After getting infected with coronavirus, the body needs more protein-rich and nutritious food. People who are infected with the covid-19 virus need to work on building stronger immunity. This is possible only if they have a healthy diet followed by other health choices. What we eat right now is linked with preventing, fighting and recovering from Covid-19 infection.Also Read - How are Fertility and Nutrition Related?
There is no guarantee as to what food will prevent getting affected by Covid-19. However, the inclusion of these food groups is important to support and build immunity. Also Read - 7 Most Important Nutrients to Eat During Pregnancy
- Pulses and Legumes
- Milk and Milk Products
- Fruits and Veggies
- Fats and Oils
Nutrition is needed for all age groups starting right from a newborn baby to and old people. For newborn babies, breastfeeding for the first six months is important along with an introduction to nutritious and safe food. Younger children require a balanced diet for rapid growth and development. For older people, this is needed for healthier and active lives. Shweta Mahadik, Clinical Dietitian at Fortis Hospital, Kalyan suggests tips for maintaining a healthy diet. Also Read - Postpartum Nutrition Guide: Tips For Healthy Eating After Giving Birth
Tips on Healthy Diet
- Eat a Diet Rich in Vegetables and Fruits
Vegetables and fruits are high in fibre. They are deeply coloured are especially recommended as they have the highest micronutrient content
- Choose Whole-Grain, High-Fiber Foods
These include fruits, vegetables, and legumes (beans). Good whole grain choices include whole Wheat, Oats/ Oatmeal, Rye, Barley, Brown Rice, Millets, etc.
- Consume Good Amount of Protein
Proteins like skim milk & its products, cow’s milk, legumes, pulses, whole grains, egg whites, poultry, and fish are really helpful in building immunity.
- Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Foods like fish, especially oily fish (Sardine, Mackerel, Tuna, Salmon, Herring, Trout), Almonds, Walnuts, Flaxseeds – this helps in lowering bad cholesterol.
- Limit the Intake of Saturated Fat and Transfat Food
Food such as bakery products, cakes, pastries, packaged foods, fried items, red meat, Ghee, Butter, Dalda and margarine should be limited. Also restrict intake of egg yolk, shellfish which are high in cholesterol.
- Limit the Intake of Oil to Half kg Per Person Per Month
Prefer using blends of oil in weekly rotation as the content of PUFA, MUFA and SAFA vary in each oil should also be less consumed.
- Prefer Cooking Methods like Broiling, Boiling, Stewing, Grilling, Baking, Toasting
These are healthy ways of consuming food as compared to frying.
Reduce intake of salt in your foods as it may increase blood pressure which is a risk factor for heart disease. Restricting intake of foods like pickles, papad, canned & preserved vegetables/ fruits, dry fish, namkeen, readymade chutneys, tomato ketchup, ready to eat and ready to cook products is important.
- Cut down on Carbonated Beverages
Beverages and foods that contain added sugars (Corn Syrups, Sucrose, Glucose, Fructose, Maltrose, Dextrose, concentrated fruit juice, honey) should be less consumed.
- Consume Alcohol in Moderation
It is advised to have minimum alcohol consumption.
Check your portion size and have small and frequent meals; avoid feasting and fasting
Exercise regularly for at least 30-40minutes, 5 days a week. It is advisable to do Yoga, brisk walking, aerobics, swimming, and bicycling
She says “Finally, a healthy diet without regular exercise and activeness will not really help. Therefore, maintaining a balance between diet, exercise, work, play, and good sleep is paramount. Remember, your over well-being is critical to build a strong immune system.