Food Profile: Alugbati

Alugbati, also known as Malabar spinach, is a vine that grows commonly in the Philippines. It is a favorite vegetable for its flavor and is also favored in gardens for it’s ease of care. This attractive, versatile plant is also packed full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Today we will take a closer look at Alugbati and learn how it can positively affect your immune system.


Effects On Immunity

As you can see above, Alugbati is very rich in Vitamins A and C, two substances which provide a lot of support for your immune system. It also provides a good amount of certain minerals such as Magnesium and Zinc.

Vitamin A is particularly important in regulating inflammatory processes and can help you to avoid dangerous cykotine storms, which may cause severe COVID symptoms. 1

Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients for the immune system. 2 It is used in the construction of B and T cells, the buiilding blocks of your immune system. They also work as antioxidants, removing free radicals from your body, improving overall health. 3

Magnesium and Zinc are also two minerals that have been shown to improve your immune response, especially due to the fact that they support immunoglobin production. 4

Special Notes

Alugbati is very easy to plant and should be a staple of every Filipino household. To propagate, simply stick a stem without the leaves into a pot of soil. Within weeks you will have a lush supply of nutritious leaves. New shoots can be transplanted as well. This is one vegetable that can be grown in the smallest spaces. A pot on a windowsill will be enough to grow some of your own. Given it’s high anti-inflammatory and immunity boosting potential, this should be high on your list of daily vegetables.


While it would help to double check with the farmer or seller, you would be happy to know that Alugbati is typically grown organically. Being a local plant makes it well-adapted to our conditions and resilient against pests. Thus farmers rarely use any chemicals in it’s productions. However take into account that residue can drift onto the leaves if the rest of the farm is conventional. Try and find a local organic farmer who can provide you with a steady supply, or even better, plant some of your own!




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