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Support immunity: WHO told how to eat during the COVID-19 pandemic

Healthy eating is very important during the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization notes. What we eat and drink can affect our body's ability to prevent, fight, and heal infections. "Voice of America".

Photo: Shutterstock

While no food or dietary supplement can completely prevent infection or cure someone with COVID-19, a healthy diet is important to maintain the immune system. WHO says a good diet can also reduce the likelihood of developing other health problems, in particular obesity, heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer.

The World Health Organization publishes healthy eating tips on its website.

1. Eat a variety of foods, in particular fruits and vegetables

  • Eat whole grains (wheat, corn, rice) daily; legumes (lentils, beans) a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as some animal products (meat, fish, eggs, milk).
  • When possible, opt for whole grains such as unprocessed corn and brown rice; they are rich in fiber and can help you feel fuller longer.
  • For snacks, choose fresh vegetables, fruits, and unsalted nuts.

2. Limit salt intake

  • Limit salt intake to 5 grams per day (about one teaspoon).
  • When preparing food, limit the amount of salt, salty sauces and condiments (soy sauce, broth, fish sauce) used.
  • If you are using canned or dried foods, choose vegetables, nuts, and fruits without added salt or sugar.
  • Remove the salt shaker from the table, and instead experiment with fresh or dried herbs and spices to add flavor.
  • Check package labels and choose foods with less sodium.

3. Eat moderate amounts of fats and oils

  • When cooking, replace butter, ghee, and lard with healthier fats such as olive oil, soy, sunflower oil, or corn oil.
  • Give preference to white meats (poultry and fish), which usually contain less fat than red meat; trim off any visible chunks of fat on meat and limit your intake of processed meat.
  • Choose low-fat or low-fat dairy products.
  • Avoid processed, baked, or fried foods that contain industrial trans fats.
  • Try steam cooking, or boiling instead of frying.

4. Limit sugar intake

  • Limit your intake of sweets and sugary drinks.
  • Choose fresh fruit over sweet snacks like cookies, cakes, or chocolate.
  • If you choose other types of desserts, make sure they are low in sugar and eat them in small portions.
  • Try not to give sugary foods to children. Salt and sugar should not be added to the diet of babies under 2 years old, but children over this age should also limit them.

5. Drink plenty of water

Hydration is an important part of staying healthy. Drinking water instead of sugary drinks is an easy way to limit the amount of sugar you eat.

6. Avoid excessive and dangerous drinking

Alcohol is not part of a healthy diet. Drinking alcohol does not protect against COVID-19 and can be dangerous. Frequent or excessive alcohol consumption increases the immediate risk of injury and also causes long-term consequences such as liver damage, cancer, heart and mental illness. There is no safe dose of alcohol.

7. Breastfeeding babies

Breast milk is the perfect food for babies. It's safe, clean, and contains antibodies that help protect your child from many common childhood illnesses. For the first six months of life, babies should be exclusively breastfed. And from 6 months of age, breastfeeding should be supplemented with varied, safe and nutritious foods. Breastfeeding your baby should be continued until at least two years of age or even longer.

In addition, the World Health Organization publishes five key tips for safe handling of food:

  1. Keep food clean.
  2. Store raw foods separately from cooked foods.
  3. Prepare food thoroughly.
  4. Store food at a safe temperature.
  5. Use safe water and raw materials.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises you to follow food safety guidelines before, during, and after cooking. They emphasize the importance of clean kitchen surfaces - they advise you to regularly clean and disinfect them.

Miscellaneous nutrition World coronavirus Special Projects COVID-19

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