Why should you have a balanced diet?
A balanced diet is essential to minimize micronutrient deficiencies and prevent viral infections such as COVID-19.
Lively Health encourages people to eat a balanced diet that meets the recommended caloric intake, thereby reducing the risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases.
Consuming a diet with a balanced nutrient intake is not only necessary to prevent and manage chronic diseases, but also essential for children and adolescents to ensure their healthy development. It is crucial to eat an appropriate—neither excessive nor deficient—amount from each food group.
The food we consume plays a role in our health, both physical and mental. Importantly, our immune system is influenced by the foods we eat.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced dietary guidelines during the COVID-19 outbreak stressing the importance of a balanced diet to maintain a strong immune system and avoid or minimize chronic diseases and infections.
WHO recommendations for servings during the COVID-19 period are relatively higher than the usual WHO dietary recommendations.
For instance, although most of the dietary guidelines suggest taking five fruits and vegetables per day, the WHO has recommended consuming 4 servings of fruits/day and 5 servings of vegetables/day, making a total of 9 servings/day.
The best approach to immune health is to eat whole foods and to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables because not only will this provide vitamins and minerals, they also provide plant chemicals, which help with inflammation.
Another very important reason to consume a healthy diet is that hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 infections are much higher in people with high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood glucose (diabetes), and heart disease (cardiovascular disease).
Obesity is also an important factor in outcomes for COVID-19 patients. A healthy diet will help with these chronic diseases.
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