The Grenada Food and Nutrition Council is stressing the importance of healthy eating as Grenada battles community spread of COVID-19. The public is being reminded of ways to boost their immune system, to have a fighting chance against the disease. You are advised to up your intake of Vitamins A, B6, C, D, E and Folic Acid as well as minerals like iron, zinc and copper, these are essential for building strong immune response.
Vitamin C: found in fruits like oranges, grapefruit, mandarine, tangerine, lemon, limes, paw paw, mangoes, cherries, guavas and cantaloupe. Vegetables like Spinach, sweet peppers, broccoli, cabbage and tomato provision are also great sources of Vitamin C.
Vitamin B6 and Folic Acid is found in chicken, turkey, fish, grain foods like oats, bread, many of our local provisions, dry beans and peas and leafy greens.
Vitamins B and C are water soluble; which means they can lose their nutritional value if prepared using a lot of water that would not be consumed. Vitamin C is destroyed by heat, so try eating these foods in their natural form or prepare with little heat. The body has limited capacity to store some B vitamins and vitamin C. So whatever the body doesn’t use will be excreted.
Spending at least 30 minutes in the sunshine daily will allow the body to make its own Vitamin D and eating fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, and salmon; egg yolks and foods that are enriched or fortified with vitamin D can help you get to your daily needs.
You can get Vitamin E from nuts, vegetable oils and green leafy vegetables. Meats, poultry, eggs and plant sources like dry beans and peas and dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, lentils are great sources of iron.
Zinc and copper can be obtained by consumption of some of the same foods that contain iron like Beef, poultry, legumes and nuts.
Natural spices such as ginger, clove, turmeric, and garlic can help decrease inflammation and offers some support to the immune system because of its antioxidant properties.
Following a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains, local provisions, lean meats and hydrating with water more than other drinks can help us get all the nourishment we need and a strong immune system to fight infections. Getting sufficient sleep is also important.
Bear in mind that a combination of approaches will be most effective; so follow the general precautions, as provided by the Ministry of Health to keep you safe.
Submitted by the Grenada Food and Nutrition Council