There is no doubt that the global coronavirus pandemic is affecting all aspects of our lives. Restrictions imposed to combat their spread include closing classrooms, telecommuting, limited hours, and quarantines.
It is unclear how long these preventive measures will need to be maintained, but it presents a perfect time to protect and improve our health while practicing social distancing.
Stimulate the immune system
Although containment measures represent a strategy aimed at preventing contagion, there is one aspect that should not be neglected: keeping our immune systems in optimal conditions, for which having a healthy diet is especially important.
In this regard, a trio of academics from the universities of London, Sussex and Cardiff, urged the authorities to launch a campaign of massive public messages that promote how a healthy diet can stimulate the immune system to cope with coronavirus infection. .
Nutritional specialists have addressed the highest authorities of the British Ministry for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Public Health Service of England, urging that healthy eating be given a importance similar to that given to social distancing in the fight against the coronavirus.
Experts warn that authorities have given too many decisions about food controls, supplies and prices to major retailers. Instead, scholars suggest, the government should take responsibility for ensuring that foods of higher nutritional and immunological value are available to all, and particularly to the most vulnerable.
Suggestions and recommendations
Previously, this same team warned that the government should make preparations for rationing, the supply of fresh fruits and vegetables in the United Kingdom, since these foods can become scarce, given the devastating impact that the global coronavirus pandemic has had on the main suppliers of these products.
Specifically, experts recommend that authorities issue clear health and nutrition councils for the public and the food industry. They also plan to establish a new advisory system to coordinate public and communication policies, in order to spread clear messages about how healthy eating improves the immune response to COVID-19.
In addition, the specialists suggest creating new local food liaison committees to take advantage of civil society initiatives and local knowledge, and offer more systematic care to economically and medically at-risk groups, who need help to access food healthy and affordable.
Finally, experts say, good nutrition is crucial to health, particularly at times when the immune system may need to defend itself. Limited access to fresh food can compromise opportunities to continue eating a healthy and varied diet, and can also lead to increased consumption of highly processed foods, which tend to be high in fat, sugars and salt.
Reference: Healthy eating as important as social distancing in fight against COVID-19, experts warn Government. University of Sussex, 2020. https://www.sussex.ac.uk/news/all?id=51670