Corona virus is new infectious disease and research is ongoing to find treatment and cure . Symptoms include : fever, coughing , general weakness, pain, difficulty breathing, change in taste and smell. What is known is that eating well , maintaining healthy weight to keep immunity strong helps protect you from infection and help recovery.
Here’s some simple nutrition and lifestyle tips you can practice easily from the safety of your home :-
Achieve Total balance : in your main meals , in mental health , in ensuring sleep , in achieving a healthy weight (NHS website can be accessed for self - screening and checking your weight https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/bmi-calculator/ )and in doing regular daily activity that you can maintain and enjoy . Now is the time to create new and healthy eating and active habits.
Make food Tempting:- have colourful rainbow meals with a variety of food.
Protein foods for strong immune system: meat , fish (oily fish once a week is good eg mackerel, salmon, sardines or sardines) eggs , dairy , beans , lentils , nuts and tofu,
Carbohydrates food for energy :- whole grain bread , pasta ,rice and potatoes ,
Fruit and vegetables for vitamins , minerals and fibre . These add colour and textures to meals , aim atleast 5 portions per day-can be fresh ,frozen,canned. If you are struggling consider taking multi vitamins and minerals. Spending some time outdoors in the sunshine is good each day. In UK taking vitamin D 10 micrograms daily is recommended especially when your self isolating.
Dairy food for calcium and minerals . Non dairy source of calcium can be green leafy vegetables, beans , pulses,nuts ,seeds, dried fruit and tinned oily fish .
Fluids-staying hydrated, check your urine colour keep it pale straw colour. Aiming for 6-8 glasses of fluid per day e.g water,low fat milk,herbal tea, sugar free drinks, tea or coffee, limit fruit juice 150 ml with meals .
Avoid high fat high sugar foods that offer no nutritional benefits like fizzy drinks , sweets ,cakes, crisps, chocolates, crisps, chips, pasties and pies). Use the eat well plate guide below as a check that you are getting the balance right
Make food Tasty :- when your taste and smell are affected use herbs , spices, peppers , chutneys and pickles to challenge smells and your taste buds. If you can’t manage three meals daily spaced it out , it’s ok to have little and often.
Make food accessible and easy to Try : include store cupboard foods, consider home deliveries, you don’t have to eat alone use phone , video call or use social media eat and chat with friends . Getting loved ones to cook and deliver or meal delivery service to keep your appetite going can help.
Local services are there to help you , supermarkets can offer Deliveries and allocated time slots for the vulnerable, carers , front line NHS workers
So top 5 tips to remember :
Total balance in life- take care of your mental health, activity, eating habits, and body weight. keep active, sleep well, eat regular healthy and balanced meals and achieve oyur healthy weight. Being under weight or overweight can have an impact on your risk of becoming ill from covid 19.
Tempting colourful meals and snacks - eat well guide above is great checker
Tasty food encourages appetite and challenges taste buds- Food choice can be soft if you are short of breath, saucy if you have a dry mouth. Cool drinks can help. Your taste can change over time.
Try and never give up trying - keeping immune system strong is the key.There are many wonderful ways to eat well. Self -isolating when you have symptoms doesn't mean you have to go it alone .
Take care of yourself - staying positive and seek help from:-
Further information from British Dietetic association -Covid 19/Corona virus advice for general public :
Coming next blog practical tips on easy meals for one , snacks and drinks to improve nutrition
For specialised Diet and Nutrition advice seek the advice of a Professional Dietitian and Nutritionist Tabby kabeer