Health experts reveal what diet to follow during Covid-19 third wave to be fit
Nutritionist and fitness experts suggest we make these healthy changes in our diet, gradually, to boost immunity and prepare us for fighting any illnesses or diseases that may arise during Covid-19 third wave
An increasing speculation on the possibility of a future third wave of Covid-19 infection is no secret and its plausibility is posing a burden on the healthcare system. A study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research revealed that a new variant that is more transmissible and at the same time capable of escaping prior immunity could be responsible for a third wave of coronavirus but it seems unlikely to be as severe as the second Covid-19 wave.
With short term immunity and wellness goals going for a toss, health experts assert that one needs to train the body and mind to crave healthy food especially with the third wave knocking our door steps which makes it really important to incorporate the right kind of food and follow healthy habits. Miten Kakaiya, fitness coach and founder of Miten Says Fitness along with Karan Sethi Chopra, Certified Personal Trainer and Founder of The Iron Hub Gym and Preety Tyagi, Lead Health Coach, Nutritionist and Founder of MY22BMI spill the beans on what diet to follow to be fit during the Covid-19 third wave and the healthy changes to make gradually in our diet to prepare us for fighting any illnesses or diseases that may arise in the future.
The trio stressed that since Covid-19 is widespread now with other more contagious variants, the best diet to follow during the pandemic's third phase will be a diet that can keep us healthy from within and boost our immunity at the same time. This is because the higher a person’s immunity, greater remains their chances to prevent and fight any ailments or infections that can be present in the environment.
1. Consume 4-6 meals a day. Try to keep them evenly spread out through the day for optimum nutrition benefits. This will cause fewer hunger pangs and save you from overeating, resulting in better digestion.
2. Make sure that your lunch and dinner are high in protein. Protein plays an important role in powering your immune system hence, it is a crucial macronutrient to include in your diet. Aim for 60-75g of protein per day. Foods like mushrooms, broccoli, tofu, soya, chicken, eggs and fish contains high protein. It helps to significantly boost metabolism and increase the number of calories you burn. This can amount to 80–100 or more calories burned each day.
3. Make sure to stick to whole foods, meats and eggs. Avoid consuming any over-processed, packaged or ready-to-eat foods as they hardly have any nutritional value. Add varieties of vegetables in different colours to your plate. You should include yogurt alongside your meal as well.
4. It is a good idea to switch your oil with ghee. However, remember to not go overboard with the same. Consume food with less oil and spices. To keep inflammation in control, avoid oily food. For better results, it’s always good to steam the vegetable or go for food that has been cooked with a minimum quantity of sunflower or groundnut oil and medium to low spices. Include cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander, pepper more often.
5. Try to include healthy fats and omega 3 in your diet. These can come from foods like walnuts, almonds, avocados, flax seeds, fatty fish, etc.
6. Focus on whole food and avoid sugar and extra salt. Whole foods – fruits such as apple, orange, pineapple, watermelon, berries; veggies like bell peppers, broccoli, peas, carrot, baby corn; nuts, legumes, seeds are all rich in nutrients that aid your body’s immune system and are low in sugar and fat. It’s always healthy to include a fruit and a bowl full of these steamed veggies with a pinch of salt and pepper in your daily diet.
7. Stay hydrated. Water is an essential part of our body. It helps you detoxify. With the winter season here, a lot of us will make the mistake of drinking less water but drinking at least 8-10 glass of water each day leads to better portion control and improved weight loss results. Drinking a glass of water an hour before a meal aids in digestion and boosts metabolism.
8. Give special importance to probiotics in diet. Include foods such as yogurts, curds and fermented foods such as kanji, idli, fermented vegetables, pickles, fermented beans, kombucha, kefir etc. in your diet. Such foods provide a colony of good bacteria to your gut hence, helps in maintaining the balance in the gut microbiome.
9. Give up on refined flours such as white flour or over processed plain wheat flour and adopt whole grain flour and other grains such as millets, corn, barley, oats, quinoa etc in your diet. Go for brown rice or wild rice instead of processed white rice in daily diet. These processed flours and rice can be had once in a while but nothing everyday in every meal.
10. Keep a variety of heathy grains in your diet. This will ensure a healthy digestive system and will help in your overall health.
11. A diet that is rich in immunity boosting vitamins, minerals and herbs must be adopted. Vitamin C, Zinc, Iron, calcium are all a essential in boosting your immune system. Go for a diet rich in citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, beta carotene, dairy products and that will ensure the intake of essential nutrients during these difficult times. Do take the support of healthy herbs and spices that help in boosting our immune system. Herbs such as tulsi, ashwagandha, amalaki, Triphala are all beneficial during these times. Also, turmeric which is sourced naturally, can work wonders in keeping your immune system boosted. Include all these in your daily diet and see the difference.
Remember, providing your body with essential nutrients is extremely important during the third wave. You may go for nicely sourced dietary supplements to give yourself a boost. A good and easy way to incorporate all these in your diet is to make one of your meals including lots of fruits, green veggies, nuts and seeds while the other snack can be rich in protein or carbohydrates. Stick to eating healthy foods and making healthier choices to build a healthy and fit body.