Hyderabad: The National Nutrition Week (NNW) is an annual nutrition event initiated by Food and Nutrition Board, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. It is observed throughout the country from 1 to 7 September every year.
The main objective to celebrate nutrition week is to raise awareness on the importance of nutrition for health which has an impact on development, productivity, economic growth and ultimately National development.
A well-balanced diet will ensure individuals are healthy and have better immune system and there by lower the chronic illness and infectious diseases.
- One should eat a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods every day to get vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber, proteins and antioxidants that the body needs.
- Eat fruits, vegetables, legumes (e.g. lentils, beans), nuts and whole grains (e.g. unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat, brown rice or starchy tubers or roots such as potato, yam), and foods from animal sources (e.g. meat, fish, eggs and milk).
- Choose to consume local foods, whole grains fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables ensure that you eat a variety of foods.
- We need to focus on protein, as this macronutrient is made up amino acid which are utilized by the body to manufacture antibodies to protect us against wide range of infections.
- Definitely include a good protein source in all 3 main meals of the day and additionally have a protein snack too.
- Look closely at your plate to check whether you are eating enough food such as meats, eggs, dairy products, sea foods, nuts and seeds, legumes that deliver a good amount of protein.
- Include fist full of dry fruits every day (like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts).
- Get exposure to sunlight for at least 15 minutes per day preferably from 11am to 1pm, which will ensure adequate vitamin D while taking necessary precautions in time of covid-19.
- For snacks, choose raw vegetables and fresh fruit rather than foods that are high in sugar, fat or salt.
- Limit consumption of highly processed foods, avoid preserved fruit juices and carbonated drinks these are high in fat and salt and sugar and poor in nutrients (like vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
- Keep your body hydrated and adequate water intake for good immune response to fight any infections.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables with lot of water content can also be consumed.
- Choose to consume local foods, whole grains, fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables, ensure that you eat a variety of foods.• When cooking and preparing food, limit the amount of salt and high-sodium condiments (e.g. soy sauce).
- Limit your daily salt intake to less than 5 g (approximately 1 teaspoon), and use iodized salt.
- Moderate physical activity /yoga will reduce stress and build immunity.
- Smoking and alcohol adversely effect immunity and increase the risk and severity of infections, hence it must be avoided
- • Get adequate sleep every night.• Destress and be positive.
Immune boosters from the kitchen possess-antiviral/antimicrobial activity which helps to fights infections.Sources: Ginger, tulsi, neem, lemon grass, turmeric, garlic, mint, jeera, ginger, ajwain, fenugreek seeds.