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8 Healthy Food Tips to Follow During the Times of COVID-19

It is very important to eat a healthy diet during the times of the SARS CoV-2 pandemic.  While no particular food can prevent the spread of coronavirus, but you can increase your immunity by eating and drinking right and increase your body’s ability to prevent, fight, and recover from this disease. A nutritious diet would reduce the probability of developing other illnesses, including obesity, cardiovascular illnesses, diabetes, and some types of cancer.

For children also it is important to have a healthy and balanced diet to help in their growth and development. For older people, it is essential to lead more active and healthier lives.

Check-out these healthy food habits and diet that you can swear by as per the WHO guidelines during these unprecedented times of coronavirus pandemic:

Make Your Plate Colorful with Fruits and Vegetables

Include wholegrain foods in your diet like unprocessed oats, maize, wheat, millets, and brown rice as much possible; they help you stay fuller for longer and are loaded with fiber that helps in digestion

  • Try eating a mix of whole grains like rice, wheat, and maize, legumes like beans and lentils, fresh fruits in a day, seasonal vegetables, with dairy products like milk, cheese, and also foods from animal sources like meat, eggs, fish, etc.
  • Add turmeric, black pepper, ginger, cloves, garlic in your diet as they have anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties
  • For snacks, you can choose fresh fruits, raw vegetables, and unsalted nuts
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Make Sure that Your Diet includes a Moderate Amount of Oils and Fats

  • Indian food preparation includes a lot of ghee, butter, etc. try and limit the intake and also use other range of healthier oils like extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed mustard oil, cold-pressed coconut oil, sesame oil and avoid refined oils
  • Replace red meats white meats like fish and poultry that are generally lower in fats in comparison to red meat; trim down the consumption of processed meats like cold cuts, and frozen meats
  • Go for fresh whole milk instead of pasteurized ones
  • Avoid fried and processed foods that are rich in industrially produced trans-fats
  • Avoid frying your food when cooking, you can sauté or boil the vegetables to retain nutrition

Reduce the Intake of Salt

  • Limit the salt intake to one teaspoon or 5 grams a day
  • When preparing foods try using the salt cautiously and cut back on salty sauces and condiments like soy sauce, barbeque sauce, etc.
  • Avoid using canned products, and if you use you can choose dried food, varieties of fruits, vegetables, nuts, without added salt and sugars
  • Remove the table salt and experiment with black pepper and dried herbs for added flavor instead
  • When buying food items, look for products with lower sodium content

Stay Hydrated and Increase the Water Intake

Good hydration is essential to maintain optimal health. Make sure that you drink filter water in India, in other countries tap water is also contamination free. Moreover, drinking water instead of canned beverages is a smart way to limit your intake of calories and unnecessary sugar.

Limit Sugar Intake

  • Not only during the time of COVID-19, but you should also limit the intake of white sugar regularly. Canned juices, sugary drinks, liquid and powder concentrates, energy and sports drinks, flavored water, flavored milk, ready-to-drink coffee, and tea
  • Replace cakes, cookies, and chocolate with fresh fruits. Consume small portion of other desserts or opt for low version options like jaggery, and brown sugar made sweets
  • Children under the age of 2 years should also not be given salt and sugar-rich food items and should be limited beyond that age
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Have Timely Meals

You must have heard or seen your grandparents following a timely routine to consume their meals. With our sedentary and hectic lifestyles most us lose our track of meals while completing our to-do lists. Eating right, at the right time is equally important. You should not eat 4 hours before your bedtime to ensure proper absorption and digestion of food.

Avoid Overdoes of Alcohol or Alcohol Consumption

A healthy diet does not include and it does not protect against Coronavirus and can be harmful. Alcohol abuse or frequent alcohol consumption can impose long-term health risks like cancer, liver damage, mental illness, and heart disease. There is no prescribed level of alcohol consumption that is safe.

Breastfeed Babies

As per WHO, guidelines breast milk is the super food for infants as it is loaded with antibodies that help boost immunity among babies. Babies should be given breast milk during the first 6 months as it provides all the fluids and nutrients and fluids they need. After 6 months, it should be complemented with other nutritious foods that the child can consume easily. WHO further recommends breastfeeding until the child is 2 years of age or beyond. After 6 months, it should be complemented with other nutritious foods that the child can consume easily. WHO further recommends breastfeeding untill the child is 2 years of age or beyond.

There have been lots of myths regarding breastfeeding during the time of Coronavirus. As per the World Health Organization, COVID-19 positive women can also breastfeed if they wish to do so and should take infection control and prevention measures. Please consult your doctor and follow guidelines related to breastfeeding during COVID-19.

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Food Contamination Due to Coronavirus

There is no evidence that coronavirus can spread through food contact or food packaging. The virus is proven to be spread from one person to person through droplets of an infected person or by touching an infected surface and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. However, it is recommended to practice hand and respiratory hygiene to prevent any food-borne illnesses. 

You can follow these 5 keys by the WHO for safer food consumption during the Coronavirus outbreak:

  • Keep your food and cooking surface clean- Like your kitchen slaps, kitchen taps, food trays, dishes, etc.
  • Cook your food thoroughly- Heat kills bacteria and viruses and make the food health to consume
  • Separate cooked and raw food items- Do not keep cooked items with unwashed or newly bought raw food items
  • Keep  food at safe temperatures- Keep the newly bought product separately in a corner of your house away from the kitchen
  • Use clean water and raw materials- You can use tap water or boiled water to clean your veggies with baking soda, salt or vinegar
  • Sanitize and Disinfect Canned Foods (if using)- When going for grocery shopping do wear a mask and if can wear gloves that are more helpful.  Once you get home make sure you wash it with soap water or disinfect with a sanitizer

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and during this pandemic, the way we eat and the way we handle our food and things around us have a huge role to play in ensuring our safety and safety of our loved ones.

In a nutshell

To ensure a good and healthy diet during COVID-19 you need to go back to basics and follow what our ancestors used to follow. A simple and organic diet that helps in boosting immunity and metabolism and ward off illnesses during the time of Coronavirus pandemic. In addition to this make sure that you wash your hands after before cooking, before serving, before eating, just wash, wash and wash your hands and face throughout the day. Also, sanitize your groceries; wash your fruits and vegetables before taking using them for cooking.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 29 July 2020

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