In all of the medical and precautionary issues related to COVID-19 one of the areas that is equally important to our health is our nutrition. Personally, for me, my appetite and weight increased due to how I was eating during the time of isolation. I think we were so focused on the stress of the pandemic that we were eating for comfort and stress relief. I am stunned at the lack of COVID-19 nutritional guidelines available for the public. It appears to be secondary to the impact of the virus but in reality, we may be missing a significant part of preventing a more serious impact of the pandemic by how we take care of our health through nutrition.
In a recent article in MBG Food, Senior Health Editor Kristine Thomason surfaces the need for good overall nutrition and adjustments that we can make to help us cope with this horrific pandemic. As we settle into the current COVID-19 trends I think it is vital that we all address our overall health which is usually very connected to our nutrition.
Here are some quotes from this article:
By now, you’re very familiar with the daily COVID-prevention checklist: Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, wear your mask in public, and socially distance from others. And repeat. Each of these precautions aligns with guidelines the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, to help mitigate viral transmission.
What the CDC (or any of the powers that be, for that matter) doesn’t address quite so clearly—much to many experts’ dismay—is the fact that nutrition is also a nonnegotiable in the fight against COVID-19.
As for the CDC guidelines, there is a mention tucked into their “Food and Coronavirus” guidelines, where they advise: Reduce pandemic-related stress through good nutrition; incorporate vitamins C and D, plus zinc, into your diet for possible immune system support; read labels on any canned foods you buy, and seek out the healthiest options; and prioritize fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. They also point toward resources at the USDA Nutrition Assistance Program if you need help securing nutritious foods.
Of course, all that information is important and useful—as are the other COVID-19 guidelines the CDC has laid out. But, unfortunately, there’s not a single mention of nutrition as a preventive measure—it’s entirely left out of the conversation on their “Prevent Getting Sick” section. The way mbg sees it, leaving nutrition as a side note is a huge miss. After all, we’ve had nutrition top of mind since day one of the pandemic—whether it’s featuring an immunologist’s COVID dietary advice or discussing top immune-supporting nutrients with a longevity expert.
She then goes on to cite the outspoken Dr. David Katz and the essential role he believes nutrition holds in helping us all prevent sickness and/or mitigate the impact of COVID-19 using health foods, necessary vitamins and supplements such as vitamin C, D, and zinc. As much as we work on masks, distancing and other precautions we should equally be considering nutritional support to enhance our overall health and build our immune systems.
I appreciate the emphasis in this article and would like to highlight needed attention to protecting our health during this pandemic. I hope it will be a catalyst for you as well as you strive to protect youself and your family during this difficult and fearful time in our country as we find ways to overcome COVID-19.