Covid-19 is, nowadays, the most dreaded disease that has almost become synonymous with biological destruction and death. Yes, there are heart attacks, cancers, Parkinson and several other life-threatening diseases but coronavirus has now topped the rank as the world-wide pandemic is spreading at a rapid pace. It has not only brought upon us death and damages but also brought economy down to a paralyzed state.
UNITED WE FALL, DIVIDED WE STAND AND SURVIVE.
Government has enforced social distancing and lockdown. These steps are surely taking economy along the slippery slopes to ground zero level but we have no way but to put up with those bitter sequences of chaotic consequences in order to stay safe and healthy. And when it comes to health, you surely know it’s actually more than any material wealth.
This write-up focuses on balanced diet that will create a safety net so that you can stay healthy during the Covid-19 lockdown and fight against Corona and an army of other diseases.
What is Balanced Diet?
A balanced diet is a complete diet that supplies your body with essential nutrients to help it function correctly and optimally. A balanced diet on your plate must contain the followings:
- Whole Grains
- Fresh Vegetables
- Fresh Fruits
- Lean Proteins
What is the Importance of Having Balanced Diet to Fight against Covid-19?
According to several medical reports and experts, Covid-19 is most dangerous for the old people and also for those with compromised immune system and major illnesses. The fact paints and portrays a reality that a strong and healthy system helps your body stay immune to Covid-19 attack. Even if someone gets infected with the disease, the chance of his/her survival is strongly linked to strength of immune system. Health is top priority now and you should make all possible efforts to stay healthy and happy.
What Makes a Balanced Diet?
Following is a list of some must-have ingredients in your daily diet to empower your immune system against the deadly virus:
Vitamin A is an important vitamin that contributes to making and maintaining a healthy structure of your respiratory tract, gut and skin. It erects the first line of defence in your body. Vitamin A plays the role of a forward against any type of infection and viral diseases.
Tofu, cheese, seeds, whole grains, nuts, legumes, egg yolks and oily fish are rich in vitamin A.
Vegetables are good sources of beta-carotene. Your body can convert beta-carotene into vitamin A. It is abundant in orange and green vegetables such as carrots and pumpkins as well as leafy green vegetables.
If you take vitamin A regularly, it will help you successfully deal with the deadly outbreak of novel coronavirus.
Vitamin B Complex
Regular intake of vitamin B, especially B6, B9 and B12 triggers your body’s first response as soon as it detects a pathogen.
They heavily influence the production and function of “natural killer” cells. These cells cause infected cells to implode. This process is called apoptosis.
Vitamin B6 is found in cereals, green leafy vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, fish and chicken.
B9 (Folate), which has a high concentration in legumes, green leafy vegetables, seeds and nuts, is used during commercial process of bread-making flour.
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) is abundant in animal products such as, diary, eggs and meat as well as fortified soy milk.
Are you concerned about how to stay fit during COVID-19 lockdown? Spend a few minutes in the sun as sunlight is the biggest source of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is critical to proper functioning of immune cells. Ithelps immune cells destroy infection-causing pathogens. This vitamin protects your respiratory system against acute infections.
Deficiency of vitamin D will weaken your immune system and reduce your fighting power against the pandemic. If you are not getting enough vitamin D from your regular diet, start taking vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin C and E
Your body experiences oxidative stress as soon as it finds and fights an infection. Oxidative stress results into the production of free radicals that can damage cell walls, cause contents to leak into the tissues and exacerbate inflammation.
Vitamin C and E contribute to cell protection from oxidative stress. Vitamin C produces specialized cells – such as phagocytes, lymphocytes and neutrophils - to mop up cellular mess by stimulating immune response.
How to make healthy choices? It’s not really very hard if you know what can make your immune system healthy and strong enough to hand a defeat to Covid-19 and other viral, bacterial and fungal infections.
Lemons, oranges, lines, berries, broccoli, capsicum, kiwifruit and tomatoes are rich sources of vitamin C.
Green leafy vegetables, vegetables oil and nuts are rich in vitamin E.
Zinc, Iron and Selenium
These minerals are imperative to immune cell growth.
Iron increases the number of free radicals that destroy pathogens. It controls enzyme reactions that are highly important for immune cells to identify, target and kill pathogens.
Iron is abundant in fish and chicken. It is also found in some vegetables such as, whole grains, legumes and iron-fortified breakfast cereals.
Zinc contributes to maintaining integrity of mucous and skin membranes. Zinc and selenium function as antioxidants and help clear up some of the damages resulting from oxidative stress.
Dried beans, nuts, oyster and chicken are great sources of zinc. Nuts (particularly Brazil nuts), cereals and meat are enriched with selenium.
Selenium is high in cereals, mushrooms, nuts (especially, Brazil nuts) and meat.
A positive change in lifestyle and mood is what can help us stay strong – both physically and mentally – during our collective fight against Covid-19. Panicking is not the panacea for the problem; instead, you should take safety measures as recommended by the medical experts and strictly follow social distancing. Don’t go out if not needed. It’s not the right time for brisk walking and jogging in the park. Do exercise at your home. Stop smoking and heavy drinking as these bad habits will leave your immune system rotten and ruined. Make permanent changes to the way what we eat and exercise – that is the ultimate mantra to give a checkmate to coronavirus.