The coronavirus has impacted all of our lives and continues to do so. With the increase in the number of cases and the number of deaths, it causes concern to everyone.
Our risk of getting coronavirus also seems very high these days. Ecem Tuğba Özkan, a member of the Food Allergy Association, Allergy Dietitian, explained in great detail how we should be fed to increase our immunity against coronavirus.
There is no miracle food whose effect is clear to protect from coronavirus and to recover after being sick. However, as a result of studies, it has been observed that the risk of disease is low in individuals with strong immune systems.
Proper nutrition and fluid intake are vital. People who eat well-balanced diets tend to be healthier, with stronger immune systems and a lower risk of chronic diseases and infectious diseases. That's why you should eat a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods every day to get the vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, protein and antioxidants your body needs.
Avoid sugar, fat, and salt to significantly reduce your risk of overweight, obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Unhealthy and unbalanced nutrition, insufficient sleep causes an increase in the risk of infection and a delay in the recovery of people during the disease process.
Some golden suggestions to strengthen our immune system;
- Give importance to variety in your meals: Insufficient intake of vitamins A, C, D, E, B 2, B 6, B 12, folic acid and trace elements such as iron, zinc, copper endangers the immune system and makes people susceptible to infections, so a variety of food should be provided in each meal. .
- Pay attention to the cleanliness of the food and make sure it is well cooked: Although there is no evidence that the coronavirus is transmitted by food, ensuring the highest level of cleanliness in food preparation processes, especially meat products; All cooked foods should be consumed well cooked.
- Consume eggs and dairy products: Eggs and cheese are foods that can last for a long time and contain high quality protein when stored under appropriate conditions. In order for the body to fight diseases, it is necessary to get enough protein every day. In addition, products such as probiotic-reinforced yogurts and kefir should be consumed every day as they support the immune system.
- Choose foods that contain complex carbohydrates:Good glycemic control helps reduce the risk and severity of infection. In this process, consumption of complex carbohydrates prevents fluctuations in blood sugar, good glycemic control also reduces the possibility of pneumonia. Instead of breads made of white flour, which is a simple carbohydrate, products made with whole-grain foods containing complex carbohydrates should be preferred. For example, whole wheat bread can be preferred instead of normal bread, bulgur pilaf instead of rice pilaf, oat bread instead of corn bread can be preferred.
- Vitamin C is important: Since citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin C that supports the immune system, the consumption of these fruits should be concentrated and fresh lemon should be squeezed into salads.
- Consume fish: Although fish may contain more fat compared to red meat and poultry, it generally has less energy than other meats in the same amount, so its consumption should be increased. For this reason, it will be beneficial to consume fatty fish at least 2 days a week, suitable for the season.
- Avoid harmful fatty foods: It is beneficial to consume unsaturated fats that are protective for cardiovascular health (such as fish, avocado, hazelnut, olive oil, soy, canola, sunflower and corn oil) instead of saturated fats (such as fatty meat, butter, coconut oil, cream, cheese, etc.) will be.
- Consume foods fresh: Vegetables and fruits should not be overcooked as they may cause loss of important vitamins, and when using canned or dried vegetables and fruits, choose varieties without salt or sugar.
- Avoid salt: Daily salt consumption should be less than 5 g (approximately 1 teaspoon) and use iodized salt, as it may contribute to hypertension or kidney diseases.
- Choose to eat at home: Choose to eat at home to reduce your exposure to other people and reduce your exposure to coronovirus. Hygiene is not always possible in crowded social environments such as restaurants and cafes. Droplets from infected people can contaminate food.
- Drink plenty of water: It is recommended to consume 2-2.5 liters of water per day. Consuming plenty of water will be beneficial for removing excess harmful substances from our body, mineral balance and blood pressure balance.
- Turmeric and black pepper: For adults, consuming 1 teaspoon of turmeric and black pepper a day as a spice will be beneficial due to its antioxidant effects. Turmeric and black pepper show more antioxidant effects when used together.
SAMPLE NUTRITION PROGRAM TO STRENGTHEN OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
- Rosehip or echinacea tea
- Boiled egg
- feta cheese
- Olive or walnut kernels
- Lots of greens, red or green peppers
- Whole wheat bread
- 90 g meat (fish 2 days a week, white meat 3 days, red meat 2 days)
- Boiled vegetable meal with olive oil (broccoli, sweet potato, cauliflower, carrot)
- Bulgur pilaf
- Salad (lettuce, carrot, parsley, lemon juice)
- 3-4 tablespoons of oats
- 1 water glass milk
- 1 fruit (kiwi, citrus fruits, pomegranate)
- 1 handful of oil seeds, pumpkin seeds
- Pumpkin Soup / Lentil Soup
- Vegetable meal with minced meat (legumes with minced meat 2 days a week)
- 4 tablespoons of yogurt (probiotic supplement if possible)
- Seasonal salad with lemon
- Brown bread
Allergy Dietitian Ecem Tuğba Özkan stated that having a regular diet will make us stronger against coronavirus and therefore a balanced and regular diet is very important.