It is no news anymore that our world has been overtaken by a very voracious virus with yet unidentified remedy. Farmtrybe has been updating the world with its toll on the agricultural sector and on some selected entrepreneurs and some selected agribusinesses. These are reads that are really updating, informative, and interesting.
Do you know that as of May 23, more than 341,000 people worldwide have died of COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus? And that the world may have to adapt to living with the virus present, making it the survival of the fittest? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, and heart diseases) appear to be vulnerable to become severely ill with the virus. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads rapidly across the globe, it is important to take note of the approaches that can help prevent and fight infections, particularly viral infections. Evidence already suggests that viral infections are one of the world’s greatest public health challenges (WHO, 2020). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates seasonal influenza results in 3-5 million cases annually. As we understand that hygiene and social distancing play a key role in protecting yourself and others from contracting a virus while also slowing the spread of infections, good nutrition can also help reduce your risk to infections.
Unfortunately, the advent of the coronavirus has led to the shutdown of several economies and several economic activities. This has hampered the circular flow of money in most countries. In fact, the poor have become a lot poorer so much that the most basic need of man_food, has been unaffordable to many. Since people have not been working due to the lockdown, it follows that they have not being receiving any wages nor salaries and this cripples their purchasing power thereby affecting their feeding and nutrition.
Another side of the multi-faceted saga is that the production of food has been greatly reduced due to the same lockdown. This means that freshly harvested vegetables, fruits etc. are become only imaginations. Whatever food items in circulation now are those that must have been in storage for a while, which obviously, are not as nutritious as their fresh counterparts.
Asides the case of insufficient money in circulation and that of hampered food production resulting in the unavailability of fresh food items, the forces of demand and supply have also resulted in skyrocketing prices of different food items. In fact, from my locale here, almost every food item has doubled its price. This is simply because food though being in short supply is a necessity of life. So, while supply has declined drastically, there’s is no counterbalancing response from demand hence price goes snowboarding. This is sad, but it’s the current situation. All of these have finally resulted in the inability to purchase good quality food in the needed quantities to many.
Good nutrition is fundamental to improving immunity. The immune system is the body’s defense against disease and infection and it has long been established that several factors influence the function of the immune system including stress, sleep, and nutrition. WHO guidance on diet, especially during the current pandemic states that “good nutrition is crucial for health; particularly in times when the immune system might need to fight back”. Good, healthy, and balanced foods intake especially in terms of adequate vitamin, mineral, and protein intakes, enhances the resistance against infections. A study on the role of vitamin A in the treatment of measles in children found a reduced risk of mortality and pneumonia when vitamin A was administered over two days (D’Souza and D’Souza, 2002). The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that “Without adequate nutrition, the immune system is clearly deprived of the components needed to generate an effective immune response” (Marcos et al, 2003).
The phrase: ‘you are what you eat’ is not new as it even supports the Sustainable Development Goal 2- End Hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture whose aim is to ensure that everyone, everywhere has enough good-quality food to lead a healthy life. Like any fighting force, the immune system thrives on its source; foods in the stomach. Healthy immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment. Though no one food or supplement can help support the immune system, including different nutrients in the overall eating on a regular basis can help build the immune system. Though no one food or supplement can help support the immune system, including different nutrients in the overall eating on a regular basis can help build the immune system.
With so many people falling ill from the coronavirus (COVID-19), unhealthy diets are also contributing to pre-existing conditions that put them more at risk. And in much of the world, the illness also means loss of income. How then can we imbibe healthy ways to strengthen the immune system?
Eating more whole plant foods like vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes which are usually rich in antioxidants helps fight against harmful pathogens. Furthermore, fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients like Vitamin C, which may reduce the duration of the common cold.
Eating fermented foods which helps populate the digestive tract with beneficial bacteria called probiotics helps build the immune system.. These foods include milk and yoghurt.
Staying hydrated prevents dehydration which can make one susceptible to illness. Drink as much as plenty water you can drink everyday.
Taking supplement wisely- According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), there’s no evidence supporting the use of any supplement to prevent or treat COVID-19. However, some studies indicate that a few supplements may strengthen the body’s general immune responses.
Managing stress levels is also key to immune health. Activities like exercise, journaling, yoga and other mindfulness practices can help manage stress levels. The pandemic is stress on its own; it’s advisable to be stress-free in other areas.
Getting adequate rest may strengthen the body’s natural immunity. Sleep and immunity are closely tied. In fact, inadequate or poor quality sleep is linked to a higher susceptibility to sickness. Most adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep.
The recent happenings in the world have brought about several adaptive measures is what is paramount now, how each individual can survive while the health workers still try to get a vaccine so we can be all free. Protective measures like using the nose masks, gloves when needed, and avoidance of crowded places, as well as taking foods that would, in the long run, strengthen our immune system. The fight now is to build strong immunity to this disease in any way possible and this is encouraged with good nutrition. Eat Well, Stay safe.