By Sana C P :
While we continue to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our social lifestyle, most of us may not be paying appropriate attention to a more important matter, our physical well-being. Although everyone’s aware that building immunity is the key to ward off viruses like the COVID-19, the factors influencing it remain clouded due to mis-information and hearsay. If we were to single out the most important of all the contributing factors, the diet we follow would take the top spot amongst all. What we eat, eventually, determines how our body resists and fights viruses and diseases alike.
Despite its importance in maintaining a healthy immune system, few of us are aware of the minute alterations needed to achieve the right balance in our diet. This is largely due to the fact that most Indians continue to rely on ‘home-remedies’ or on ‘super-foods’ to boost our health, or atleast the notion of it. In reality, one needs to consult a nutritionist to devise a diet plan that includes the right mix of nutrition, customised to deliver the effects we desire.
This applies to even those suffering from co-morbidities like hypertension and diabetes and can accelerate the recovery process if the right advice is practiced. Apart from the issue of awareness, most Indians do not seek for professional advice citing the cost of a ‘specialised’ diet and the consultation charges of visiting a nutritionist. Additionally, the benefits of the right nutritional diet depend largely on the discipline maintained in following the same. For both these reasons, its imperative that one consults a nutritionist well-experienced in dealing with both mental and physical wellness. When calculated, the cost of seeking and following the right diet is far lower than the expenses incurred in seeking hospitalized treatment.
Some shining examples of how the right advice can hugely benefit patients can be seen in hospitals treating COVID-19 patients across the country. The doctors and nutritionists treating and rehabilitating thousands of COVID-19 patients are relying not just on medicinal treatment, but also dietary modifications to promote better physical and mental health. The experience gained by these professionals can be sought through a simple appointment and can help an individual immensely in tweaking his/her diet to achieve the best physical and mental health, which is of paramount importance today. It would only be fair to say that the best mantra for a healthy life is that we must eat right, bite by bite! (The author is a Dietician, Kalsekar Hospital)