Gastronomy is an art that goes beyond cooking and presenting an aesthetically pleasing dish; through it, customers can be invited to practice a healthy lifestyle. Today it has become more important, because with a complete and balanced diet, the necessary nutrients are provided to strengthen the body both physically and mentally.
Nutrients and Immunity, a study conducted by the Nutritional Support Unit of the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital (Spain) states: “Nutrition is a determining component in the development and maintenance of the immune response”. For this reason, vitamins play a fundamental role in the human body, among other functions, they are responsible for regulating the immune response to external and internal attacks by pathogens.
It also details that there is a set of minerals, essential in every human being, which, by interacting with vitamins, contribute to increase and maintain the body’s immune system, including iron, copper and zinc.
It is important to incorporate these vitamins and minerals into the dishes that diners enjoy the most; and also monitor customer trends and preferences. For that you could support yourself in the social networks of your business and interact with them to communicate the nutritional contributions of your menu.
In this sense, we present the nutrients that stand out to strengthen the body and immune system, as well as the different food alternatives that provide them:
Vitamin A, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is obtained in foods of animal origin: butter, meat, eggs, and some fish. If your restaurant is vegan, you can also offer dishes that contain this micronutrient, as the FAO also points out that “the conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A” takes place in the individual’s body.
Carotene is found in plant products whose leaves are dark green, such as spinach. Also in sweet potatoes, cassava and pigmented fruits such as mangoes, papayas, and tomatoes.
The B-complex vitamin can be found in the germ and outer layers of cereals and seeds, green vegetables, meats, eggs, poultry, fish, fruit, and milk; whereas, vitamin C is found in dark-colored fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens, including bananas, plantains, and spinach. According to the FAO, the level of vitamin C is rather low in sprouted cereals and legumes, also in meat, fish, eggs and milk.
For its part, the US Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health indicates that vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, nuts and green leafy vegetables such as broccoli. While onions, fatty fish, beef liver and cheese provide vitamin D.
The ODS indicates that the body absorbs more easily iron from animal source foods. So, to improve the absorption of plant sources of this mineral, such as lentils, peas, chickpeas; they recommend supplementing with seafood, meat, poultry and foods that are a source of vitamin C.
Also, it states that zinc “helps the immune system to fight bacteria and viruses that invade the body.” We can obtain it by consuming foods such as oysters, red meat and poultry, crabs, beans, nuts, whole grains and dairy.
The ODS adds that copper helps maintain and strengthen both the nervous and the immune system. This mineral is provided by various foods, for example, beef liver, oysters, nuts, seeds, tofu, avocados and chocolates.
A healthy, balanced and varied diet, rich in vitamins and minerals, besides being tasty, it strengthens the immune system. For example, if your restaurant offers arepas made with P.A.N., take advantage of its versatility to accompany them with various fillings with the perfect balance between flavor and well-being.
You can rely on the social networks of your business to exploit the benefits of your dishes. Upload photos of the menu accompanied by a copy that explains to the diners its nutritional benefits. In this way, they will know that at the same time as they enjoy good service and exquisite dishes, they consume foods that help strengthen their immune system; they will be inspired and motivated to adopt a healthier lifestyle.