A fruit market in Bhubaneswar
BHUBANESWAR: In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, dieticians have been stressing on the importance of foods high in antioxidants such as fruits, along with a balanced diet, for strengthening the immune system, which is key to fight the virus.
Sushri Sangita Jena, senior clinical nutritionist at SUM Ultimate Medicare, said, “A balanced diet, including proper nutrition, is important to fight the viral infection. We have micro nutrients and macro nutrients. In case of the Covid-19, micro nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, including magnesium and calcium, are more beneficial than macro nutrients such as carbohydrate and fat. For example, vitamin C boosts immunity.”
Jena added that people should eat at regular intervals so that meal gaps were short. “People should eat in smaller quantities but more frequently. They can increase the liquid intake by drinking lemon, grape, orange juice or amla juice. People should include vegetables, especially the leafy ones, in their diet.”
Jena recommended eating dry fruits in between meals. “People should focus on micronutrients in their food. We can take foods high in antioxidant. We can take lemon, chia seeds, amla, cumin, cinnamon, aloe vera, turmeric, garlic and ginger,” she added.
Soumya Sucharita Prusty, dietician of AIIMS Bhubaneswar, while discussing therapeutic diet for Covid19 patients, said, “An infected person should eat well. They should fulfil the calorie and protein requirement. Everyone should include micronutrients in their diet. Proper hydration should be a priority. Homemade vegetable soup, fruit puree, warm lemon water, anti-inflammatory turmeric lemon tea, lentil soup coupled with fresh lime, garlic and herbs. One can also drink Tulsi lemon tea.”
Prusty added that vitamin C rich fruits such as lemon, sweet lime, guava are beneficial for fighting Covid-19. “Easily digestible foods such as khichdi with fresh vegetables are good for health,” she said.
Sushree Tapaswini Das, dietician of KIMS Hospital, said, “A person with a weak immune system should take magnesium-rich diet. “