Lifestyle Nutrition Covid Pandemic By Sushree Tapaswini Das, Clinical Dietician, KIMS

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More than 2500 years ago, Hippocrates said, “Let Food Be The Medicine & Medicine Be The Food”.

Nowadays corona virus is spreading everywhere due to our unhealthy lifestyle and improper nutrition intake. Thus, the Covid pandemic has thrown a challenge to mankind across the world. A healthy nutritional status is very important to maintain a strong immune system against the virus. Human beings need a wide range of nutrients to lead a healthy and active life. The amount of each nutrient needed for an individual depends upon sex, age, body weight and lifestyle. The proper diet planning with a better lifestyle is a major aspect which includes the type of diet, time to consume, food habits, nutritional value, wholesome diet, easily digestible diet and the schedule of food. Optimal nutrition and dietary nutrient intake impact the immune system through gene expression and cell activation. Thus, in this pandemic time, we should follow dietary measures as it will help us to improve our immunity.

Lifestyle Management :

 Early to bed and early to rise makes a human healthy by increasing body immunity. Eight hours of sleep is vital to digest the food and enhances immunity.

 Hydrate your body with adequate water intake to balance body temperature.

 Take a sunbath at early sunrise for 10-20 minutes.

 Regularly do some breathing exercise for 10-20 minutes .While breathing in chest cavity expands and on breathing out chest cavity contracts, which maintain normal

respiratory rate with good saturation level.

  Regularly sponging the whole body with a wet towel regulates the body temperature.

  Maintain ideal body weight according to age , sex & physical activities.

  Eating small and frequent meals helps in fulfilling nutritional requirements as well as prevents GI related complication.

  Eat at home and avoid street foods, junk foodsØ & leftover foods.

  Limit your intake of salt, sugar and saturated fats.

  Avoid mucus forming food like – yam, colocasia, ripe banana, whole milk, sour curd, ladies finger, Malabar spinach, berries, ice-cream, cold drinks, caffeinated drinks, frozen food.

  Avoid fungus foods like – mushroom, alcohol, cauliflower, sweets & bakery items.

  Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol because it adversely affects immunity & increases the risk of chest infections.

  An enzyme cyclo-oxygenase found in Tulsi plant regulates the entire mechanism of oxygen evolution which gives out oxygen for the whole day. Thus, plantation of Tulsi around the living area is necessary.

Good Food Practices  :

  Quality of diet depends on cooking, processing & bioavailability of the nutrient from the food.

  Maintain social distance – 6 feet .

  Use face mask, head cap, hand gloves, shoes, clean kitchen apron while working in the kitchen area.

  After defecation, urination, sneezing & coughing, wash your hand with soap solution/sanitizer for 20 seconds .

  Any food stuff coming from outside should be sanitized properly before handling.

  Keep cooked and raw foods separate, as it would prevent microbes from spreading.

  Use different utensils for cooked food and raw food to prevent cross contamination.

  Wash , rinse & disinfect objects and surfaces every time before and after use.

  Don’t overcook vegetables as it leads to the loss of important nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

  Cooked food should be served at acceptable temperature ≥ 72°C for 2 minutes.

Nutritional Intervention  :

VITAMINS

Vitamin – A

  It is an oil soluble vitamin, known as anti-infective vitamin which fights against lung infection.Ø

  ØAnimal sources (retinol) – Egg yolk, milk, liver, butter, cheese, breast milk, cod liver oil .

  ØPlant sources (carotenoid) – Dark green leafy vegetables, carrots, ripe pumpkin, yellow corn, ripe mango, ripe papaya, yellow capsicum, sweet potatoes, fortified cereals, spinach.

RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances)

Children – 300-600 mcg/day

Adult – 700-900 mcg/day

Vitamin – B2

  It’s a water soluble vitamin known as Riboflavin.Ø

  It fights against respiratory infections, prolonged fevers, malabsorption, trauma.Ø

  ØAnimal sources – Milk, curd, cheese, whey, organ meats, egg white.

  ØPlant sources–Legumes, green leafy vegetables, green chilli, garlic, onion, ginger, spices & condiments.

RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances)

Children – 0.8-3.1 mg/day

Adult – 1.6-3.2 mg/day

Vitamin – B3

It’s a water soluble vitamin known as Niacin .Ø

It fights against dermatitis, mouth soreness, vomiting, diarrhoea, depression.

Plant sources – Ground nuts, almond, walnuts, sesame seeds.Ø

RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances)

Children – 8-17 µg/day

Adult – 12-23 µg/day

Vitamin – B9

It’s a water soluble vitamin known as folic acid .Ø

It fights against anaemiaØ & weakness.

Animal sources – Fish, shellfish, liver.

Plant sources – Pulses, legumes, cereals, green leafy vegetables.

RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances)

Children – 120-340 µg/day

Adult – 180-570 µg/day

Vitamin – B12

It’s a water soluble vitamin known as cyanocobalamin .It fights against anaemia, weakness, loss of appetite, constipation, weight loss, depression.Ø

Animal sources – Milk, cheese, curd, whey, fish, meat, egg.

Plant sources– Germinated cereals & pulses.

RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances)

Children – 1-2.2 µg/day

Adult – 2-2.5 µg/day

Vitamin – C

It’s a water soluble vitamin known as ascorbic acid.Ø

It is an anti-oxidant and absorbs iron in the body. It fights against cardiovascular disease, asthma, cold & cough, and lung infection.

Plant sources – Green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, guava, amla, cashew fruits. (100 gm. of amla contains 600 mg of vit-c)

Intake in raw form is best because cooking reduces more than 60-75 % ascorbic acid.

RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances)

Children – 30-85 mg/day

Adult – 65-80 mg/day

Vitamin – D

It’s an oil soluble vitamin known as calciferol.Ø

It reduces risk of acute respiratory tract infection. Sunlight from early sunrise is the best source of it .

Animal sources– Fish, eggs, butter, ghee, cheese.

RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances)

10-15 µg/day .

MINERALS

Zinc

It’s an essential micronutrient.

It fights against diarrhoea , pneumonia , severe malnutrition, depressed immunity.

Plant sources– Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, ground nuts, almonds, cashew nuts, Bengal gram, cow pea, walnuts. (100 gm of sesame seeds contain 12.20 mg of zinc)

RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances)

Children – 3.3-17.6 mg/day

Adult – 13-17 mg/day

Magnesium

Its an essential micronutrient.

It regulates body temperature.Ø

Plant sources– Legumes cereals.

RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances)

Children – 90-440 mg/day

Adult – 310-440 mg/day

Sodium & Potassium

Take plenty of liquid diets such as lemon water, tender coconut water, vegetable soup, ORS, fruit juices, cheese water.Ø

ENERGY : RDA – 30-35 gm/ kg body wt. / day.

Macronutrients

Carbohydrates

RDA – 3-5 gm./ kg. body wt./day.

Protein : RDA– 1-1.5 gm./kg body wt./day.

Fats : RDA– 25-30 gm./ kg. body wt. / day.

Fiber : RDA – 10-15 % of energy requirement.

Conclusion : Nutrition and lifestyle management is essential to improve immunity, by which everyone can fight against coronavirus and enhance the quality of life. So one should stay safe and eat safe.

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