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COVID-19 and Nutrition: How Diet Affects Spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 is currently one of the leading medical challenges worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the world hard, affecting every aspect of daily living. Since the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020, the virus has been known to have several effects on the human body. Even after the pandemic elapsed and governments worldwide lifted their lockdown restrictions, the virus has still left aftereffects in its wake.

One of the ways the virus has been known to affect humankind is through nutrition and dieting in people. This article aims to understand nutritional research as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For about two years, the virus has had significant mortality, morbidity, and financial and social connotations for the world. Despite having all this knowledge, very little is to be known about how the COVID-19 infection affects lives regarding the changes in one’s nutritional behavior. However, nutritional intervention may also affect COVID-19 spread and mortality rate.

Nutrition is a social determinant of health. For healthcare professionals to effectively counsel and advise their clients on nutritional intervention options as part of their treatment, they must be aware of the various factors contributing to diet-related disparities.

It is also essential to be aware of the allergic reactions a patient would have to certain foods and even food sensitivity.

This is where a dietary antigen test comes in.

The P88 dietary antigen test is a single test IgE, IgG, IgG4, and complement (C3d) reactions to 88 of most of the common foods in a diet. It is a highly comprehensive test of immune responses.

This dietary antigen test helps you find and address food allergies and food sensitivities in patients with chronic illnesses (e.g., COVID-19).

Identifying and eliminating food sensitivities can go a long way in a patient’s wellness. It is a test that can lead to a more precise treatment plan and better patient outcomes.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, dietary patterns shifted in many individuals and not entirely for the better; this was probably due to altered health behaviors and the mental and physical toll the lockdown had on so many people.

Amidst all this, it is still vital for a patient to have a proper diet with good nutritional value to avoid or withstand infections and diseases like COVID-19.

As stated earlier, nutrient intake and disease occurrence usually influence individuals’ nutritional status.

Inadequate diet and infectious diseases could lead to malnutrition which would only weaken one’s chances of returning to good health. There is currently no proof that any supplement can boost our immune system or prevent viral infections, which is why it is of great importance to have a balanced diet that would keep the body in its most vital state possible. It also ensures a strong immune system that can help withstand any assault from the virus.

To ensure wellness and boost the immune system, here are ten foods that will boost the immune system and leave it in fighting condition.

  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Papaya
  • Citrus fruits
  • Turmeric
  • Shellfish
  • Almonds
  • Red bell peppers

It is worthy of note that these foods will only give your immune system the much-needed boost to fight off any form of disease or infection and thereby keep you from contracting COVID-19. There are still no supplements (save for the vaccine) that can protect one against the COVID-19 virus.

According to researchers, there is no means of virus contraction through food or food packaging. Nevertheless, it is advisable to follow good food practices, some of which are included below: 

  • Store raw and cooked foods separately to stop harmful microbes from spreading into cooked foods.
  • Do not display unwrapped foods at the counter.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before consumption.
  • Use separate utensils for cutting raw and cooked foods.

For ideal health, drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages is essential. Limiting or, better still, avoiding the intake of alcohol is also recommended.

It is essential to have proper nutritional value and a balanced diet in one’s food. It is beneficial to the complete well-being and health of an individual.

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