A healthy diet is important during the COVID19 pandemic. What we drink and eat can affect the ability of our body to fight, prevent, and recover from the infection. While no foods or any supplements can prevent or cure COVID19 infection, healthy diets are important to support your immune system. Having good nutrition can also reduce the likelihood of developing other health problems. For babies, a healthy diet means exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months. For young children, a healthy and balanced diet is essential for growth and development. For older people, it can help to ensure healthier and more active lives.
How to maintain a healthy diet?
- Eat a variety of food
Each day, you may eat maize and rice, a mix of whole grains like wheat, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables with some foods from animal sources (fish, meat, and eggs). Choose whole-grain foods like unprocessed oats and brown rice when you can. They are rich in valuable fiber and can help you feel full for longer.
2. Cut back on salt
Limit salt intake to 5 grams daily. When preparing and cooking foods, use salt sparingly, and lessen the use of salty condiments or sauce. If using canned food, choose varieties of vegetables and fruit without added salt flavor.
3. Eat moderate amounts of fats and oils
Replace butter with healthier fats like olive, sunflower, or corn oil when cooking. Choose white meats like fish and poultry which are generally lower in fats than red meat. You may select low-fat or reduced-fat versions of milk and dairy products. You may also try boiling or steaming instead of frying food when cooking.
4. Limit sugar consumption
Limit intake f sweets and sugary drinks. Choose fresh fruits instead of sweet snacks. When other dessert options are chosen, make sure that they are low in sugar and consume small portions.
Avoid giving sugary foods to children. Salt and sugars should not be added to complementary foods given to children under 2 years of age. It should be limited beyond that age.
5. Stay hydrated
Good hydration is crucial for optimal health. Whenever available and safe for consumption, tap water is the cheapest and healthiest drink. Drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages is a simple way to limit your intake of sugar and excess calories.
6. Avoid alcohol
Drinking alcohol is not part of a healthy diet. Drinking alcohol does not protect against COVID-19. Excessive or frequent alcohol consumption increases your immediate risk of injury and causes longer-term effects.
There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through contact with food or food packaging. COVID-19 is generally thought to be spread from person to person through the droplets when we sneeze, talk, or cough. However, it is always important to practice good hygiene when handling food to prevent any food-borne disease. You may follow these 5 keys to a portion of safer food:
- Keep clean
- Keep food at safe temperatures
- Separate raw and cooked food
- Use safe water and raw materials
- Cook thoroughly