COVID-19 Pandemic has become a global health crisis and India is now among the worst-hit countries in the world. Even when the health authorities’ is constantly working to curb the spread of this deadly disease, new cases continue to spike each day. While the country is coping with looming dangers that this deadly virus poses to humanity, there are a few key strategies that we should take to combat this pandemic. Also Read: Coronavirus: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
We all know that it is crucial to follow proper respiratory hygiene like washing hands regularly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, wearing a mask and avoid touching hands, eyes, nose or mouth and maintaining social distancing. Apart from this, a well-balanced and nutritious diet plays an important role in triggering the immune system which is paramount at this juncture.
Protect Yourself From A Wide Range Of Germs And Diseases! Buy Our Hand Sanitizers And Disinfectants Today!
According to health experts, adequate nutrition and hydration are the cornerstones to build a robust immune system and keep infections at bay. People who eat a wholesome diet tend to be healthy with a strong immune system and lower risk of chronic disorders and infectious diseases. Hence it is pivotal to eat a varied diet rich in fresh natural produce to get your daily dose of vitamins, minerals, fibre, proteins and antioxidants.
The right kind of food you eat plays a key role in determining overall well-being and immunity. To combat deadly coronavirus it is important to eat a well-balanced diet high on proteins, vitamins and minerals and antioxidants that help to recuperate faster. Also Read: COVID-19: This Is How You Should Wisely Stock Your Food Essentials During Lockdown
Read through this article to an overview of vital nutrients which holds a significant role in bolstering immunity and speed the convalescing.
Nutritional Needs During COVID-19:
Eat Fresh Natural Produce
Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains (millets, oats, wheat, and brown rice) and a good amount of lean proteins including milk, eggs, fish and lean meat.
Protein is a key factor for uplifting immune response, hence eating a protein-rich diet is the topmost priority for triggering the immune response and battling infections. The diet should comprise good quality proteins including legumes like mung beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and black beans, nuts like peanuts, almonds, walnuts and animal proteins like seafood, lean meat and eggs which can shield you against the attack of viral infection.
Go For Fruits And Vegetables
It is recommended to have 4 serving of fresh fruits abundant in vitamins A, C and other essential nutrients. Amla, oranges, guava, papaya, watermelon, grapes, kiwi, cantaloupe, mango, pineapple and strawberries are some of the fruits loaded with vital nutrients and adding these fruits helps to build resilience in the body against infections.
Fresh vegetables are a powerhouse of nutrients that boosts the immune response and maintain overall health. It is advised to have at least 5 servings of vegetables in a day. Choose from a wide range of veggies like spinach, broccoli, carrots, beans, beets, pumpkin, brinjal and other gourd varieties. Remember not to overcook the vegetables, as this may deplete the vital nutrients.
Prefer to have wholesome snacks like fruits, dry fruits and nuts instead of foods that are high on sugar, fat or salt. Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, dates, raisins and flax, pumpkin and melon seeds are excellent sources of protein, healthy fats, zinc and vitamin E which supports strengthening the immune system and combat infections. Besides these, include probiotics like yoghurt, yakult and other fermented foods which are a great way to revamp the gut bacteria, better assimilation of nutrients and strengthens the immune system.
Stay Well Hydrated
Water is quintessential for life, it delivers nutrients and vital compounds in blood regulates body temperature, eliminates toxins and lubricates the muscle and joints. It is recommended to drink 8-10 cups of water in a day. Fresh pure boiled water is the best choice, however, you can also include natural beverages like lemonade, soups, fresh juices, tender coconut water and tea or coffee in moderation. However, limit intake of caffeine and avoid all sweetened fruit juices, syrups, fruit concentrates, fizzy drinks as they are loaded with sugars.
Add Super Foods
Every Indian kitchen cabinet is a storehouse of herbs and spices like ginger, garlic, dry ginger, black pepper, cinnamon turmeric, basil leaves, amla, black cumin and jeera. These superfoods are loaded with impressive amounts of bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants that have the power to build a stronger immune system and combat infections. Besides these, the powerful anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, antioxidant and antibacterial properties of these foods are proven to enhance the body’s immune response and help fight common cold and flu.
Moderate Amounts Of Fat
Choose from a healthy source of unsaturated fats such as coconut oil, sesame oil, gingelly oil, sunflower oil and soy oil rather than saturated fats.
Avoid all processed meats and Trans fats as they are high in fat and salt.
Go for low-fat milk and milk products.
Limit Intake Of Salt And Sugar
While cooking and preparing food limit the use of salt to less than 5g per day (1 teaspoon).Avoid preserved foods high in salt and high-sodium condiments like soy sauce and fish sauce.
Restrict intake of soft drinks, sodas and other drinks that are high in sugar such as fruit juices, concentrates fruit juices and syrups, flavoured milk and yoghurt.
Prefer fresh fruits and dry fruits instead of sweet snacks such as cakes, chocolate and cookies.
Freshly Cooked Home Foods
Eating freshly cooked food, preferably home-cooked as it is wholesome and reduce the rate of contact with other people and minimise the chance of being exposed to COVID-19.
Other Measures To Combat COVID-19:
In these days and times of various uncertainties, every industry is coming out with some innovative measures and strategies to support COVID-19 patients and help them recuperate faster. The Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) has developed a wide range of high protein and fibre-rich foods such as cookies, bread and rusks especially for COVID-19 patients comprising groundnut, whey protein blended with spices and herbs like turmeric, garlic, clove, ginger, onion, jeera which are known to enhance the immune system, without any additives, stated the IIFPT director, Dr. C Anandharamakrishnan. These biscuits are prepared and currently supplied to COVID-19 patients who are under observation and treatment at the Thanjavur Medical College.
Even some of the top restaurants in Chennai these days are catering specially designed menus and add-ons such as amla juice, protein ball, lemonade, ginger lemon tea, mint rice, pepper rasam, turmeric and garlic milk that are well- known to boost the immune system and keep diseases at bay.
Proper nutrition and hydration are key mantras to enhance total-health and bolster the immune system. Boosting the immune system by following a disciplined lifestyle and healthy eating habits is the need of the hour and can keep you disease-free.