March 9, 2021

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Health & Fitness

National Nutrition Week: Here are some nutrition tips to keep you healthy, according to experts

  • The World Health Organisation advises people to eat a range of fruits and unprocessed foods every day to get sufficient vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, protein and antioxidants.
  • Business Insider India reached out to dietitians, and nutrition experts to get some nutrition advice.
  • Check out the latest news and updates on Business Insider.

The coronavirus pandemic has turned our life upside down. With the lockdown affecting day to day activities, and curbs on social activities, people are finding newer ways to cope with the stress. While it has given rise to a whole section of people turning health and fitness conscious, the others continue to binge eat and binge watch shows. While we get through the pandemic, we must focus on nutrition as the need for a healthy body is now more than ever.

According to Minal Shah, Senior Nutrition Therapist at Fortis Hospital Mulund intake of protein, micronutrient (Vitamin D), Vitamin C, anti-inflammatory, and water are amongst the most important things people should keep in mind to keep their nutrition level at par.

Shah also suggests preferring fresh juices and meals over processed ones, especially for Vitamin C. Moreover, consuming at least 100 ml of water every hour will help people flush the toxins out of their body.

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The World Health Organisation advises people to eat a range of fruits and unprocessed foods every day to get sufficient vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, protein and antioxidants required in our body. WHO further suggests people keep themselves hydrated. Apart from this people
should also avoid sugar, fat and salt “to significantly lower risk of overweight, obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain types of cancer.”

Business Insider India reached out to dietitians, and nutrition experts to get some nutrition advice —

Exploring a plant-based diet

According to dietitians, people should put in extra emphasis on the food they eat.

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“In the times of coronavirus pandemic, moving to a plant-based diet is an intelligent move because it is a powerful way to live longer, help the environment, and reduce our risk of getting sick. Therefore, a diet plays a crucial role in maintaining your overall wellbeing and nutrition especially when we are fighting with COVID-19 pandemic,” said Neha Pathania, Chief- Dietitian, Paras Hospital Gurugram.

A plant-based diet involves minimally processed vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, herbs, spices and does not contain any animal product including red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.

Pathania says a plant-based diet also helps in lowering down the body mass index (BMI), cholesterol levels and a reduced incidence of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even protection from some cancers including prostate and breast cancer

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Avoid ready-to-eat and focus on fresh home-cooked food
Another nutrition tip from dietitians is to eat fresh, home-made food, as much as possible.

“We should focus more on fresh, home-cooked food and avoid ready-to-eat food as much as we can because they have additives and preservatives to prolong shelf life. Read the labels carefully before purchasing any such product and do not consume beyond expiry or ‘best before’ date. Eating fresh-cooked with less spice, oil or fat also helps in avoiding intake of harmful components such as saturated fats and extra salt or sugar. says, Shalini Garwin Bliss, HOD- Dietitian, Columbia Asia Hospital

WHO too recommends eating at home so as to reduce the rate of contact with other people during COVID-19 times.

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No saturated fats, trans fats

People should reduce their intake for saturated fats, trans fats, salt and sugar.

“Regular intake of saturated and trans fats, salt and sugar not only increases the risk of non-communicable diseases but also slows down the process of conceiving. Binging on junk food increases your body’s weight. Problems with your weight can lead to fertility problems. Therefore, it’s essential that we take food which is full of nutrients and can boost our sexual health. A balanced and nutritious diet one should consider to get rid of the infertility issues,” said Dr Aswati Nair, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF, New Delhi.

Keep yourself hydrated
Experts suggest at least 8-10 cups of water every day.

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“Water is essential for life. It transports nutrients and compounds in blood, regulates your body temperature, gets rid of waste, and lubricates and cushions joints.Water is the best choice, but you can also consume other drinks, fruits and vegetables that contain water, for example, lemon juice (diluted in water and unsweetened), tea and coffee. But be careful not to consume too much caffeine, and avoid sweetened fruit juices, syrups, fruit juice concentrates, fizzy and still drinks as they all contain sugar,
WHO wrote.

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