Updated: Apr 19, 2020
It has been a few months into the pandemic of COVID-19 and the progression of the virus doesn't seem to be stopping. We are encouraged to continue social distancing practices and stay home. So, we want to take this time to remind you that proper nutrition is still important! There is a lot of great resources developed by reputable associations and we've compiled them for you below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is nutrition important? You cannot "boost" your immune system through diet and you wouldn't not want that to happen either as that indicates inflammation as your body is working harder to fight off any illnesses or disease. Instead, a balanced healthy diet can help support normal functioning of the immune system.
Does taking nutrition supplements help support my immune system and prevent from catching COVID-19?
There is no known cures for COVID-19, including no single food, supplement or natural health product that will prevent you from catching COVID-19. Improper uses of nutrition supplements may be dangerous and potentially life threatening, always consult with a health professional. Taking supplements will not "boost" your immune system. However, it may be beneficial for individuals who are deficient in certain vitamin and minerals. Overall, we encourage you to eat a wide variety of foods and a healthy balanced diet, which is the best way to get all the nutrients your body needs. Read our blog post discussing if you need nutrition supplements.
How about Vitamin D supplements? We recently wrote a blog post regarding this and whether you need it - read it here.
Do i need to wash my fruits and vegetables with soap? There is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread through eating or touching raw fruits or vegetables. When preparing fresh fruits and vegetables, wash or scrub them under cold, running, potable tap water prior to consumption. Soap is not safe for oral consumption because the porous surfaces on fresh produce can absorb the ingredients in soap.
Food Talk: How much food do you need for isolation or lockdown? - https://www.foodtalk.com.au/contents/en-us/d63610040_Corona-Virus-Nutrition-and-TLC-for-you.html
CSIRO: Food Safety - Handling food in the home https://www.csiro.au/en/Research/Health/Healthier-safer-foods/Food-safety/Food-handling
Dietitians Association of Australia - Preparing your pantry for COVID-19: https://daa.asn.au/smart-eating-for-you/planning-your-pantry-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/
Handouts (Preparing to eat well, food for isolation) - https://www.fourseasonsdietetics.com/resources
Blog Post: Ways to improve your immune system https://www.fourseasonsdietetics.com/post/keeping-the-coronavirus-covid-19-out-ways-to-improve-your-immune-system
Some tips from Four Seasons Dietetics
In Australia we have enough food for everyone, so there is no need to stock-up large amounts. It can also impact members of our community who are more food insecure and vulnerable. Whilst we can still leave our homes to carry out essential activities, we want to continue to practice social distancing and only leave when you have to.
Plan and shop for 1 week's worth of groceries - this will allow you to use more readily available foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables.
Currently many meat items such as mince are restricted to 2 per person. For your usual recipes, consider incorporating legumes and pulses so you are using less meat, still have good amounts of protein and a lot more fibre as part of a healthy diet.
Stay in a routine - don't skip meals and eat at regular times.
Try a meatless meal once a day - this will keep costs down
Frozen fruit and vegetables can be as nutritious and healthy as fresh - they are often frozen at peak harvest which means nutritional value at its best!
Get the family involved and eat together
In addition to a health and balanced diet, it is also important to:
Practice hand hygiene, avoid close contact, stay home if sick and cover coughs/sneezes.
Stay active and engaged
Take care of your mental health
You can also find more nutrition tips and information on our Instagram (@fourseasonsdietetics)
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!
Academic of Nutrition and Dietetics
British Dietetic Association
Dietitians of Canada
World Health Organisation