Good nutrition and proper hydration are essential. People who eat a well-balanced diet tend to be healthier with a stronger immune system and a less risk of chronic diseases and infectious diseases. You should therefore eat a variety of fresh, unprocessed foods each day to get the vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, protein, and antioxidants your body needs. Drink enough water. Avoid sugar, fats, and salt to dramatically lower your risk of overweight, obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Eat fresh, unprocessed foods every day
- Eat fruits, vegetables, legumes (e.g. lentils, beans), nuts, and whole grains (e.g. unprocessed corn, millet, oats, wheat, brown rice, or tubers or starchy roots such as potato, yam, taro or cassava) and foods of animal origin. sources (eg meat, fish, eggs and milk).
- Daily eat: 2 cups of fruit (4 servings), 2.5 cups of vegetables (5 servings), 160 g of beans and meat (poultry 2-3 times a week and red meat can be eaten 1-2 times a week) and 180 g of cereals.
- For snacks, choose fresh fruits and raw vegetables rather than foods high in fat, salt, or sugar.
- Do not overcook fruits and vegetables as this can lead to the loss of essential vitamins.
- When using canned or dried vegetables and fruit, choose varieties with no added salt or sugar.
Drink enough water every day
- Water is essential to life. It carries nutrients and compounds in the blood, regulates your body temperature, removes waste, lubricates and cushions the joints.
- Every day, drink 8 to 10 cups of water.
- Water is the best choice, but you can also consume other drinks, fruits and vegetables that contain water, for example lemon juice (diluted in water and unsweetened), tea and sugar. Coffee. But be careful not to consume too much caffeine, and avoid sugary fruit juices, syrups, fruit juice concentrates, sodas and stills as they all contain sugar.
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Eat moderate amounts of fat and oil
- Consume unsaturated fats (for example found in fish, avocado, nut, olive oil, soybean, canola, sunflower and corn oils) rather than saturated fats (for example found in fatty meat, butter, coconut oil, cream, cheese, ghee and lard).
- Choose white meat (poultry for example) and fish, which are generally low in fat, rather than red meat.
- Avoid processed meats as they are rich in fat and salt.
- Whenever possible, opt for low-fat or low-fat versions of milk and dairy products.
- Avoid industrially produced trans fats. They are often found in processed foods, fast food, snacks, fried foods, frozen pizzas, pies, cookies, margarines, and spreads.
Eat less salt and sugar
- When cooking and preparing food, limit the amount of salt and high sodium condiments (for example, fish sauce and soy sauce).
- Limit your daily salt intake to less than 5g (about 1 teaspoon) and use iodized salt.
- Avoid foods (eg snacks) high in salt and sugar.
- Limit your intake of soft drinks or sodas and other drinks high in sugar (for example, fruit juices, fruit juice concentrates and syrups, flavored milks, and yoghurt drinks).
- Choose fresh fruit over sugary snacks like cakes, chocolate and cookies.
Avoid eating out
Eat at home to reduce your contact with other people and also to reduce your chances of being exposed to COVID-19. We recommend that you maintain a distance of at least 1 meter between yourself and anyone who coughs or sneezes. This is not always possible in crowded social environments like restaurants and cafes. Droplets from infected people can land on the surfaces and hands of people (for example, customers and staff), and with a lot of people coming and going, you can’t tell if the hands are washed regularly enough and if surfaces are cleaned and disinfected fairly quickly.
Psychosocial counseling and support
While proper nutrition and hydration improve health and immunity, they are not quick fixes. People living with chronic illnesses who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 may need mental health and nutritional support to make sure they stay healthy. Seek counseling and psychosocial support from trained health professionals, as well as lay and peer community counselors.