Nutrition during Covid

Proper nutrition and hydration are vital for a healthy living. People who eat a well-balanced diet tend to be healthier with stronger immune systems and a lower risk of infectious diseases. Infections increase the demand for several nutrients to maintain a proper balance in the body. Even subclinical deficiencies of one micronutrient may impair one’s immune responses.

Recently, Calder et al. has highlighted the importance of optimal nutritional status to protect against viral infections. Several vitamins, including vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, folate and trace elements including zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium, and copper, play an important role in supporting both the innate and adaptive immune systems. Wu et al. has provided nutritional advice to reduce damages to the lungs from coronavirus and other lung infections. Both these reviews are valuable as the highest-quality evidence from clinical trials for both the prevention and treatment of viral diseases by means of nutritional interventions. Priority has been given for the supplementation of vitamins and trace elements. The roles that vitamins C and D play in immunity are particularly well elucidated. Vitamin C affects several aspects of immunity, including supporting epithelial barrier function, growth and function of both innate and adaptive immune cells, white blood cell migration to sites of infection, phagocytosis, microbial killing and antibody production.

Can covid-19 be live on food packaging

Coronaviruses need a live animal or human host to multiply and survive and cannot multiply on the surface of food packages. It is not necessary to disinfect food packaging materials, but hands should be properly washed after handling food packages and before eating 

Can covid-19 be transmitted through the consumption of food

There is currently no evidence that people can catch COVID-19 from food. The virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed at temperatures similar to that of other known viruses and bacteria found in food. Foods such as meat, poultry and eggs should always be thoroughly cooked to at least 70°C. Before cooking, raw animal products should be handled with care to avoid cross-contamination with cooked foods.

Any specific food to be consumed to support the immune system. 

The immune system requires the support of many nutrients. It is recommended to consume a variety of foods for a healthy and balanced diet, including whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and animal source foods. There is no single food that will prevent you from catching COVID-19. 

Does Supplementation of micronutrient helps in preventing Covid – 19

No. There is currently no guidance on micronutrient supplementation for the prevention of COVID-19 in healthy individuals or for the treatment of COVID-19. Micronutrients are critical for a well-functioning immune system and play a vital role in promoting health and nutritional well-being. Micronutrient intakes should come from a nutritionally balanced and diverse diet, including fruits, vegetables and animal source foods.

Foods like garlic, ginger, pepper and lemon help in preventing covid -19

No there is no evidence-based study that proves this but these foods have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory qualities.

Do Probiotics prevent Covid-19?

No. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are generally added to foods or used as a supplement to the diet to confer a health benefit. However, there is currently no evidence to support the use of probiotics to help prevent or cure COVID-19. 

 The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced dietary guidelines during the COVID-19 outbreak stressing the importance of a balanced diet to maintain a strong immune system and to avoid or minimize chronic diseases and infections. The WHO has recommended consuming 4 servings of fruits/day and 5 servings of vegetables/ day, making a total of 9 servings/day. A combination of whole-grain cereals (180g) and a variety of meats and beans (160g) were recommended to optimize the nutritional requirements during this pandemic.

Do not overcook vegetables and fruits as this can lead to the loss of important vitamins. Drink 8–10 cups of water every day. Consume unsaturated fats (e.g. found in fish, avocado, nuts, olive oil, soy, canola, sunflower and corn oils) rather than saturated fats (e.g. found in fatty meat, butter, coconut oil, cream, cheese, ghee and lard). Consume white meat (e.g. poultry) and fish, which are generally low in fat, rather than red meat. Avoid processed meats because they are high in fat and salt.

Eat at home to reduce the rate of contact with other people and lower the chance of being exposed to COVID-19. Maintain social distance and avoid crowded social settings like restaurants and cafes. Droplets from infected people may land on surfaces and with a huge crowd, you cannot tell if hands are being washed regularly and surfaces are being cleaned and disinfected regularly for a secure environment.

Dr.Shweta B. Nanjannavar
M.D.(Hom), M.Sc( Clinical Dietetics & Nutrition)  Consultant Homoeopath & Nutritionist, Deesha Healthcare, Ashwini Medical Centre, Kolhapur Circle, Nehrunagar, Belgaum


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