by Jeaniel Whint for Grenada Agro Tourism
The immune system can be called your body’s soldier!
Did you know that 70–80% of the immune system is in your gut? The gut and immune system support each other to promote a healthy body. The gut microbiome acts as a gatekeeper/trainer to the immune cells also called T-cells. These teach the body how to differentiate between invaders such as viruses, bacteria and other foreign bodies which may attack and weaken your body’s tissues and immune system.
At present, we are in the middle of a global pandemic due to the Covid-19 virus and require foods with nutraceutical value that build our immune system. Nutraceuticals are known as “a substance that may be considered a food or part of a food which provides medical or health benefits, encompassing prevention and treatment of disease.”
Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean boasts functional foods such as lemongrass, ginger, orange, French cashew, lime, vitamin and minerals such as Vitamin C, zinc and Vitamin D which are packed with immune building properties. They aid the building of the immune system and benefit the gut microbiome. Grenada’s national dish is the ubiquitous “oil down” with the primary ingredient, breadfruit, now touted as a superfood. The reality is that the majority of foods grown in Grenada by farmers, and especially the members of Grenada Agro Tourism are organically grown using traditional methods. Eat seasonally so the foods are fresh.
Adding these functional foods to your diet such as ginger also offers the additional benefits of reducing inflammation, bloating, and alleviating excess gas.
Zinc, which is an essential mineral to multiple functions in the body is especially essential to men’s health as it plays a role in prostate health, testosterone levels, and overall sexual health. Zinc is not produced by the body and must be consumed through foods like fish including tuna. So, on your travels to Grenada visit the Melville Street Fish Market for fresh daily caught tuna for your next meal.
Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin is both a hormone produced by the body and a nutrient we can consume by eating healthy foods. It also aids the absorption and retention of calcium and phosphorus, both of which are critical for bone building, reducing inflammation, and improving the overall immune system. So, enjoy your time in the sun on one of Grenada’s many beautiful beaches!
French Cashew Lemongrass Smoothie
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (fresh)
- 2 French cashews
- 5 sprigs lemongrass
- 2 cups coconut water
Instructions: Blend and allow to sit for 15 minutes before consuming.
Orange Lemongrass Grilled Tuna
- 2-3 steaks Yellow Fin Tuna
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1 lime
- 20 sprigs lemongrass
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Instructions: Marinade (blend the orange juice, lime, lemongrass, salt and pepper together, allow to sit for 15 minutes). Marinade the fish in ¾ of the lemongrass mixture. Grill the tuna for 2-3 minutes on each side. Pour the remainder of the marinade on the grilled fish. Serve with breadfruit, salad or steamed vegetables.
Jeaniel Whint is a Grenadian born Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Chef located in Toronto, Canada and the Director of Cherry Blossom Wellness Services.