Do you know what impact nutrition has on COVID 19 prognosis? No matter if you are an immunocompromised or otherwise healthy individual. Or if you are someone who is going through COVID 19 infection. Even if you have successfully recovered from this deadly infection. Nutrition for COVID-19 is an important part you must know about.
In this article, I am going to talk about all the possible nutritional requirements and nutritional changes necessary for and during this pandemic of COVID 19. I will also talk about what impact nutrition has on the disease and the severity of its symptoms. And lastly, nutritional recommendations by health authorities. So, let’s start the topic of nutrition for COVID 19 below.
Nutrition and COVID 19
COVID 19 is a newly emerged strain of coronavirus that outbreak almost a year ago from Wuhan and has become pandemic affecting more than forty-seven million people around the world. Out of which more than 1 million lost their life battle against this deadly disease.
To date, there is no definitive cure available for COVID 19. It’s just your own immunity that can fight against it. Or preventive measures you can take to avoid this disease in the first place.
The reason you must learn about nutrition for COVID 19 it is important to achieve the goal of good immunity that can fight the disease. Nutrition plays an important role in boosting up your immunity against many diseases and COVID 19 is one of them.
Can Nutrition Prevent COVID 19?
The simple answer is ‘NO’. Nutrition for COVID 19 only helps in maintaining your immunity levels and there is no evidence suggesting that good nutrition is responsible for the prevention or the cure for COVID 19.
What can nutrition for COVID 19 do? It can help you prevent complications of the disease. As if you take advisable nutrition for COVID 19 your immunity will be high. So, even if you catch the disease, nutrition helps you prevent its complications.
Studies suggest that people who are not taking good nutrition are at higher risk of developing COVID 19 complications. Especially people who are already immuno-compromised and having some running chronic illness.
So, in short, nutrition for COVID 19 in some way or another not prevents the disease but prevents it from getting complicated.
What Are Nutritional Guidelines for COVID 19
Healthy nutrition as per the research paper includes healthy unsaturated fats, protein from natural sources, whole grains, fruits, and raw vegetables. Unhealthy eating, on the other hand, includes unhealthy and saturated fats, refined grains, processed foods, and sugary beverages. This healthy diet is alone enough for maintaining and boosting your immunity.
Studies also suggest that those who eat a well-balanced diet tend to be healthier in all aspects such as they have lower chances to catch infections especially COVID 19.
Research suggests that even moderate amounts of dehydration can lead to the development of many diseases. Drinking adequate water is without a doubt the top health and fitness tip to follow. Recommended water intake is roughly 8-12 glasses of water per day. I will discuss the benefits of water in some other article in detail.
But as far as COVID 19 is concerned drinking adequate water is important for maintaining the proper hydration levels. Water is continuously lost from the body in the form of body fluids and even through the skin via sweat. It is important to replace those fluid losses.
Water helps respiratory secretions to thin out. If you are dehydrated your respiratory secretions will be thicker, and difficult to get clear from your lungs. These residing secretions in the lung, later on, can lead to pneumonia (one of the complications of COVID 19).
With water, you can also take other liquids such as fresh fruit juices, vegetable juices, tea, and coffee in moderation.
AVOID UNPROCESSED AND PACKAGED FOOD
Packaged and processed foods are not recommended in daily routine as well. They tend to be unimportant and should be avoided if you want an overall healthy life. During COVID 19 pandemic already your immunity is at risk. Avoid these types of foods and try to get some proper nutrition instead.
DON’T EAT BAD FATS
The general impression of fats is that they are unhealthy but this is not true. Some fats are needed for most of the functions of your body and are known as essential, unsaturated, or good fats. What you have to avoid are unnecessary, saturated, and bad fats.
Saturated fats increase the bad cholesterol in your blood that leads to many health issues, and during COVID 19 you might don’t want to afford that.
Examples of bad saturated fats include red meat fat, cream, butter, deep-fried food, etc.
SUGAR IS A BIG NO-NO
Mostly sugar is consumed by people in the form of sugary drinks or desserts. These include artificial juices, soft drinks, flavored shakes, cake, doughnuts, etc. These are not providing you with any benefit from a health point of view. Instead, use fresh fruit juices and natural sugars that are fruits they will help in boosting your immunity. Hence, helps to fight against COVID 19.
USE LESSER SALT
Use iodized salt. Limit your salt intake to 1-2 teaspoons a day. This will only be possible if you avoid processed food as they contain extra salt and sugar.
INCLUDE MICRONUTRIENTS IN YOUR DIET
Micronutrients such as Vitamins and Minerals are needed by your body, you often forget to take those. During this pandemic, you must include those in your diet as per Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). The supplements that are in continuous debate since the coronavirus arises such as Zinc, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C. Like Vitamin C as I discussed below Vitamin D, and Zinc also tends to preserve good immunity for your health. I will be discussing these supplements in detail in the next post.
What You Should Eat During COVID 19
Whether you are someone who is just avoiding the disease until now. Or if you are suffering from COVID 19, or if you have successfully recovered from this disease. The nutritional recommendations for covid 19 are the same that I am discussing below:
- Eat 2 servings of fruits per day. They are rich in vitamins. In COVID 19 there is evidence that Vitamin C helps in boosting immunity and helps fighting back to COVID 19. Taking fruits is a must. You can take any fruit as per your liking. But, I am listing some fruits that are rich in Vitamin C includes:
Apple, Strawberry, Cantaloupe, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Oranges, Berries, Papaya
- Eat 3 servings of vegetables per day. Try to eat them raw. If you want to have cooked avoid overcooking them as this will ruin their nutritional value. Vegetables are also rich in Vitamins. You can use any vegetables. But, the names of some that are rich in Vitamin C are:
Green chili, Bell pepper, Ginger, Garlic, Lemon, Broccoli
- Have a handful of nuts a day. They are rich in unsaturated fat and raise your good cholesterol. You can consume any nuts you like to eat.
- Beans, lentils, legumes are a good nutritional choice. If I say they are a complete meal that won’t be wrong. They have carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, and are also rich in antioxidants.
- Use whole grains instead of refined grains. Such as whole wheat bread, oats, brown rice, etc.
- Have a high protein diet from good and lean protein sources such as fish, chicken, and egg whites.
- Use vegetable oil for example canola, olive, sunflower, etc for preparing your meals.
- You can have red meat once a week or if more than twice a week not more than that.
- Let’s not forget water. Have eight glasses of water at least in a day.
“Eat at home. Don’t eat out, this tip will prevent you from eating processed and unhygienic food, plus avoiding sugary beverages, there will be lesser chances of human contact. In short, everything COVID 19 needs. “
GENERAL FOOD TIPS DURING COVID 19
- Thoroughly and properly wash your fruits and vegetables before consuming them.
- Clean the area and surfaces properly before and after food preparation.
- Don’t mix your raw and cooked foods. This would prevent the cross-contamination of microbes from raw to reaching the cooked food.
- While grocery shopping doesn’t buy unwrapped food items.
- Visit here for more details on food handling tips during COVID 19.
In conclusion, eating healthy and wholesome foods helps you to maintain your immunity levels. If you have a good immunity it will help you fight against COVID 19 infection and many other infections as well. Nutrition for COVID 19 is not only responsible for maintaining immunity but also helps in decreasing the complications of COVID 19. Read more here.
So, that’s all about nutrition for COVID 19. In the next article, I will be covering workout and exercise recommendations plus their importance with regards to COVID 19. If you have any queries about this topic, coming topics, or the previous article. Even if you want me to discuss something in detail about COVID 19, nutrition, health, fitness, or workout. Your recommendations, questions, and/or suggestions are welcome. :)