Covid-19, Lockdown and Diet

Covid-19 is a new disease in India that seems to have no medicine as of now. Though researches are going on at full speed, there is still not enough conclusive evidence to suggest that a particular drug or a natural supplement is effective for Covid-19 treatment and safe for human use. However, doctors and researchers agree that certain types of food are good for boosting immunity in the body while some are harmful. So let us find out some crucial points that may help us choose what food to eat during the lockdown period or if you are affected by asymptotic or mild Covid-19.

1)Add Immunity Boosters :

Immunity comes from within our body. But immunity in every individual is not the same for a particular disease. That is why we see some people mildly affected by Covid-19 while others are seriously affected. It is thus very essential to boost up immunity in our body in the lockdown period. With Covid-19, there are numerous food items labelled with immunity boosters. But the real immunity boosters are available in our homes. Turmeric, garlic, ginger, cumin, cloves, mustard, cardamom and cinnamon are excellent immunity boosters. Most Indian food we prepare at home contain these spices. You can make turmeric milk at home with cardamom, ginger tea with cinnamon, fragrant jeera rice with cloves, garlic, cumin and mustard. These foods make sure you are consuming a sufficient amount of immunity boosters every day.

2)Include Whole Grains :

Refined grains only contain empty calories that are not so useful in fighting disease. Unrefined/whole grains contain essential vitamins and minerals that are essential in this hour. Instead of maida or refined flour, it is best to consume whole wheat flour or atta. Brown or hand-pounded rice are the better options than white rice. Cornmeal or makai is again a better substitute for cornstarch. Millets like jowar, bajra, and ragi, widely available in western India, are also very good for health, protect us from diseases, and provide energy requirements to the body.

3)Get Natural Sources of Vitamins and Minerals :

Vitamin C, vitamin D, antioxidants, and some minerals help reduce severity of Covid-19 symptoms. So doctors usually recommend having a dose of multivitamin and mineral pills so that there is no deficiency of vitamins and minerals in the body. However, a better and a natural way of enriching vitamins and minerals in our body is eating their natural sources. Natural sources tend to absorb better within the body and are free from any side effects. Carrots are a good source of vitamin A. Amlaki is the richest natural source of vitamin C, as rich as any vitamin pills. Eggs, oily fish, and mushrooms are very rich in vitamin D. Minerals like iron are available in most lentils and legumes containing vitamin B9, magnesium and potassium. Leafy vegetables like spinach are excellent sources of vitamin K. The richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids is flaxseeds and oily fish. Antioxidants are present in almost every local fruit and vegetable. Berries, apple, banana, garlic, broccoli, dark chocolate are filled with antioxidants that protect your body cells from free radical attacks.

4)Green tea and herbal tea : 

It is believed that green tea has curative properties of many diseases, including Covid-19. Though there is not enough evidence, drinking green tea regularly is a good option for boosting immunity. Similarly effective as green tea is tulsi tea which is holy basil boiled in water. Hibiscus tea in limited quantities is good for health. Note that you should have these only if your doctor allows you as they may interfere with allopathy treatment if you are undergoing any.

5)Sweetener and salt :

In the lockdown period, you should try to cut down sugar intake as much as possible. It is best if you avoid sugar entirely. Instead, use honey for sweetening. Honey is believed to have medicinal properties other than just sweetening the food. Jaggery or unrefined sugar are also good options. However, if you have greater than regular blood sugar or diabetes, then you should avoid all of these. Instead, have stevia, which is very sweet but negligible in calories. It would help if you cut down the salt intake and that your blood pressure does not increase substantially.

6)Portion size :

It is known that Covid-19 affects obese and overweight people more. Lockdown is the ideal time to shed off extra fat from your body. So your portion size should be small, as small as you can, without feeling hungry. However, on the other hand, if you are affected by Covid-19, then you need more energy to fight off the virus, hence need a substantial amount of food. Thus, there is a need to choose the right food that will not make you fat and provide you with energy. Eat more proteins as they will repair the damaged cells. Eat less refined carbs or refined oils. Give up on junk food. Do not overeat. Just eat enough that seem to satisfy your hunger. Take small portions of food but eat frequently. Your meals should have a variety of food sources. Increase the intake of fruits and salad. Refrain from consuming alcohol or smoking.

7)Dietary Supplements :

It is not necessary to have dietary supplements unless your doctor says so. A healthy diet is enough to meet the daily requirements of vitamins and minerals. However, an increasing number of people are deficient in some nutrients or others. Hence, people above 40 years of age and others suffering from nutrition deficiency should take supplements on the nutrients they lack. It is also an excellent option to consult dieticians and eat the right choice and quantity of food at the right time.

8)The Bottomline :

Incorporate local and seasonal fruits into your diet. Have less quantity of refined carbs and unhealthy fats. Maintain portions and do not overeat. Reduce sugar and salt intake, increase spices like turmeric, cloves, garlic. Make a habit of munching on nuts, drinking herbal or green tea with honey when hungry. The more you eat healthily, stay healthy, and think positive, the fewer chance Covid-19 can infect you severely.

The above information is taken from official sites of the internet. For a daily routine diet chart, follow WHO’s prescribed diet, http://www.emro.who.int/nutrition/news/nutrition-advice-for-adults-during-the-covid-19-outbreak.html. For more tips regarding what to eat during the lockdown, you can refer here, https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/publications-and-technical-guidance/food-and-nutrition-tips-during-self-quarantine. However, if you are following a particular diet, or is under treatment, then it is better to consult your dietician or doctor before implementing any changes.

Written by – Himadri Paul

Nutritional MYTHS

Do you also believe in nutritional myths?

(Myth Busters)

Myths, myths, myths… The list is pretty long then, so wrong. But what’s right? What can you believe?

Well, this has been the confusion for decades, which started from street gossips and have evolved into “WHATSAPP FORWARDS”. It becomes a heck of a decision on what to believe and what not to.

Quoting Shakespeare in a sarcastic way, “TO BELIEVE OR NOT TO BELIEVE, THAT IS THE QUESTION”

So, here are all such myths, and are on our way to bust them today. Within the next few minutes, we will learn the facts behind the age-old myths.

IN TODAY’S ARTICLE OF MYTH BUSTERS, FOOD, AND NUTRITION MYTHS! BUSTED!

Let’s start right away with the first nutritional myth.

Myth 1: Those with diabetes have to give up sweets.

Fact:

In moderation, an occasional sweet treat is fine. The key to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is balancing meals and snacks to supply a mix of carbs, fats, and proteins, and using exercise and drugs to stay blood sugar under control.

Many of them completely quit sweets when detected with diabetes, but the truth is that a sweet here and there is allowed. This brings us to the second one.

Myth 2: Vitamin C can keep you from catching a cold

Fact:

Research has shown that vitamin C generally does not ward off colds, but it may be helpful in people who participate in extreme physical exercise. A 2019 study within the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found ingesting a pill of vitamin C, or vitamin C, before one bout of exercise suppressed SOD activity, a marker of stress within the body, among participants who took the pill, compared with those that ingested a placebo. However, the researchers are unclear on the efficacy of vitamin C supplementation on exercise-induced oxidative stress.

So, it is uncertain that Vitamin C can help you not catch a cold, but it isn’t completely true as well. Moving on to the next nutritional myths,

Myth 3: Avoid eggs because of their cholesterol content.

Fact:

Eggs have gotten an unfounded bad rap; in a 2018 study in the journal Nutrients, researchers found eggs don’t actually contribute to high cholesterol. In fact, eggs are a cheap source of many nutrients, including zinc and iron, antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin D, and therefore the brain-boosting chemical choline. However, keep in mind that the research on eggs has gone back and forth over the years so don’t overdo it. The American Heart Association says one whole egg or two egg whites a day can be part of a healthy diet. Keep cholesterol in check by monitoring saturated fat in your diet.

We have been listening to this from our childhood. The truth is that eggs don’t much contribute to high cholesterol. Next one along your way,

Myth 4: Spicy food gives you an ulcer

Fact:

Spices don’t trigger ulcers. We now know that a selected sort of bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, causes most ulcers, except those triggered by certain medications, like aspirin. What spices can do is exacerbate those problems, which can cause people to mistakenly believe that spices cause ulcers.

So, the culprit is the bacteria. The spices don’t actually cause ulcers but help to make the situation worse. Hence, do have spices, but keep some control over them as well.

Myth 5: Eating celery (leafy vegetable) burns more calories than you take in.

Fact:

It’s a food myth that celery has “negative” calories, according to the Mayo Clinic. But, with less than 10 calories per serving and plenty of fiber, it’s a great snack for maintaining a healthy weight. Try these healthy snacks that may help boost your weight loss.

There’s nothing like the concept of negative calories, but it is the fiber that aids weight loss.

The next one,

Myth 6: Raw carrots are more nutritious than cooked

Fact: Antioxidants could also be enhanced when some vegetables are cooked. for instance, during a 2008 study within the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers found cooking carrots actually increases their nutritional value. Boiling carrots led carotenoids (antioxidants) to extend by 14 percent, while other cooking methods, especially frying, led to a decrease in antioxidant value.

Cooking tends to reinforce antioxidants sometimes. Be it raw or cooked, veggies are always healthy. this is just the most believed nutritional myth.

Image result for nutrition myths and facts

Myth 7: Coffee stunts your growth.

Fact:

Coffee doesn’t stunt your growth. consistent with Healthline, a study tracked 81 women aged 12–18 for 6 years. It found no difference in bone health between those that had the very best daily caffeine intake, compared to those with rock bottom. Therefore, caffeine doesn’t have any positive correlation with calcium absorption.

Coffee lovers, it’s a treat for you. there’s no harm to your growth, but an excessive amount of it can cause insomnia (lack of sleep). Drink wisely.

Myth 8: frozen dessert is bad for the throat.

Fact:

It’s not quite clear where this myth originated — possibly from a nasty case of brain freeze! actually, the precise opposite is true, and frozen dessert has long been revered as a remedy for sore throats. frozen dessert also can often help to scale back mouth inflammation and is consistently recommended for those that recently got their tonsils removed. The soothing chilliness of the frozen dessert helps numb the world altogether and provides some comforting and delicious relief.

Shocked, right? So were we, once we found this online. That’s the rationale we are reaching bent you in order that no more myths are spread.

Myth 9: Carbonated drinks are bad for you

Fact:

A sodium-free seltzer with a wedge of lemon or lime quenches your thirst without hurting your health. Soda, on the opposite hand, will contribute to health problems when consumed in excess, including weight gain, cavities, and high vital sign, consistent with the middle for Science within the Public Interest

The drinks without can be preferred to quench your thirst with no effects on health.

This brings us to the end of today’s article with various nutritional myths. We’ve busted 9 nutritional myths today. Tell, us which one shocked you the foremost within the comment section below.

THANK YOU!

Hungry kids of a rich country

India is the 6th wealthiest country in the world with about 119  billionaires,20,730 multi-millionaires and 3.3 lakh HNWIs (high-net-worth individuals). Yet one of the major problems surviving till date in India is poverty, hunger and malnutrition. The country has faced many famines and lost many citizens. The country has faced many ups and downs since its freedom. Let it be the stock market crisis, scams, income tax frauds, pandemics, over-population, decreasing GDP and whatnot, the country has tried to cope up with every problem it faces. With all these millionaires and billionaires residing in our nation, there should have been no traces of poverty. But this is the ugly side of the nation we refuse to see.

Despite all the wealth and money this country owns, there are still children who are not even privileged to have two square meal. Some kids do not have a proper roof over their head. They are unaware of proper education. They do not have enough clothes to cover their bodies. They die every other day due to lack of proper medical aids.

We demolish the slums and construct sophisticated buildings by ruining the only place of shelter of those unprivileged people who barely manage their food. The development of sky skyscrapers and towers hide the life of the poverty struck people. They are not happy to sleep on the streets or keep their children deprived of the education they deserve. But they are helpless poor people who spend their whole life just looking at the rich people wishing to live a life like them.

Economic inequality in India has led to increasing cases of malnutrition in infants. There is a lack of nutritious food even for the pregnant mother as well as the infant. Both of them are deprived of all essential nutrients which are necessary for the proper growth and increasing immunity of the child. Though there is food being supplied to such places, the food somehow is still deprived of all the nutrients which are responsible for the healthy growth of a child.

Deepali K.