Prevent Covid Through Proper Nutrition Care-Covid Nutrition Guidelines
It is most important to build immunity and to prevent infection during these pandemic times. Following the below guidelines can help to build immunity and prevent infection and also speedy recovery post Covid.
Things to do and follow:
- Use spices like Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander, Garlic while cooking.
- Drink herbal tea made from Basil leaves, Cinnamon, Black pepper, Dry ginger and Black raisins once or twice a day.
- Have a glass of turmeric and pepper infused milk at night before bed-time. These are anti-inflammatory and helps in building immunity.
- Gargle twice a day and add a pinch of salt and turmeric powder to the water.
- Prefer freshly prepared and easily digested food.
- To get a relief from sore throat, take steam inhalation with fresh mint leaves and ajwain seeds.
- Clove powder mixed with pure honey can be taken twice or thrice to relieve throat irritation.
- Exercise regularly. This helps in releasing toxins from the body. Regular exercise helps to improve immunity.
- Include fresh and whole fruits, these are rich in anti-oxidants.
- Drink enough water, 8-10 cups of water.
- Keep sipping warm water all through the day.
- Avoid processed food completely, as these increases inflammation in the body and diverts your body’s immune response.
- Avoid overcooking vegetables, as this causes a loss of nutrients.
- Avoid fizzy drinks and fruit juices. You can also drink infused waters like unsweetened lemon juice/ ginger water. These infused drinks are anti-oxidant rich and helps to build immunity.
- Avoid sugary and salty foods.
- Avoid eating out, to prevent minimal contact with people.
- Avoid alcohol, smoking and any addictive substance usage.
- Avoid unnecessary travel.
Points to be noted to improve immunity:
- Vitamin C rich food – Vegetables like tomato, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and fruits like citrus fruits – lemon, orange, mosambi, guava, kiwis, strawberries, papaya etc.
- Sunlight– Exposure yourself to sunlight during morning times at least for 20 mins. However, consult your doctor regarding the supplementation of vitamin D as excess intake can be toxic. Sources also include – oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, red meat, liver, egg yolks, fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals.
- Probiotics– Include probiotics for healthy gut health as a strong gut promotes strong immunity – yogurt/ curd, buttermilk, sometimes of cheese like cheddar, cottage cheese (paneer), mozerella etc., kefir, sauerkraut
- Include anti-oxidant rich food – fresh fruits and vegetables, green tea, dark chocolate, fresh herbs like ginger, coriander, jeers seeds, green leaves etc.
- Omega-3 fatty acids help to improve immunity – Fish and other seafood (especially cold-water fatty fish, like Indian salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines), Nuts and seeds (such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts), Plant oils (such as flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and canola oil)
- Vitamin A– for its anti-oxidant properties play a role in building immunity – sources include – Dairy products like milk, cheese etc., sweet potato, spinach, carrots, pumpkin, capsicum and fruits like cantaloupe.
- Selenium – a mineral plays an anti-viral role. Include – lean meats; poultry; eggs; seafood; beans, peas, and lentils; nuts and seeds; and soy products. Pork, beef, turkey, chicken, fish, shellfish, and eggs.
- Include Protein rich sources – Pulses and legumes, milk and its products, lean cuts of chicken, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds.
- Zinc rich foods – lean meats; poultry; eggs; seafood; beans, peas, and lentils; nuts and seeds; and soy products. Oysters, red meat are good sources of zinc.
- Vitamin E rich foods – Nuts and seeds like almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds. Oils like rice bran, safflower oil, avocadoes, spinach, pumpkin, beet greens and fish like trout.
Health conditions that you need to keep under control to prevent complications:
You need to make sure that any health conditions like diabetes, elevated lipids, hypertension (high BP) and obesity needs to be kept under control, as these are risk factors in compromising your immunity and increasing the Covid complications. Check with your doctor and dietitian immediately to manage your lifestyle and health.
- Destress yourself as stress can compromise your immunity. Practice meditation and pranayamas.