Updated: May 30
Date: April 14, 2020
Desiderius Erasmus "Prevention is better than Cure" in this pandemic situation; I would say, "Prevention is better than Getting infected with Corona Virus. "Currently, COVID -19 is a high-risk situation, and everyone wants to take precautions to prevent these infections. As a Nutritionist, it is the right time to share knowledge.
In this article, I try to envelop some essential yet straightforward daily routine preventive steps and have suggested some natural remedies to take precautions in the diet. I would recommend everyone that prioritizes to follow the "World Health Organization" (WHO) Guidelines; they mention all the information related to Corona infectious diseases and include prevention steps, symptoms too. All the Preventive methods suggested by WHO, we all need to go along to avoid spreading this virus. Furthermore, if anyone notices any signs in them, consult the doctor an isolate to avert chances of spreading.
Hence, to protect ourselves from the COVID-19 situation, one needs to make some changes in our daily diet and lifestyles, which is highly advisable.
Nutrition is an essential part of having a better immune system in the body and maintaining proper health. Yoga helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and strengthen mental health; it relaxes the human body and calms the mind, especially during this pandemic period Ayurveda, an ancient treatment that cures the roots in the human body. What if we maintain good health, a calm mind, and disease-free life? Proper Nutrition, deep breathing techniques, and simple yoga steps, the inclusion of herbs in a daily lifestyle activity, give to the person fear-free days from COVID-19. People can enjoy quarantine time spectacularly.
Here, I am sharing some basic knowledge that helps anyone to adopt new changes; I hope that it is useful and works for everyone.
Below mentioned is the projection of essential ingredients that everyone can add in a daily diet, nutritional suggestions as per COVID-19 Symptoms, Ayurvedic remedies, the meal preparation, and what precaution person can take for maintaining mental and physical health.
An essential list of food items and a handful of tips (COVID-19):
· Use of spices in day to day cooking, like Turmeric powder, Cumin seeds, Coriander, and garlic.
· Fruits: Coconuts and coconut oil, Berries, Citrus fruits, apples, tomatoes.
· Herbs: Oregano, Turmeric, Ginger Licorice root.
· Vegetables: Cabbage, Garlic, Peppers, green leafy vegetables.
· Legumes, nuts, seeds
· For immunity, micronutrients and macronutrients are both required.
· Mostly, Vitamin D helps to prevent respiratory tract infection. So, sunlight is also essential.
· Consume more of light foods and easily digestible foods that help to cleanse the digestive tract.
· Eat fresh and homemade foods/meals.
· Drink as warm water.
· Try new healthy recipes at home during quarantine time.
· Advisable to eat vegetarian food.
Nutritional Advice based on occurring symptoms:
· Fever –
It exhibits common signs of illness, and the necessary response is to stimulate the immune system. One needs to stay hydrated.
Especially in the case of children, dehydration is common due to loss of appetite.
So, steamed vegetables, soups, and broths are good options to build the immune system in both children and adults.
Also, drinking herbal tea is an excellent choice during, adding honey and lemon to the green tea enhances the taste and multiplies the nutrient content.
· Tiredness –
If people have made lifestyle changes to do with a diet, stress level and sleep but still feel tired all the time, some changes could be underlying the medical condition.
Needs the right amount of energy or calorie in the body to feel active and productive. To prevent this, Eat fresh food that's contents the right amount of nutrients.
If a person drinks soda and other carbonated drinks, try to avoid it, its content refined sugar and artificial ingredients that can cause the body. Whole grains foods are the other best option.
Nuts and seeds- Almonds, cashew, hazelnuts, walnuts and pumpkin seeds mostly recommended in daily intake. (Raw is advisable)
Water- when a person drinks the water, it helps to maintain the function of the body.
Bananas are having potassium, fibre, vitamins and the perfect amount of carbohydrates that provide the person high boost energy.
Oats-content fibre and some amount of protein that gives power.
· Dry cough –
It caused by respiratory tract infection and is affected through gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). It can alleviate by diet. Consuming honey, probiotics, which has lactobacillus content, is used to reduce the likelihood of a cold or flu.
Drinking Licorice root tea is nothing but a traditional and effective treatment for cough and sore throat.
Gargling is old and scientifically proven method that is effective at preventing respiratory tract infections in healthy people.
Gargling with salt water is another effective way that only requires to take a half teaspoon of salt in a full glass of Luke-warm water.
Practice hand washing at regular intervals to avoid the spreading of infection.
Avoid foods like dairy products when the person is suffering from dry cough.
· Shortness of breath-
The medical terminology used for Shortness of breath is Dyspnea. It requires deep breathing techniques, i.e., breathing in deeply through the abdomen, which can help manage their breathlessness.
Intake of black coffee helps to treat breathlessness, as caffeine can reduce the Tiredness in the muscle of a person's airway.
Consuming fresh ginger in warm water helps to minimize Shortness of breath caused by a respiratory infection.
· Aches and pains –
Muscle pains can reduce by drinking ginger tea. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that an excellent remedy for both muscle and joint pain.
Further, turmeric contains active ingredient curcumin that is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, so a pinch of it can be added in regular meals.
Secondly, garlic is rich in sulfur and selenium, both of which can help to relieve joint and muscle pain. Sulfur in garlic helps to alleviate inflammation, and selenium has an antirheumatic effect.
· Sore throat-
It refers to pain, itchiness, or irritation of the throat. Which can be reduced by using honey with tea or can take it independently.
A study has found that honey is a wound healer and very effective at controlling nighttime coughs. (Not advisable for children less than one-year)
Consuming peppermint as it contains menthol, which helps thin mucus and calm sore throats and coughs. It has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to heal.
Fenugreek seeds help to relieve pain and kill the bacteria that cause irritation or inflammation its acts as anti-fungal. (Not advisable for pregnant women)
Licorice root is beneficial for a sore throat when its mixed with water to create a solution for gargling. (Not advisable for pregnant and lactating women)
Moreover, garlic contains allicin, an organosulfur compound known for its fight off infection. Studies show that garlic supplements regularly could prevent the common cold virus. In the daily diet, fresh garlic helps to gain antimicrobial properties.
Eating a single clove of garlic also helps to treat sore throat, owing to its healing actions.
Immunity Enhancer Ayurvedic recipes:
· Herbal tea/drink -
Boil water with the addition of mint(2-3 leaves), grated ginger, basil(2-3 leaves) and use lemon water(1 tsp), cumin seeds powder (½ small tsp), black salt (pinch to enhance the taste), 1 cup -200 ml boiled water (or store in the bottle and drink throughout the day)
· Herbal punch:
Take lemon juice (1-3 tsp), Orange pulp (80 ml), ginger juice (½ -1 tsp), cumin seed powder (1 tsp), sugar/honey (1-2 tsp) (as per desired sweetness), mint juice (1 – ½ tsp). This antioxidant-rich drink is advantageous for people of all ages.
· Golden Milk:
Take turmeric powder (1/2 tsp) in one cup of milk (150 ml). Add some grated ginger and basil leaves. Boil properly and add sugar/ honey (1-2tsp) as a sweetener. (Alternative for a diabetic person –Use soya milk, almond milk)
Honey and ginger are antioxidants that contain anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Honey activates the immune system response to infections and prevents cell proliferation. Similarly, ginger helps in anti-inflammatory effects and helps with muscle pain.
· Masala Buttermilk:
Take curd/yogurt (80 gm), black salt (½ tsp), cumin seeds powder (1 tsp). Add some water to make acceptive consistency for one glass. Lactobacillus is also present in the curd. It is called probiotic drink natural homemade ancient remedy.
Precautions during meal Preparation:
Handwashing is the first step in reducing the spread of any infection. Always wash hands before preparing or eating any food, thoroughly with clean water and using antibacterial soap for a minimum of 20 seconds.
Advisable or cooking, use fresh food.
Used own bags to minimize the infection from local stores.
Before storing the foods wash it properly with warm water
Wash and chop vegetables, blanch in boiling water for a minute, then immediately place under cold running water to deactivate the enzymes.
Place all plants with a
high-water content like lettuces, tomatoes, and cucumbers such that it does not freeze. On the other hand, place asparagus, green beans, carrots, sprouts, and green leafy vegetables to freeze well.
Fruits can store in the refrigerator such as apple (for months can save), but perishable fruits like bananas, all berries, cantaloupe, and pineapple require to be frozen well. (can chop into small pieces and place in a freezer bag and store it.)
Place fresh poultry or fish in an airtight plastic freezer bag, label with the current date, and freeze.
Physical and Mental health precautions:
Do some simple yoga steps (if you are a beginner), and breathing techniques (Pranayama, deep inhale, and exhale breath) to overcome your anxiety and boredom and, in turn, make your day productive.
Do mediation for at least 30 mins each day.
Maintaining mental health is essential to measure when people are facing anxiety and stress.
To take care of self; eat healthy and balanced meals, do yoga, creative activity, and breathing exercises.
Avoid emotional eating and anxiety; take deep breaths and don not overeat and help release stress and boredom.
Choose a healthy meal and light calorie food.
If anyone has a kid/s at home, prepare kids' friendly, healthy recipes, and involve kids to make delicious foods and assist them.
Encourage the family to walk in the neighbourhood only with maintaining the social distance. (At least 6 feet/2 mt).
Get plenty of sleep.
It is the best time to do hobbies.
Express feelings with creative work during this pandemic time. (Coronavirus, 2020)
Check-in with family and friends through social media. Play games with family, the golden time to spend quality time with family and friends and connect emotionally again.
Avoid/do not do:
· Dairy products, Junk foods, fatty foods, smoking, an alcoholic drink, processed food, preservatives, frozen foods, Non-vegetarian products.
Note: Make sure that everyone intake food as per the requirements of the body. To check the recommended daily requirements of nutrients and other nutritional counselling, please consult the Nutritionist/Dietitian.
Be Safe and Stay at Home.
Ayurveda, yoga and Nutrition are way "Samskara" (an act of making perfect) lifestyle.
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