By Sue-Ann Wayow
WHILE there is no one type of food, supplement or herb that could prevent someone from contracting Covid-19, it is wise to maintain a healthy immune system.
This was the advice given by epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds and registered dietician at the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) Kyrie-Aarti Homer-Kimraj, during the Ministry of Health’s virtual media conference on Monday.
They were responding to questions asked by AZPNews.com concerning internet advice that the boosting of immune systems could prevent contraction of the virus.
Hinds said, “In general, having healthy nutrition, good levels of your basic nutrients, basic carbohydrates, protein, fats, good levels of hydration, good levels of the recommended vitamins and minerals, all of those things will allow your body to mount a reasonable and robust immune response because your immune system is not compromised by dietary deficiencies.”
He added, “What we don’t want people to go away with is the idea that taking one particular supplement is going to protect them against the potential infection of Coivid-19. That’s what we are concerned about as being a little misleading. Yes some things may help the immune system to respond better in general, but those things would not guarantee any special protection against Covid-19.”
Homer-Kimraj said that while the internet offers a wide range of advice, it was not always verified and evidence based.
She advises, “What you want to do is to maintain good immune health, by consuming a mixture of nutrient dense foods from your food group.
“You want to try to eat a rainbow. Include a wide variety of locally grown colourful fruits and vegetables, bearing in mind that each colour contains a specific nutrient in the form of an antioxidants, vitamins or minerals that can all help towards nourishing your immune health and keeping you healthy.
“By reducing your intake of processed foods incorporating more naturally grown foods, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, you are well on your way to maintaining a good immune health.”