vitamin A.


13.Dayap (Citrus aurantifolia)

Remember how Don Juan squeezed some dayap juice to his wound to fight sleep brought by the singing magical bird Adarna? One dayap or lime can provide 32% of vitamin C needed in a day that will help you fight harmful, disease-causing free radicals cells.


14.Puso ng saging (Musa sp.)

Banana blossoms are valuable source of vitamins A, C, E, potassium, minerals, fatty acid, flavonoids, saponin, essential and non-essential amino acid and other antioxidant compounds. Well I guess I can’t get tired of the ‘saging lang ang may pusohugot line.


15. Mustasa (Brassica juncea)

Just like the mustard condiment, its leaves can give peppery and spicy flavour. These fat and cholesterol-free mustard greens are rich source of vitamin K, A and C and important minerals such as calcium and manganese.

Green leaf mustard in growth at vegetable garden in Vietnam

16.Garlic (Allium sativum)

Research supports the age-old spice and cooking staple bulb’s potential antibacterial properties and its ability to control cholesterol-causing lipids in the blood. It is also rich in antioxidants which may reduce the risk of chronic illnesses.


17. Katuray (Sesbania gradiflora)

Katuray flowers can be white, pink and red in color. Its leaves, flowers, seeds and pods are edible but flowers are the most commonly consumed plant part. The flowers contain vitamin C, vitamin B9, iron, selenium, vitamin B1 and vitamin B2.


18. Guyabano/soursop (Anona muricata)

Typically eaten raw. This fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, thiamin and small amount of niacin, riboflavin, folate and iron. Leaves, fruits and stems are used medicinally.


19. Luyang dilaw (Curcuma longa)

You won’t mind staining your clothes as turmerics are packed with health benefits. It has been used in traditional medicine due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Turmerics are also good source of vitamins and antioxidants.


20. Sampaloc/tamarind (Tamarindus indica)

Unripe and ripe sampaloc/tamarind can both be utilised. The former gives sour flavour to sinigan while the latter is consumed as dessert. This low-glycemic fruit offers beneficial nutrients such as vitamins B and C, potassium, magnesium, thiamine and iron.


21. Kolitis (Amaranthus viridis)

Amaranths are highly nutritious. There is also another variant of this – the one with thorns (Amaranthus spinosus). Manganese in amaranths exceed daily needs with just one serving. The plant also contains magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, copper and iron.


These foods may supplement your body’s required vitamins and nutrients but it is important to take note that it is best to take a balanced diet. Also, drink plenty of water, exercise and get enough rest. Stay healthy, everyone!

**photo credits to the owners