Experts bet on adequate nutrition to fight COVID-19

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The expert panel was holding discussions at the second edition of the series themed – Building Immunity Through Nutritious Food During Covid-19

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), one of the apex trade associations of India concluded the second edition of the ‘Illness to Wellness’ series themed ‘Building immunity through nutritious food during COVID-19’ with Dr. Shikha Sharma, founder and managing director of Dr. Shikha’s NutriHealth, being invited to be the cardinal speaker and Sangeeta Narayan, nutrition educator and wellness consultant, acting as the moderator.

Supported by the hygiene brand SAVLON, the programme which promotes healthy living with focus on wellness and preventive health through healthy habits, diet, exercise, and holistic health saw the speakers stress on the importance of nutrition in the battle against COVID-19. 

Highlighting the need for inclusion of vitamins and minerals in our diet through nutritious food, Dr. Shikha Sharma said, “There are several foods which are rich in natural minerals and nutrients but we destroy their nutritional value in the course of our cooking and consumption practices. An example is wheat which in its original form is dalia, it has important minerals like phosphorus but in our strange wisdom we powder it into a refined maida which is nothing but starch and increases weight and risk of diabetes.” She then went on to name traditional food items like barley, channa, sattu, seeds — pumpkin, sunflower, chia and flax along with others that can be included in diets for a nutrition boost across all age groups.

Anil Rajput, Chairman, ASSOCHAM CSR Council, weighing in on the economic and personal effect of coronavirus said, “COVID-19 has had de-stabilizing effect on almost all walks of life for almost 5 months now. Right now, from nations to societies to economies to health of individuals, it has been an extremely stressful period for all. It has forced on us an unprecedented situation. One has taken quite a bit of time for us to understand the magnitude and painful reality of how slow the recovery is likely to be. It is the individual who has been at the centre of all-round anxiety and insecurity be at economic or personal health front level.”

Sangeeta Narayan commenting on mental health and importance of a proper diet said, “Stress plays a very important part in mental health considering the current times. With everything changing, we have to be adaptive. The first and foremost thing is to have a proper 6-8 hour sleep, plan your day in advance, doing all the chores can be overwhelming so allocate tasks for each day whether living with a family or alone. Add fruits or food items rich in Vitamin C, they act as a stress buster and immunity booster. Having proper meals is important especially a nutritious and nourishing breakfast. Exercising plays a very important role in managing stress and keeping mind clear.”

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