BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

COVID-19 and Nutrition



A balanced food supply which provides adequate nutrition is essential to health, particularly in response to Covid-19. The  World Health Organization (WHO) advocates optimum nutrition, in addition to social distancing, use of face masks and proper hand washing, as way to delay or prevent Covid-19 infection.  WHO has also released food safety guidance for governments, food businesses, health workers and the general public in order to maintain good health and prevent malnutrition and immunodeficiency. To effectively combat any infection, it is important to attain and maintain good nutritional status. Therefore, one of the aims of a proper diet is to  ensure that the body is in perfect condition to fight infections. Nutritional status of individuals contribute to their overall immune resilience even though it may be affected by  age, sex, health status, life style and medications.

The words of Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” shows that for over 2500 years, food and nutrition have been recognized as important denominators of health and wellness. Good nutrition and dietary nutrient intake impact the immune system through gene expression, cell activation, and signaling molecules modification. More so, various dietary nutrients are determinants of gut microbial composition which shape immune responses. Adequate intake of essential minerals and vitamins remain essential for the maintenance of immune function. 

 Self-isolation, lockdown, and social distancing remain effective measures to flatten the curve of Covid-19 infection; however, they lead to remarkable challenges in eating patterns, sleeping habits, and physical activity. As a consequence, sedentary behaviors that affect mental and physical health,  increase  and may result in a heightened risk of obesity. Fear and anxiety may also cause changes in dietary habits resulting in unhealthy dietary patterns and less desire to eat nutritious foods. Although there is currently no evidence that any nutrient can treat or completely prevent any viral infection, a balanced diet will guarantee a strong immune system that can help withstand infection. The following are some professional dietary recommendations :

  • Daily intake of fresh fruits and vegetables 
  • Whole grains and nuts intake
  • Animal and plant proteins consumption 
  • Avoid irregular snacking.
  • Do not overcook vegetables as it leads to the loss of important nutrients
  • Prepare and serve food at acceptable temperatures (≥72°C for 2 mins).
  • Limit the salt intake to 5g daily
  • Consume unsaturated fats  rather than saturated fats
  • Drink about 10 glasses of water  daily
  • Avoid, carbonated, concentrated juices, and all drinks which contain sugar.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle of exercise, meditation, and regular sleep
  • Eat at home to avoid contact with other people

It is important to note that Covid-19 does not see or treat everyone the same way. Malnourished people who have weaker immunity may be at higher risk of severe illness from the virus. Concurrently, poor metabolic health and chronic diseases including obesity and diabetes, have been associated with worse Covid-19 outcomes, including risk of hospitalization and death. Good nutrition and nutritional resilience are key elements of the body’s defense and society’s readiness to combat this global challenge. Focusing on nutritional well-being increases opportunities for creating synergies between public health and health determinants, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Optimal nutrition and dietary nutrient consumption impacts the immune system significantly;  consequently, strengthening the immune system provides a feasible and sustainable way to survive Covid-19 since it has no specific treatment. 

As always, BlessWorld foundation- like many non-profit organizations, continues to support her community in order to manage the virus and flatten the pandemic curve. Most recently is the 2020  Cradle2fame talent show aimed to empower the youth through healthy competitions to win prizes. These monetary prices can help these youths afford healthy nutritious food and  overcome the challenge of dood insecurity due to increased cost.

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