21 May Food And Nutrition Advice during Corona & Self Quarantine.
Covid-19 declared as a pandemic by W.H.O, brought the whole world to a standstill, and mankind battling the virus. It is proven time and again that food acts like medicine and has great healing properties in instances when the immune system needs support to fight such harmful predators.
While new hygiene standards like regular use of disinfectants, wearing masks, are introduced into the masses, Social distancing and building one’s immune system is becoming the need of the hour.
With ways and means to combat this situation, even the Ministry of Health, Government of India, insists on reviving your immune power and energy, via the organic route which is imperative in such circumstances. This article provides food and nutrition tips during corona that ensure the quintessential nutritional requirement in these testing times.
Table Of Contents
Feel free to skip ahead if one topic catches your eye:
- How does coronavirus attack your immune system?
- What does your body need while fighting with COVID-19?
- Follow this FOOD PATH for faster recovery
- Take away
1. How does coronavirus attack your immune system?
The novel coronavirus enters the mucosal lining and lashes out its protein damaging the healthy cells. It creates multiple copies of itself and systematically attacks the healthy cells, tissues and organs. The immune system in turn responds and within 2 to 14 days of its attack, the body creates several events by leaving our immune system to fight against these unwanted invaders. Symptoms like cold, sore throat, fever, difficulty in breathing, nausea, headache, diarrhea, etc are seen during the process.
Since the covid 19 destroys the healthy cells, it’s necessary to recover from such ravaging attacks by empowering our internal defense systems. The SARSCov2 is known to cause intravenous blood clots leading to thrombosis and dysfunction of various organs. Such detrimental effects of the virus need to be managed. Along with medications, the right amount of nutrient intake is essential to manage the harmful effects of Covid-19 that can help cope with the present pandemic situation.
2. What does your body need while fighting with COVID-19?
W.H.O recommends that a well-balanced diet and well-hydrated body can help fight harmful pathogens such as SARSCov2. People who have a healthy nutritional intake are bound to be healthier with stronger immune systems. So, the inclusion of a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods that nourish the body with essential vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, protein and antioxidants is vital. Hydrate the body with enough fluids. Avoid high sugar, fat and salt intake. Nutritionists can guide you with food and nutrition tips during corona and self-quarantine that rejuvenates your body within.
The foods with necessary macro and micronutrients that naturally improve your internal defense system when it needs to fight back are listed below.
- Pump up your protein intake: High protein diet is highly recommended as these macronutrients play an important role in boosting immune functions. Cereals, pulses, soy, soymilk, milk, and its products such as paneer, curd, whey, animal products like eggs, meat, fish, poultry, are some of the sources of essential amino acids that are required for the optimal functioning of the immune system.
- Add a dash of Vitamin C: Vitamin C is known as a powerful antioxidant and immunity booster. Indian gooseberry, guava, orange, sweet lime, lemon, kiwi, berries, broccoli, tomato, tamarind, etc are some of the known sources that are rich in Vitamin C.
- Expose yourself to Vitamin D: Natural source of this very vitamin is the sun. Exposure to the early morning rays of the sun or the evening sun rays can get you the required doses of vitamin D that help regulate the body’s immune functions and modulate immune response systems.
- Zinc enrichment: An essential micronutrient that plays a vital role in immune cell development, function and has tremendous antioxidant properties. Zinc is naturally found in foods such as beans, peas, meat, fish, etc.
- Herbs and their medicinal effects: For centuries herbal medicines and formulations have been a part of the Indian lifestyle. Ginger, garlic, cloves, Giloy plant, black pepper, cinnamon, fennel, holy basil (tulsi), turmeric, etc, have antiviral, immune-boosting and quick healing properties. The famous kahda or herbal concoction is to be made a part of your routine to improve immunity and general health.
- Vitamin E and Omega 3 fatty acids: Both vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids play a key role in supporting and regulating the immune system. Vitamin E has natural blood-thinning properties. Rich sources of Vitamin E (a fat-soluble vitamin) and omega 3 fatty acids include nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, etc.
- An immunity-boosting Selenium: Another lesser-known micronutrient that helps enhance immunity. Sources of selenium include beans, cereals, lean meats, dairy products, etc.
- Tissue building vitamins: Tissue damage can be compensated with tissue building and wound healing vitamins such as Vitamin A, C and E. Sweet Potatoes, carrots, papaya, cow milk, etc are rich in carotenoids.
3. Follow this FOOD PATH for faster recovery
As we are restricted indoors, exercises at home with rhythmic breathing exercises can be optimal in building strong immunity. However, a sedentary lifestyle and improper eating habits can hinder the functioning of the body’s natural defense mechanism. The best way to revive our immune system is by providing the body with the right amount of protein and vitamins that are natural immune-boosting, antiviral agents. Diet tips during corona can be chalked out for a quick recovery.
- Early Morning : Start your day with a glass of warm water, soaked almonds, dry grapes, lemon tea or kahda (herbal concoction).
- Breakfast : For breakfast, you can opt for Idli/Ragi idli/Veg Poha/Oats/Dosa/ Chila/ Veg upma/ Veg semiya/ Egg whites/ Milk with Haldi and ginger powder (Golden milk) .
- Afternoon : Include Amaranth leaves in your lunch that help improve the immune system and pose antioxidant activities. Along with it, you can have multigrain or ragi chapatis/khichdi/ Veg pulao/ Dal/green leafy vegetables/mix veg/salads that include carrots, cucumbers, etc.
- Fruits : In between meals, the inclusion of fruits like oranges/ Sweet lime/Apple/ Bananas etc boost your energy levels.
- Evening snacks : Having green tea/Herbal soup/ veg or chicken soup/ sprouts salad would be ideal for mid-meal snacks.
- Dinner : For dinner, Amaranthus/ multigrain chapati/ khichdi/ paneer/Fish/Chicken/Soya/ salads with green vegetables, carrots, cucumbers, etc.
- A few Diet tips during Self quarantine : During Covid recovery, for people having symptoms like diarrhea or even kidney problems, an increase in fluid intake, soft and subtle foods like khichdi, soups are advised.
– For post covid fatigue, energy-boosting foods such as bananas, apples, or even baked sweet potatoes in your diet can help deal with it.
– Sore Throat and cough can be managed by regular use of honey, ginger, warm water with tulsi, and golden milk.
4. Take away
The pandemic has changed a lot in many of our lives. Restrictions are imposed on travelling, hygiene and even physical distancing. Similarly, changes in food habits while incorporating food and nutrition tips during corona that build our immunity is cardinal in these covid times. A combination of fresh, natural and unprocessed foods that provide adequate micro and macronutrients is required to enhance the body’s natural defence responses. Foods having immune-enhancing properties, foods that are great energy boosters, foods that help heal internal injuries, will help lay a strong foundation to deal with the pandemic. Dt Reema in Noida will help you with the best diet and nutrition advice to fight COVID-19.