Nowadays, people became more conscious about the good hygiene and healthy diet as COVID-19 pandemic started rising up. Since, COVID-19 is weakening the immune system, therefore it is needed to boost up your immune system through immune booster nutrients.
It is recommended to consume different kinds of foods consisting macro and micro nutrients. Foods such as vegetables, cereals and millet, green leafy vegetables, fruits and roots, flesh foods, nuts and oils are essentially contribute to boost your immunity power.
Effect of Healthy Diet on Immune System.
- To prevent formation of viral infection and sustaining ideal immune system the role of Vitamins A, D and E (fat soluble vitamins), vitamins C and B, amino acids, fatty acids and minerals like zinc, iron, selenium, copper are incredible.
- These nutrients prevent the function of B cells, T cells, killer cells, neutrophils, and macrophages etc. which are involved in the removal of infectious microbes.
- Vitamin A sustains structure and function of the “mucosal epithelial” cells of the respiratory tract and boosts mucosal immunity and prevent respiratory infection.
- Vitamin B, C & E along with Selenium and Zinc are strong antioxidants which decrease oxidative strain in the body. You should obtain these nutrients through a balanced diet.
- Increase probiotic bacteria in the intestine, maintain intestinal reliability, regulate gut microbiota and reduce transmission of toxins from the intestine to the blood circulation.
- Control immune function, inflammation and prevent tissue damage.
Lack of one or more of these nutrients can increase the risk to get infected. To meet the nutritional requirement you can add extra supplement. Excessive intake of these nutrients can lead several health issues. Therefore, it is recommended to plan a balanced diet consisting all nutrients.
Suitable Dietary and Lifestyle Strategies to Follow.
During this tough situation it’s still possible to maintain a healthy diet. Our diet are vary from place to place based on different factors such as culture and eating habits. Therefore, it’s important to choose the right combination of food for a healthy life.
Here are some locally available foods enrich with nutrients according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO);
Fruits and Vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are enrich with lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber which should be added in your diet. It boost your immune power and give you strength to fight with many deceases. You may also choose canned fruits and vegetables. However, during processing of canned foods they use several ingredients such as sugar, salt and preservatives. Therefore, always read the labels before purchase of such foods.
Papaya, grapes, apple, guava, mango and many other fruits are good source of beta carotene (Vitamin A), Vitamin C, Vitamins B, Potassium and folate which help in overall maintenance of health and immunity.
Green leafy vegetables are enrich with vitamin A, C and E along with anti-oxidants and fiber. Many periodic vegetables and spices are good source of numerous micro nutrients and antioxidants that support immune function and regulate gut microbiota and reduce inflammation.
Several Citrus fruits like tangerines, oranges, lemons, goose berries and sweet lime are good source of Vitamin C.
Healthy Fats & Whole Grains.
Always prefer whole grain along with healthy fats from dry fruits such as nuts. Try to cook your food with olive, sesame, peanut oil because they are enrich with unsaturated fatty acids. This foodstuffs and oils support immune system and reduce inflammation.
Fish are good sources of omega 3, protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin E along with essential fatty acids.
Millet which are good sources of multiple micro-nutrients and fiber.
Curd is a good source of many nutrients, which also improves gut health by regulating gut bacteria, boost immune function and reduces inflammation.
A number of Legumes like green gram, black gram, chickpea, lentils, and beans consist many nutrients including like iron and Zinc.
Limit Fats, Sugar and Salt.
During this lock-down many people are consume foods which consist unhealthy fat, sugar and salt. It increase several health issues such as blood pressure, heart attack, cholesterol etc. Avoid consumption of these unhealthy ingredients.
Maintain Food Hygiene.
During this situation you must be more attentive regarding the food safety. However, no such evidence have been found yet, that COVID-19 is extent through food. As prevention is better than cure, so you must always maintain a good hygiene. Clean foods with fresh water and prefer complete cook food.
Dehydration may cause several health issues and even heart attacks. So drink plenty of fresh water at least 6 to 8 glasses per day. Always prefer plain water instead of beverages. It is also helpful to maintain your healthy weight.
Avoid Alcohol and Smoking.
Consumption of alcoholic and smoking lead several health issues. Such kind of drinks contains cheap nutritional value and high in calories, which increase your body fat percentage. It affect your overall health and can damage your liver. So cut off alcohol and smoking today to lead a healthy life.
Escape Highly Processed Foods.
Avoid the consumption of highly processed foods, fruit juices and beverages because these consist unhealthy fats, salt, sugar, poor vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Sustain Ideal Body Weight.
Always maintain an ideal body weight is too important. If you are underweight or overweight it harm your immunity power and increases inflammation. To check out your ideal body weight according to your height and weight click here.
Adequate physical activity like yoga, free hand exercise will reduce stress level and boost your immunity power. As well as it boost your metabolism and prevent several health issues. To find out 5 best freehand exercise at home click here.
Adequate Sleep and Avoid Stress.
It is suggested to take adequate sleep for minimum 7 to 8 hours. It reduce the stress hormone (cortisol) from the body and relax your overall mind and body. Which give you an additional benefit in this days.
Those are suffering from diabetes or other chronic illnesses should continue their medication as well as follow healthy diet along with sufficient physical activity which keep themselves stress free. People with diabetics, chronic kidney disease and hypertension are more vulnerable and must strictly follow social distancing and hygiene.
You can prevent this disease by maintaining a good personal hygiene like hand-washing and cough etiquette. You should avoid unnecessary travel, public gatherings and maintain social distancing. This can break the chain of transmission. Several relevant SOPs has already circulated by The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. They has taken adequate steps to control this pandemic as well as they provide many healthcare facilities to take care of the infected patients. So, it is always suggested to maintain a healthy diet to prevent COVID-19.