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Fulfill These Nutrients to Prevent Coronavirus Transmission when New Normal

The notion of new normal is not the same as back to normal, this is because now we need to adapt to new habits related to the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, the new health protocol that is in our midst. The implementation of this health protocol and covering hygiene needs to be continuously implemented to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 or coronavirus. Not only that, of course, but another foundation is also needed to help us protect ourselves in the new normal era, namely through proper nutritional intake. Let's find out more about the nutrients that need to be fulfilled to prevent COVID-19!

Nutrition that must be fulfilled to prevent COVID-19

Even though currently the government has allowed activities outside the home, it does not mean that we are free to do anything with a sense of security. Still need to be vigilant and not let your guard down, because the virus may still be around us.

To be able to coexist with the virus without contracting it, the body needs to be assisted by the fulfillment of good nutrition to support our immune system. Based on research from the American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal And Liver Physiology, about 70-80 percent of the body's immunity is affected by the health of the digestive tract. If the digestive tract is healthy, this will certainly have a good effect on endurance.

The World Health Organization or WHO still recommends a balanced nutritional diet amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that each diet must include complete nutrition, be it macronutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, fat, and micronutrients from vitamins and minerals.

However, to build a strong immune foundation ( building block ), we need to focus on protein intake.

Many people think that they should increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables as much as possible, and drink high doses of vitamin C, so they avoid disease. This is not quite right, because the most important thing is that our bodies get a balanced nutritional intake first. You can also increase your protein intake to increase endurance.

There is also an assumption that a full stomach is enough to make the body strong by eating lots of rice, simple side dishes, chili sauce, and crackers. This mindset should be changed, not " the important thing is full ", but by paying attention to the composition of the nutrients consumed through food.

Currently, nutrition plays an important role in preventing the risk of transmission of COVID-19. We need to increase the number of side dishes that contain protein. The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia recommends the guidelines for " Fill My Plate " by dividing the plate into three parts, namely 1/3 carbohydrates, 1/3 vegetables, 1/3 side dishes, and fruits.

Include a variety of protein in every meal menu, for example:

  • Animal protein: Meat, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, or dairy products
  • Vegetable protein: Tempeh, tofu, any kind of nuts, or seeds
  • Animal and vegetable proteins complement each other in forming the body's immune system, thereby helping to protect the body from infection and disease.

Especially for those who are physically active in the new normal period, it is very important to maintain daily nutritional intake.

To help maintain nutritional fulfillment, you can also drink liquid foods that are equipped with balanced nutrition. This liquid food is very practical for consumption, especially for those of us who are already active outside the home and want to ensure that their nutritional needs are met, balanced, and complete.

Ready-to-drink liquid food is also easier to serve, especially when doing activities outside the home because it does not require cutlery that needs to be sterilized. Besides that, the hygiene of liquid food is also maintained, because it is packaged in bottles and opened only when it is about to be consumed.

However, the main thing is to still complete the daily menu with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Because the three of them also have the potential to increase the immune system ( immune booster ).

The work of the immune system in the digestive system

There are various cells that play a role in the immune system in the body, ranging from lymphocytes, T cells, natural killer cells, and others. There are many organs that also play an important role in the formation of the immune system, such as the thymus gland, spinal cord, including the digestive tract.

All of them work together and play an important role in producing immune system cells. Like a war against a virus, the body has many pawns with their respective roles.

Regarding the immune and digestive systems, we also need to know the ins and outs. The digestive tract starts from the mouth to the anus. Each organ has its own and inseparable role.

The intestine as an organ of the digestive system plays a major role in the immune system. The intestine has walls filled with villi or fine fibers, like the surface of a towel. Between the villi, there is mucus or mucus which is part of the body's defense system mechanism as well.

The villi become a habitat for good bacteria called normal intestinal microflora or probiotics. Good bacteria work and support the immune system against viruses or bad bacteria. When good bacteria play an optimal role, of course, it has an impact on a good immune system. Vice versa, if the bacteria indigestion is not optimal, the immune system can decline.

Digestive health needs to be maintained through the intake of probiotics from fermented foods. For example, tempeh, kimchi, miso, tape, yogurt, and others. All of these foods can increase the number of good bacteria in the intestines. Foods containing probiotics are needed so that these good bacteria can support the immune system in a new normal situation.

The addition of immune nutrients when sick in the new normal

Decreased body resistance makes a person easily infected with diseases. When infected, the body's metabolism increases, so the body needs more calories. In order for the body's recovery process to run optimally, you can also consume liquid foods that are designed with special and complete nutritional additions.

To increase the body's immune response (immunostimulants), it can be obtained from consuming liquid foods that are enriched with Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or omega-3 fatty acids obtained from fish oil. According to the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, And Essential Fatty Acids, consumption of liquid foods can help activate antibodies and kill infection-causing cells. EPA consumption aids the body's recovery in fighting infection.

In addition, when you have no appetite, adding nutrients through liquid food can help supply calories. When you have enough calories, of course, it helps your body fight disease.

Don't forget to prioritize balanced nutrition in addition to increasing liquid food intake. These calories and various nutrients are needed by the body in the healing process.

Other things that can be done to support endurance

In addition to consuming essential nutrients to prevent the risk of contracting COVID-19, don't forget to always apply health protocols. Mainly by paying attention to clean living behavior. Wash hands with running water and soap.

Don't forget when going out of the house, keep wearing a mask, keep your distance, avoid crowds, and do physical distancing. All of these are important, but the body will be strengthened even more when we nourish the body with the right intake.

Not only that, but you can also do other practical tips to increase your immune system to ward off COVID-19.

1. Eat foods with complete and balanced nutrition

Always remember to eat a balanced nutritious diet with a range of macronutrients and micronutrients, so that the body always gets optimal nutrition. Apart from following the Fill My Plate guidelines, don't forget to make the contents of your plate colorful with a variety of vegetables and fruits. Try to eat a different menu at every mealtime. The variety of nutrients that enter the body can complement one another. You can also add protein to your diet to build your body's defenses and minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection.

The fulfillment of nutrition is still necessary even if we are in good health or illness. If you are sick and your appetite decreases, you can also eat fortified liquid foods with complete and balanced nutrition.

2. Bask

In addition to nutrition to strengthen your immune system to prevent COVID-19 infection, you can also bask in the sun to support your health. Just 30 minutes of sunbathing every morning.

Sunlight can help with vitamin D activation and calcium absorption to support bone and hormone formation. Vitamin D works holistically or thoroughly (does not work specifically) in the body, including supporting the work of organs that produce immune cells to ward off disease.

3. Sports

Exercise at low or moderate intensity. For example, walking, jogging, cycling, or yoga. Maintaining physical activity for at least 30 minutes every day can support your immune system to work optimally. You can also work out in the garage and let the sunshine on you in the morning. Thus, the body can benefit two at once, intake of vitamin D from the sun and from physical activity.

4. Stay happy 

Mental health is still important to maintain. Despite this indirect connection to the immune system, it's important to make yourself happy. When we are stressed and depressed, immunity can decrease and affect our health.

So that, make yourself happier. For example, keep chatting with family or close friends, turning off social media to stay away from hoaxes or news that might impact our emotions, listening to favorite music, or doing hobbies.

Getting enough sleep also helps relieve stress. Maintain the time and quality of sleep, so that damaged body cells can recover, so that immunity is well maintained in fighting disease infections.

Come on, take care, and take care of our bodies in the midst of a new normal. Pay attention to various important nutritional intake, follow health protocols, and other tips to support the body's immunity as a bulwark for personal health.