Aug - 2020
As the coronavirus has spread rapidly across the globe, it is important to take note of the approaches that can help prevent and fight infections, particularly viral infections. Evidence suggests that viral infections are one of the world’s greatest public health challenges. Today, we understand that opting for a healthy lifestyle; practicing good hygiene & social distancing play a key role in protecting ourselves and others from contracting the virus and slowing the spread.
Incorporating Nutrition for Optimal Immune Function
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 like stress, sleep and nutrition influence immune function.
The WHO states “good nutrition is crucial for health, particularly in times when the immune system might need to fight back.” Providing a diet high in nutritious foods rich in vitamins and minerals supports optimal function of the immune system by providing antioxidants to slow damage of cells caused by free radicals or assisting in T-cell production.
Marginal deficiencies in certain nutrients have shown impairment in the immune system’s defense action. Micronutrients are believed to work collectively to support an optimum immune system. The Indian diet particularly has a lower intake of Vitamin C & zinc which are optimal for a strong immune system. According to the ‘Dietary Guidelines for Indians’ published by the Indian Council of Medical Research, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of Vitamin C is 40mg/day and for zinc is 12mg/day. However, due to low consumption of Vitamin C & zinc, nutritional supplements offer a reliable solution to boost the immune system’s defense.