The role of nutrition in a pandemic
Once again, the world is gripped with fear as the battle against COVID-19 is seemingly nowhere near the end. Even as pharma companies are trying to outbid each other over the fastest production of an effective vaccine, new strains have been found, leading to doubts about the efficacy of currently available vaccine. Such is the nature of viruses. They mutate.
According to a review conducted by Alfredo Fernande-Quintela et al. in Key Aspects in Nutritional Management of COVID-19 patients, “Nutritional therapy appears as first-line treatment and should be implemented into standard practice. Optimal intake of all nutrients, mainly those playing crucial roles in immune system, should be assured through a diverse and well-balanced diet.”
Protein deficiency is likened to an impaired immune response. Intake of high biologic value protein from egg, fish, chicken, or lean meat can provide the essential amino acids the immune system requires to function. Plant proteins from soy, legumes, and vegetables can help nourish the body and have great potential in decreasing inflammation.
Intake of essential fatty acids like omega-3 from fatty fishes, soy seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and fish oil supplements may be useful to reduce the severity and even improve recovery of patients. These fatty acids prevent blood clotting (thrombosis) and also play a role in interfering with the replication of the virus. Manila Bulletin