At present Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world with more than four million confirmed cases in 188 countries. Nearly 300,000 people have lost their lives so far. This pandemic is defining the global health crisis of our time and the greatest challenge we have faced since the Second World War. This is moving like a wave- one that may yet crash on those least able to cope. As we all know that there isn’t any vaccine to protect us from this pandemic nor any medicine to cure this disease but there are few key measures that we can take to fight this pandemic. Among these measures are social distancing, maintenance of hygiene standards like washing our hands frequently with soaps or alcohol sanitizers, wearing a mask that covers our nose and mouth, and avoiding touching our hand or mouth. Also, our immune system can help us to recover and eliminate the virus from our body to a great extent. And the best way to boost our immunity is healthy eating practices which may play a key role in determining our overall health and immunity during this pandemic period.
Why the Necessity of Healthy Food?
Generally, our body has to perform many tasks to stay alive. To perform the tasks, it requires energy to work. Energy comes from food. The type of energy the body has to depend upon the types of food the body takes. If the body takes foods that are not nutritious, then it will not act properly, as a result, the body won’t be able to perform the tasks, and if the body won’t perform the tasks properly then it will be deteriorated and ruined. So, food plays a significant role in our lives, and the selection of food decides whether our eating practices are healthy or not. During a pandemic, it becomes more necessary to adopt healthy eating practices for improving our immunity. Healthy eating practices make a body fit, healthy, and disease-free. Healthy foods include the nutritious ones i.e. green vegetables, fruits full of proteins, minerals, vitamins, etc. have their own value. They are all necessary to boost our immunity and in making our bodies strong and functioning.
What to Consume?
During COVID-19 pandemic we should take low carb but protein-rich diets to keep our body in good shape. We should regularly consume food rich in Beta carotene, Ascorbic acid, and other essential vitamins. Certain foods like mushrooms, tomato, bell pepper, and green vegetables like broccoli, spinach are also good options for boosting our immunity in the body against infections. We should also take supplements rich in omega3 & 6, fatty acids on a regular basis. If stepping out to buy groceries is not an option during social distancing. In our eating habits during this pandemic, we should make maximum use of some natural immunity supplements like ginger, turmeric, garlic, basil leaves, black cumin, etc. in our food. Certain seeds like Flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and melon seeds should also be a part of our food as they are excellent source of protein and vitamin E. Along with food, we must bring up to 8-10 glasses of water every day, to stay hydrated. Hydration will help in flushing out the toxins from our body and lower the chances of flu. We can also include some juices and coconut water for proper hydration. Alcohol consumption should be avoided in this period as many new research claims that persons involved in heavy alcohol consumption tend to suffer from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome which is one of the conditions caused by COVID-19 infection.
Steps by Government
The Indian Health Ministry has also suggested some organic and natural ways to practice as preventive measures to fight COVID-19. The Ministry of Ayush has recommended the maximum use of turmeric, cumin, coriander, and garlic in our food. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which boosts our immune function, and garlic has powerful anti-viral property which also enhances body immunity. As per their recommendation, we should avoid sugar replacing it with jaggery if needed. We should eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans avoiding all kinds of fast or junk foods, red and processed meat. We should also avoid ice creams and refrigerated beverages. Good nutrition supports the body throughout the life course, from birth to old age. A balanced diet, including all food groups, supports an effective immune system and provide protection against infections and diseases.
In fine, we have to adopt healthy eating practices for immunity boosting during the COVID-19 pandemic so that we may protect ourselves from this deadly(CORONA) virus. And it can easily be done by indulging mindfully in healthy eating. In healthy eating, we should keep in mind that we have to eat a variety of foods within each food group and across all the food groups to ensure adequate intake of important nutrients preferably fresh fruits, nuts, and vegetables that provide lots of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber. Usually, our body needs many nutrients in adequate amounts to support our daily functions, including those that help our immune system work properly and help in protecting us against several diseases. Along with eating, staying well hydrated, chiefly through drinking an adequate amount of plain water, also helps our immune system. Intake of plain water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages also helps in reducing the risk of consuming much calories for maintaining a healthy weight. In addition to healthy eating practice, other lifestyle factors are an important part of maintaining our wellbeing and a healthy immune system. A healthy lifestyle includes additional strategies like the prohibition of smoking and consuming wine; regular exercise; adequate sound sleep; and, a stress-free mind.
Eat healthy, stay fit.