With the deadly coronavirus sweeping across continents and affecting many millions, health authorities, experts, researchers around the world are racing to invent ways to contain the further spread of the virus. Considering the unique history of the coronavirus, it is still believed that our food choices may hold critical importance, as the world population increases to record levels in the next few years.
The coronavirus does present many uncertainties, while none of us can eliminate the greater risks of ending up being infected with it. But what we can definitely stick by is to eat as healthily as possible. The Bridge caught up with one of the country’s most celebrated sports and exercise nutritionists, Rashmi Cherian to reflect upon the importance of whether a good diet can impact one’s health amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The coronavirus’s highly infectious nature suggests there is a pressing need to find corresponding solutions, but could nutrition help the immune system fight off coronavirus? Rashmi promptly disagrees. While considering a new infectious disease about which so much is still unknown, it is somehow important to seek out reliable information and act on it at the same time.
“The panic is so much created on social media. It is wrong to suggest that a particular diet will help prevent the spread of coronavirus. There has been no research conducted. From the nutritionist’s point of view, it is imperative that you maintain a well-balanced diet. Ginger, turmeric or honey can help prevent common cold, but again coronavirus and cold aren’t the same. In fact, the structure of the virus itself is different,” points out Rashmi.
With the growing concern of the virus, a few believe that the immune system is responsible for fighting it. But in order to be able to do it, improving nutrition helps support optimal immune function, according to experts.
Coronavirus and the food we eat
The coronavirus outbreak may as well act as a refreshed reminder stimulating us to reflect on the importance of a balanced diet. “I was reading how coronavirus has killed a few people, while in reality obesity claims many more lives. Although the percentage of people dying due to obesity is quite high, people are least bothered. But it is good to see people being alert — most of them aren’t consuming packaged food, they are sticking to home-cooked food which usually is not the case otherwise,” she says.
The coronavirus knows no boundaries. With such a rapidly developing situation, some of us have met the challenges right from the beginning of the outbreak while a lot more are presently joining to address the issues. But immunity can’t alone fight off the virus, warns Rashmi.
Importance of good hygiene and balanced diet
Staying hydrated and maintaining proper hygiene are the key factors that can help protect one against the infection. “People have been talking about boosting immunity. Vitamin consumption levels have also gone up. In terms of nutrition, if you ask me, I would suggest that people should stick to the basic diet that is locally available. Right now, you cannot boost your immune system just like that. You should be careful where you are getting your news about coronavirus,” remonstrates Rashmi.
But having said that, we must not forget the heightened significance of what we are consuming or how our food is being processed, regardless of what impact might have been caused since the outbreak of the virus. However, it will be of keen interest to note how the world responds to the spread of the virus over the next few days. It is a firm belief that by upholding our core values of being active in the search of new knowledge, we can certainly tackle this global challenge together.