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Proper nutrition and hydration are vital to be healthier with stronger immune systems that can in turn lower the risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases.
People who eat a well-balanced diet which includes a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods every day get the essential vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, protein, and antioxidants the body needs.
Here are a few Nutrition advice for adults to stay healthier during COVID:
Eat fresh and unprocessed foods every day
- Eat fruits, vegetables, legumes (e.g. lentils, beans), nuts and whole grains (e.g. unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat, brown rice or starchy tubers or roots such as potato, yam, taro or cassava), and foods from animal sources (e.g. meat, fish, eggs, and milk).
- Daily, eat 2 cups of fruit (4 servings), 2.5 cups of vegetables (5 servings), 180 g of grains, and 160 g of meat and beans (red meat can be eaten 1−2 times per week, and poultry 2−3 times per week).
- For snacks, choose raw vegetables and fresh fruit rather than foods that are high in sugar, fat or salt.
- Do not overcook vegetables and fruit as this can lead to the loss of important vitamins.
- When using canned or dried vegetables and fruit, choose varieties without added salt or sugar.
Drink enough water every day
- Drink 8–10 cups of water every day.
- Also consume other drinks, fruits, and vegetables that contain water, for example, lemon juice (diluted in water and unsweetened), tea, and coffee.
- But be careful not to consume too much caffeine, and avoid sweetened fruit juices, syrups, fruit juice concentrates, fizzy and still drinks as they all contain sugar.
Eat moderate amounts of fat and oil
- 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).
- Choose 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.
- Where possible, opt for low-fat or reduced-fat versions of milk and dairy products.
- Avoid industrially-produced trans fats. These are often found in processed food, fast food, snack food, fried food, frozen pizza, pies, cookies, margarines, and spreads.
Eat less salt and sugar
- When cooking and preparing food, limit the amount of salt and high-sodium condiments (e.g. soy sauce and fish sauce).
- Limit your daily salt intake to less than 5 g (approximately 1 teaspoon), and use iodized salt.
- Avoid foods (e.g. snacks) that are high in salt and sugar.
- Limit your intake of soft drinks or sodas and other drinks that are high in sugar (e.g. fruit juices, fruit juice concentrates and syrups, flavored milks, and yogurt drinks).
- Choose fresh fruits instead of sweet snacks such as cookies, cakes, and chocolate.
Avoid eating out
Eat at home to reduce your rate of contact with other people and lower your chance of being exposed to COVID-19.
Maintaining social distancing is not always possible in crowded social settings like restaurants and cafes increasing the risk of viral transmission.