Coronavirus Outbreak: Nutrition Advice For Adults

Good nutrition and hydration are important. People who eat a well-balanced diet tend to be healthier with stronger immune systems and a lower risk of infectious diseases and chronic illnesses. You should eat a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods every day to get the vitamins, minerals, protein, and antioxidants your body needs. Drink enough water. Avoid fat, salt, and sugar to significantly lower your risk of;

  • Diabetes  
  • Overweight
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Stroke
  • Certain types of cancer

Eat Fresh And Unprocessed Foods Every Day

  • Eat vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains, legumes, and foods from animal sources. 
  • For snacks, choose fresh fruit and raw vegetables rather than foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat.
  • You should not overcook fruit and vegetables as this can lead to the loss of important vitamins.
  • When using dried and canned fruit and vegetables, choose varieties without added sugar and salt.

Drink Sufficient Water Every Day

Water is needed to live because it;

  • Transports compounds and nutrients in the blood
  • Regulates your body temperature
  • Gets rid of waste
  • Lubricates and cushions joints

Each person needs to drink 8 to 10 cups of water per day. Water is the best choice, but you can also consume other drinks, vegetables, and fruits that contain water, coffee, and tea. Nevertheless, be careful not to consume too much caffeine and prevent from taking sweetened fruit juices, syrups, and fruit juice concentrate.

Eat Moderate Amounts Of Fat And Oil

  • Consume unsaturated fats rather than saturated fats.
  • Choose white meat and fish, which are generally low in fat, rather than red meat.
  • Avoid processed meats because they are high in fat and salt.
  • Where possible, opt for low-fat or reduced-fat versions of milk and dairy products.
  • Avoid industrially produced trans fats that are often found in fast food, processed food, fried food, snack food, pies, cookies, and frozen pizza.

Eat Less Salt And Sugar

  • Choose fresh fruits instead of sweet snacks.
  • When preparing and cooking food, limit the amount of salt and high-sodium condiments.
  • Avoid foods that are high in salt and sugar.
  • Limit your daily salt intake to less than 5 g and use iodized salt.
  • Limit your intake of soft drinks or sodas and other drinks that are high in sugar.

Avoid Eating Out

Eat at home to reduce your rate of contact with other people and lower your chance of being exposed to the virus. It is recommended to maintain a distance of at least 1 meter between yourself and anyone who is sneezing and coughing. Droplets from infected people may land on people’s hands or surfaces and with lots of people coming and going. You cannot tell if hands are being washed regularly enough and surfaces are being cleaned and disinfected fast enough.

Counselling And Psychosocial Support

While proper nutrition and hydration improve health and immunity, they are not magic bullets. People living with chronic illnesses that have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 may need support with their mental health and diet. It will help to keep them in good health. Seek counseling and psychosocial support from appropriately trained health care professionals and also community-based lay and peer counselors.