Since COVID-19 affects people with low immunity, it is essential at this time to take utmost care about our nutrition and hydration. Stronger immunity can fight various diseases and help you live a better and longer life. People who eat a well-balanced diet tend to be healthier with stronger immune systems and lower risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases.
Why is Good Nutrition & Hydration Important?
– Help people recover more quickly from illnesses.
– Inadequate nutrition and hydration can have a serious effect on our body.
– Poor nutrition leads to malnourishment, which often goes unrecognised and ill-treated.
– Kidney functioning – regulates fluid balance and removes waste products from the blood via urine
– Cognitive performance – dehydration can disrupt mood and concentration and can impair performance on tasks
– Physical performance – dehydration can result in reduced endurance and motivation, and increased fatigue and perceived effort
Signs of Inadequate Nutrition
· Unexplained fatigue – this is a common side effect of iron deficiency, which can lead to anaemia, indicated by low levels of red blood cells
· Brittle and dry hair
· Ridged or spoon-shaped nails
· Mouth problems
· Apathy or irritability
· Lack of appetite
Signs of Inadequate Hydration
· Dryness of the mouth, lips and tongue
· Sunken eyes
· Dry inelastic skin
· Drowsiness, confusion or disorientation
· Low blood pressure
Older people are especially at risk of becoming dehydrated, which could lead to other health issues. However, good hydration contributes to physical and mental good health. It helps the body to fight diseases and absorb nutrients and medication, as well as preventing dehydration.
Steps to Follow for Good Nutrition and Hydration
– Ideally, you should be drinking 6-8 cups of fluid every day. Choose well; water, sugar-free squash and milk are all good choices.
– Food can account for approximately 20% of your daily fluid intake, so opt for foods that naturally contain water, such as cucumbers and watermelons.
– Try to eat at least five portions of different types of fruit and vegetable a day.
– Cut down on saturated fat, sugar and salt. Eating too much salt, in particular, can raise blood pressure and lead to heart disease or a stroke.
– Be menu-savvy when eating out. Similarly, plan healthy eating while travelling if possible.
– Staying active is an important part of maintaining overall good health. Make sure you drink more water as your exercise, especially in warmer weather.
While proper nutrition and hydration helps in improving immunity, they are not magic beans. People with chronic illnesses who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 may need support with their mental health and diet to ensure they keep in good health. Seek counselling and psychosocial support from trained health care professionals at Regency Health.