COVID-19 and Nutrition for Health.
Updated: Aug 15, 2020
COVID-19, a disease caused by a novel Coronavirus, developed a major global human and social threat that has turned into a pandemic. In times of pandemic, it is a challenge to manage to survive! To help handle with the stress, pressure and anxiety that may be associated to the pandemic, it is best to take care of your body including good and decent nutrition, as part of self-care or personal-care.
In a specific level, the mutual denominator that drives and pushes most of the nutrition and dietary recommendations and references to fight viral infections, including COVID-19, lies within the connection between diet and immunity. In fact, prevailing indication highlights that food and diet have an insightful effect on people’s immune system and disease vulnerability. It has been proven that specific nutrients or nutrient combinations may affect the immune system through the initiation of cells, adjustment in the production of signaling molecules, and gene expression.
Supplements are not really meant to treat or avoid the virus, COVID-19 but there are vitamins or minerals that have great impact for our immune system. These vitamins and minerals helps to fight off infections, as well as inflammation and swelling.
And how do we get these vitamins and minerals? It is best to obtain these nutrients through foods; Vitamin External icon in fruits and vegetables, Vitamin External icon in low-fat milk, fortified milk alternatives, and seafood, and zinc external icon in lean meat, seafood, legumes, nuts, and seeds. (link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/food-and-COVID-19.html)
COVID-19 world pandemic imposed a new set of challenges for the individual to maintain a healthy diet. Problems may arise when government implements lock downs, quarantines and isolation because this may block off the availability of nutritional food. With changes in food obtainability in some communities, one may be consuming more canned or packaged food. Receiving the exact and correct amount of nutritious and wholesome food like plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains is important for health specially in this trying times of this pandemic.
The disparities in nutritional patterns during the outbreak of COVID-19 could also be focused by the fear and anxiety many people around the globe are experiencing. Persuasive evidence exhibited that nutritional habits are affected by conditions of stress, anxiety, distress, suffering and emotional disturbance, whereby elevated distress levels are associated with unhealthy dietary patterns and poor quality of the diet. Additionally, reactions like fear and sadness are associated with fewer desire or motivation to eat and with lessened enjoyment during eating.
Good hygiene practice, social distancing, and isolating those who are infected are the best-known ways to prevent infection. Consequently, the accountability of the people during the COVID-19 pandemic lies in doing an effort to prefer a healthy lifestyle, eat foods high in fruits and vegetables, exercise on free time, attempt to maintain a healthy weight, and get an acceptable amount of sleep. Also, the collective responsibility of individuals is to avoid the spread of misinformation related to nutrition and dietary intake, and the COVID-19. Since then, webs of social media were swamped by posts of single foods/herbs reassuring cure or avoidance of the infection. The effects of such unsupported claims might lead to undesirable implications.
In assumption, although much remains to be acknowledged about the COVID-19, the effect of this pandemic on nutrition and dietary consumption has already gone outside the individual and the community to reach national and global levels. A specific feature of this pandemic is emphasizing the interdependence of these innumerable levels, whereby the health of the individual became a direct function of his own responsiveness and selections, the harmony of the community, the readiness of the administration or the government, and eventually the global engagement.