As the coronavirus situation intensifies, people are concerned about how to stay healthy.
While there is still no cure found for Covid-19, there are are ways to keep immune system functioning optimally, which can help people stay healthy and give them a sense of control in this uncertain time.
Proper handwashing practices, maintaining good nutrition, being physically active, meditating and managing stress, and getting adequate sleep are the keys to boost the immune system.
World Health Organisation's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "Eat a healthy and nutritious diet, which helps your immune system function properly."
Filling up the plate with immune-boosting nutrients is one of the best ways to stay healthy because the immune system relies on a steady supply of nutrients to do its job, nutrition consultant Farzana Ahmed told The Daily Star yesterday.
She said loading up on immune-boosting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants with plates full of vegetables and fruits is the effective way to boost the immune system.
The human body is made of about 75 percent water and the usual recommendation is eight glasses of water per day for an adult.
"As we are less active during such situations, and may not feel as thirsty, it is important to keep hydrated properly and, in that case, we should avoid cold water. We should avoid ice cream. It is better to drink lukewarm water and gargle with that," Farzana said.
The nutritionist suggested that the plate should be colourful with green vegetables and fruits, adding that people should consume vitamin C, D, iron, along with other vitamins regularly.
"All types of vegetables, including carrots, pumpkins, green chili should be on the plate. Oranges, apples, papaya, pineapple, malta, lemon, sour fruits are rich sources of vitamin C. So people should consume those as much as they can to boost the immune system," Farzana said.
She also suggested that one must also consume milk and other such dairy products, regularly as those are the best sources of vitamin D.
Bananas, watermelon and apples are good sources of iron, which also helps strengthen the immune system, she said.
Farzana said that it is better to avoid processed food as these are bad for the human body and foods that are oily or deep fried also hinders the regular activities of the immune system.
"One must eat protein rich foods like meat, fish and eggs regularly," she added.
As people around the world are being forced to stay at home to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, Farzana, who is a dietician by profession, suggested that people have to be physically active through free hand exercises, walking on treadmills and if the house is spacious then walking around the house.