Fight the virus by eating right this quarantine period
Being under the enhanced community quarantine due to the Covid-19 threat has definitely caused a lot of inconvenience to all of us. No more sumptuous buffet dinners at your favorite restaurant, no more last-minute drive thru orders when your hormones suddenly crave for burgers. However, this pandemic has ironically done a huge favor to everyone— reorienting the way people eat.
Now, every home’s kitchen has become busy again. Parents, whether they’re on stay-at-home or work-from-home mode, now cook for their families every single day. Friends’ photos of mouthwatering homecooked dishes are now a welcome addition to our social media feed. Somehow, this community quarantine is a blessing in disguise. You now have enough time to prepare healthy meals for the family.
Eat healthy food
Nutrition will always be essential to good health. Even your immune system relies heavily on the nutrients you receive. As there are currently no vaccines or drugs approved to treat or prevent the Covid-19 disease, you can only rely on building a strong immunity. Keep that in mind whenever you feel tired of cooking for your family during the quarantine period.
Various micronutrients are important to maintain your body’s ability to produce an immune response following exposure to an antigen. The most essential micronutrients for sustaining immunocompetence include vitamins A, C, D, E, B2, B6 and B12, folic acid, beta carotene, iron, selenium, and zinc. Without these nutrients, your immune function can be compromised, and your infection risk may increase.
Fortunately, all the healthy sources of these nutrients can be found in the local market. So, the next time you use your quarantine pass for some grocery shopping, make sure to get enough of the healthy foods including:
Malunggay and other green leafy vegetables
Leaf vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A, C, E, K, magnesium, and potassium. They are also a great source of fiber, which is important to feeding your gut microbes. So always remember to include vegetable dishes like Adobong Kangkong, Ginisang Pechay and Repolyo Guisado on your meal plan for the week.
Another leaf vegetable that should be part of your family’s meals is the mighty Malunggay. These little leaves have a huge nutritional value. Malunggay or Moringa Oleifera is a powerhouse of nutrients. Studies show that Moringa contains many essential nutrients like vitamins A and C, minerals, amino acids, beta-carotene, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, calcium, potassium, and protein.
Carrots, squash and other yellow vegetables and fruits
Don’ forget to include some yellow/orange vegetables and fruits in your meals. Carotenoids are the reason behind the vibrant color of these fruits and vegetables. A known carotenoid called beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant and an immune system booster. You can obtain beta-caroteen by eating sweet potatoes, squash and carrots.
Likewise, take care of your health by eating citrus fruits like oranges, pomelos and lemons, as well as tomatoes and potatoes. These are major contributors of vitamin C. Other good food sources of Vitamin C include red and green peppers, kiwi fruit, broccoli, and strawberries.
Fatty fish, beef liver, egg yolks, mushrooms
Vitamin D is needed by the immune system to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Other than direct exposure to the sun, Vitamin D can be obtained from eating fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel. Small amounts of Vitamin D can also be obtained from eating beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, and mushrooms.
Nuts, Seeds, Vegetable Oils
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and has the ability to modulate host immune functions. It can be found in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils.
Meat, fish, oysters, poultry, eggs
According to new research, zinc helps control infections by gently tapping the brakes on the immune response to prevent out-of-control inflammation. Sources of zinc include oysters, meat, fish, poultry, and eggs.
While a balanced diet can provide you the nutrients needed to boost your immune system, it’s not all the time that you are able to eat enough healthy food. For instance, you have to consume at least five varied servings of fruits and vegetables daily to get 200 mg of vitamin C. While this is ideal, it is not doable all the time.
As micronutrient deficiencies can have detrimental immunological effects, it is reasonable to consider supplementation. To strengthen immune function during an outbreak or after an infection, take supplements to make sure your body receives the right amount of nutrients needed to fight diseases. One food supplement you may consider taking is Mega Malunggay. It has 500mg of pure Malunggay leaves and 100mg Sodium Ascorbate, a non-acidic form of Vitamin C.
The World Gastroenterology Organization’s Global Guideline states that there is suggestive evidence that several probiotic strains are useful in improving immune response. So, indulge in yogurt and kimchi or take probiotic supplements like Health Aid Bifina to increase your chance of having an enhanced immune response.
Instead of daydreaming about the day you can finally enjoy buffet in your favorite restaurant again, make the most of this community quarantine by preparing and eating healthy and appetizing foods that will strengthen your immune system. Eating right is the most enjoyable way that you can protect yourself from the Coronavirus.