People with low immunity are more exposed to COVID-19, so eating healthy food and getting the correct amount of vitamins A through E is essential in reducing the risk of infection.
As coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread around the world, we have all adopted everyday preventive measures to avoid catching and spreading the disease – simple measures such as thorough and regular handwashing and social distancing. But there are other factors that affect our ability to fight off viruses, and our diet is a particularly important one.
Good nutrition influences the strength of our immune system and its effectiveness in warding off infectious diseases. Eating a low-fat, plant-based diet increases vitamin intake while reducing the amount of fat in our system that reduces the effectiveness of virus-fighting white blood cells. As a leader in Cayman Islands dining, Grand Old House has a range of creative salads, vegetarian main dishes and fresh fruit desserts that are not only delicious, they are a healthy and vitamin-rich boost to the immune system.
Plants are a major source of vitamins A through E that are essential to good health. A plant-based low-fat diet also helps maintain a healthy weight. Plants are high in fiber, which aids digestion, doesn’t add calories and lowers BMI, all proven to reduce the risk of respiratory and other infections.
Vitamin A keeps the mucosal lining of our nose and lungs healthy and able to protect against viral infection. Excellent sources of Vitamin A include sweet potatoes, beetroot, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, and butternut squash.
Foods high in the eight vitamins that make up the Vitamin B complex work to help convert food into energy, form new immune cells, regulate the production of hormones and keep our brains in good health, as well as a host of other important processes. A deficiency of Vitamin B can have serious adverse effects on our bodies.
Many foods can provide enough of the eight B vitamins the body needs to function properly. They include fish, liver, eggs, and dairy. Vegetarians and vegans can get their daily requirements from most types of beans, from spinach, nuts, oats, and bananas, among others. Grand Old House, home of the best dinner menu in the Cayman Islands, offers both meat eaters and vegetarian lunch and dinner options that provide the whole range of essential B vitamins.
When cold and flu season comes around, many of us rush to boost our Vitamin C intake, particularly with citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes. Citrus fruits are an excellent immune booster as they pack a ton of vitamin C. Some leafy green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, also contain high amounts of vitamin C. Our bodies do not produce or store Vitamin C, so daily doses are essential for continued health and protection.
Most of our Vitamin D comes not from food but from the sun. Vitamin D deficiency is easily prevented if you’re outdoors exposing your skin to sunlight for 20 minutes or more a day, but with so many of us forced to shelter indoors during the pandemic there is a risk of deficiency of this important vitamin that is essential for a healthy immune system and guards against respiratory infections. Eggs and fatty fish contain some Vitamin D, but not enough to provide all our requirements for a fully functional immune system.
If you’re locked down and not getting enough sun, and while we’re prevented from enjoying outdoor dining at Grand Old House’s spectacular waterfront deck for the best lunch menu in Grand Cayman, consider taking a Vitamin D supplement to stimulate the production of peptides – substances that your body produces to fight off viruses and bacteria.
Finally, there’s Vitamin E, which, like Vitamin C, is an antioxidant that supports the body’s natural immune response. Thankfully, many foods contain this essential vitamin that helps protect against cardiovascular and digestive problems, so a deficiency is unlikely. Spinach is well known to be high in Vitamin E, but it is also found in many other vegetables, as well as fruits and nuts.