The Nutrition Society of Nigeria has said that nutrition is key to flattening the curve of the pandemic and has urged Nigerians to do all within their power to eat right and give their bodies the chance to fight the coronavirus by boosting their immunity. In a statement signed by the president of the society, Dr. Bartholomew Brai, the society noted that nutrition support is a component of healthcare and should be included in the management of COVID-19 patients with attention on energy, protein and fluid balance maintenance.
Brai said: “Nutrition is critical for health and essential in strengthening the immune system, so people are advised to eat varieties of fresh foods such as roots, tubers, cereals, legumes, meat, poultry and fish; milk and milk products; fruits and vegetables (about one-third of food plate); nuts and seeds. In addition, hydration is vital, so an intake of about 6-8 cups of water daily is recommended.
“Furthermore, limit salt and sugar intake, choose healthy snacks over pastries and limit consumption of soft drinks, alcohol and spirits. Though transmission through food is not likely, proper food hygiene should be maintained. Hand-washing should be observed after returning home, and before preparing or eating food. Food items should be washed thoroughly under running water.
“Currently, there is no evidence on the efficacy of any dietary supplements or herbs in the prevention and management of COVID-19. Every suspected case should therefore be reported to the State Team for follow up and proper management,” he added.
The society also stated that there is no evidence of transmission of the coronavirus pandemic through breastfeeding and therefore urged women with nursing babies to practice exclusive breastfeeding, as the safest and most nutritious meal for infants aged 0-6 months, with continued breastfeeding up to the age of 24 months. Guardian