Healthy Diet to overcome a Virus

With the current situation at hand, one might wonder: How can I keep myself healthy?

Along with stress related to safety, health, food habits, psychological effects, (long-lasting as well as short term) the effects of lockdown and nCoV bother all of us on a very deep level. There's not a lot of good news about the coronavirus ending. You may have seen on the internet, there's no magic potion that is guaranteed to boost your immune system and protect us against coronavirus.

There is always a silver lining to it as there are various modes to keep our immune system functioning optimally, which can help to keep our body healthy and away from coronavirus attacks. These may include proper handwashing, maintaining good nutrition, maintaining food hygiene, being physically active, meditating, managing stress, and getting enough sleep. If your entire body lacks important food elements then any flu might get to your body.

While we are still waiting for a cure to this virus, we can still do a lot by following simple household remedies to help increase our immunity, preventing internal organs that usually get affected by the coronavirus. We are following social distancing, working from home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, we have started experiencing distress from constantly staying indoors, regular headaches from working long hours in front of the screen, body aches due to incorrect seating arrangement leading to incomplete sleep cycles and increased stress. But, we do not lose hope easily as we prepare our entire to compel with this coronavirus till the end.

Start your day by filling up your plate with immune-boosting breakfast. While exercising daily, taking regular breaks from working long hours in front of the computer, one should also try spending some time under sunlight, out in the open. As per a survey by the World Economic Forum, people from western countries are hugging trees as they can't hug each due to the strictness of the current situation and have found great mental peace and calm by doing so.

We should also introduce herbal teas, or regulate the intake of ginger, turmeric, aniseed, basil, clove and pepper to maintain our internal body temperature. Not only it helps fight cold and flu it also helps towards gastrointestinal distress, arthritis and headaches. Herbal tea also helps calm the brain, helping us sleep better.

The obligation to design a diversified, balanced and optimally healthy diet will vary depending on individual characteristics (e.g. age, gender, lifestyle and degree of physical activity), cultural context, locally available foods, and dietary customs. However, the basic principles of what constitutes a healthy diet always remain the same.

The coronavirus pandemic is causing a drastic change in the daily lives of people around the world. However, some things can be opted carefully to maintain a healthy lifestyle in these difficult times. First and foremost, everyone is encouraged to follow the World Health Organization (WHO) and governmental advice parameters to protect yourselves against coronavirus infection and transmission. Social distancing and good hygiene are the best practices for us to shield us from the coronavirus.

Nutrition for children is based on the same principles as for adults, but there is a change in amounts for both. Our food contains such elemental ingredients such as vitamins, carbs, minerals, protein, fats. Carbohydrates have further classifications like mono, di, oligo, and polysaccharides. These saccharides are sugars that play a very important role to maintain a balanced optimized system in the human body.

Citrus fruits are a good source of Vitamin-C, which are considered as the safest of all nutrients and help fight cold and flu, cardiovascular diseases, improve eyesight and skin conditions. While fresh fruit juices are always better than packaged products, we should also try eating whole fruits rather than juices. Drinking juice introduces a higher amount of sugar in a shorter period of time rather than eating fruits raw which also helps strengthen teeth and gums. While fruits are essential, we should also focus on green vegetables and high on vitamins & fiber like peas, carrots, cabbage. They are considered a good source of minerals boosting the immunity system.

Food Hygiene is also known as Food Safety and Food Prevention and it can be defined as handling, preparing, and storing food or drink in a way that prevents the risk of consumers becoming sick from the food-borne disease. To ensure that food items are safe for human consumption is the most critical part of the food preparation process. Food hygiene is important at homes as well as in restaurants, retail stores, and other food factories.

Good nutrition practices were important before, during, and after an infection. When a body gets an infection, it may break down all those systems which are not so strong and this is due to lack of essential ingredients. Our body gets energy and immune power by taking these nutrients. Infections take a toll on the body. It is very necessary to maintain a healthy diet during the coronavirus pandemic and it is very important for children also because the immune power of children is not as strong. If they take all essential nutrients in their diet, they are strong enough to fight any infection. While no foods or dietary supplements can prevent coronavirus pandemic, maintaining a healthy diet is an important part to overcome the coronavirus.

Replacing packaged food products with daily freshly prepared food is an essential habit to adapt while we are spending more time at home. Avoid highly processed food whenever possible to help digestive systems as they would contain high quantities of fat, sugars, salt and other preservatives which take longer to digest.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables provide us with lots of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber that we need for a healthy diet. As fiber intake provides us with the best intestinal regulations and smoothens our digestive system on the other hand if you buy canned or packed foods including fruits and vegetables, it also contains different preservatives like Sodium Benzoate, Nitrites, etc. These fruits and vegetables also contain vitamins and minerals. Be sure to read the labels so you can choose the best foods for you and your family to limit the intake of these nutrients.

Look at these best nutrient-dense foods:

  • Protein: Choose seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds. These are high and rich in protein content and maintain body metabolism.

  • Fruits: Encourage your child to eat a variety of fresh fruits rather than canned ones. Also, intake dried fruits — rather than fruit juice. If your child likes to drink fruit juice, make sure it's 100 percent juice without any added sugars. Keep in mind that one-quarter cup of dried fruit counts as one cup-equivalent of fruit. When consumed in excess, dried fruits can contribute extra calories.

  • Vegetables: Serve a variety of fresh vegetables and also provide canned vegetables which contain the best preservatives and go through with the best preservation methods. Aim to provide a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans and peas, starchy and others, each week.

  • Grains: Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, or brown or wild rice, etc. Limit refined grains such as white bread, pasta, and rice. A diet rich in whole grains reduces the risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer.

  • Dairy: Encourage your child to eat and drink fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, and other dietary products. These milk products are rich in calcium and help in the growth of children. Also, the intake of calcium leads to strengthening your bones.

  • Added sugar: Limit added sugars. Naturally occurring sugars, such as those in fruit and milk, are not added sugars. Examples of added sugars include brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, honey, and others. Try to use fruit juices, milk as it is because they contain natural sugars like fructose, lactose, etc. if you use artificial sugars it may lead to an increase in the sugar level in your body and cause many problems.

  • Dried Foods: Dried foods like dried beans, pulses and grains such as lentils, split peas, rice and couscous apart from being a tasty snack can also be nutritious while also being a good source of vitamins and fibers, long-lasting options during meetings and long hours of work. They can also be a healthy supplementary food for which can be prepared and stored in advance. Easy to digest these foods. We also use these grains in the form of cornflakes, porridge etc. in our breakfast time. These are nutritious as well as easy to digest.

Stay Hydrated: Apart from just eating healthy, we should also drink ample amounts of water to keep ourselves hydrated throughout the day. Drinking 8- 10 glasses of water daily also helps to flush out body waste and toxins while also keeping lubricating and cushioning joints. Water is also a direct source of minerals naturally.