Nutrition and the Pandemic – How Nutrition Impacts Susceptibility to COVID-19 


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Most people understand the profound impact food and nutrition have on overall health. A diet filled with too many carbs, for instance, can lead to type 2 diabetes. Too much salt in the diet is bad for your heart. Too many sweets and fried foods is a fast track to obesity. With COVID-19, people at the most significant risks, even beyond age, are those who have certain underlying medical conditions. Many of these conditions are exacerbated by the traditional western diet. The bottom line is that nutrition, eating a healthy diet can play an essential role in the body’s ability to fight off COVID-19 and the severity of the illness if contracted.

What does the World Health Organization Recommend?

According to WHO, the foods you eat, your level of hydration, and even the supplements you take can profoundly impact your health throughout the pandemic. Following a few simple rules for healthier lifestyles can reduce your risks of many of the profoundly adverse effects of COVID-19, including death, long-term lung damage, neurological function issues, and more. In addition, the study cited above indicated that healthier diets and better nutrition might increase the vaccine’s efficacy.

WHO offers specific dietary recommendations to decrease inflammation, reduce obesity, and lower the risk, for everyone, of some of the severest effects of the COVID-19 virus. They include drinking 8-10 cups of water daily, eating at least four servings of fruit, five servings of vegetables along with whole grains, and healthy proteins (fish, seafood, beans). The WHO also encourages limiting red meat, sugar, salt, and saturated fat in the diet. Instead, opt for healthy fats, natural sweeteners (unprocessed and unrefined), and enjoying raw vegetables or vegetables that are not over-cooked.

Can Supplements Help Ward Off Some of the Worst Effects of COVID?

According to Harvard University School of Public Health, social distancing and handwashing are the most effective methods to reduce the spread of disease, including coronavirus. But that doesn’t mean that diet and nutrition do not play vital roles in the process. It makes sense as nutrition is intricately linked to overall immunity. Many of the underlying conditions that negatively impact COVID-19 recovery and increase the risks associated with the disease are related to nutrition. They include diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and certain types of cancer.

While nutritional absorption of vitamins and minerals is always recommended, working the proper amount of certain nutrients can be difficult in your daily diet. Harvard specifically suggests the following supplements to help your body boost immunity and fight off infection more effectively: zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin C. While studies have not been conducted on the specific effects of these supplements for fighting off COVID-19, there have been many studies of their effectiveness for boosting immunity, which gives the body the tools it needs to help fight off disease.

Harvard also warns against supplements that promote wild claims and promises related to COVID-19. Especially those that offer to treat, prevent, or cure the disease. What they can do, is help your body mount a rigorous defense against the disease.

To learn more about the role of food and overall health, consider certified nutritionist programs that provide exceptional education and give you the tools you need to improve your nutrition and your health through COVID-19 and beyond. Learning the power of nutrition for warding off diseases like COVID-19 is essential for helping you take control of your health.

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