The de-escalation stage planned for the months of May and June and the fact that we do not yet have a vaccine or specific treatment to combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus, means that we must take special care of our health and that of our loved ones, keeping our body's defences strong.
Therefore, below are some healthy habits that we can incorporate into our routine on a regular basis:
1) Maintain good hydration
Water is an essential nutrient, not only because it constitutes between 50% and 70% of our body weight, but also because it is key to the correct functioning of our organism. It serves as a carrier of nutrients and oxygen through the circulatory system, is the vehicle for excretion of toxins, lubricates the joints and exerts thermoregulatory function.
Therefore, the intake of liquids is essential and the consumption of water should be guaranteed according to the sensation of thirst or even without it, especially in older people who, due to age, suffer a decrease in the perception of thirst and are therefore more susceptible to dehydration.
The guaranteed minimum water consumption as a preferred source of hydration should be 1.8 litres per day. Other alternatives such as broth, infusions or tea may be considered. Fruit and vegetables can also contribute to water intake.
2) Pay special attention to our food
Vitamins such as E, A and B complex, as well as the widely known vitamin C, present in fruits and vegetables, minerals such as iron, zinc and selenium present in foods such as meat, fish and eggs, and flavonoids, antioxidants present in many vegetables, are essential micronutrients for the proper functioning of our body and therefore maintain our defenses high.
3) Maintain a healthy and balanced diet
Designing a balanced and varied weekly menu as a family can be a good way of instilling in children the importance of following good eating habits, guaranteeing the consumption of at least 3 portions of fruit a day and two portions of vegetables, preferring fresh and seasonal ones.
Buying smart. Sometimes, lack of time or hunger makes us choose to buy foods rich in saturated fats, sugars and poor in fiber. Planning a healthy daily or weekly menu from the outset will allow us to go to the supermarket with a defined list of foods, save time and avoid shopping on a whim.
Take time to savor the food and enjoy the company. Sitting around the table can be a good time to talk and catch up with our loved ones. In addition, it is important to chew slowly and steadily, grinding food correctly and thus facilitating digestion.
4) Practice regular exercise
Establishing moderate-intensity exercise routines can have multiple health benefits, both physically and mentally.
In addition, playing sports induces the elimination of toxins through sweat and activates the body's circulation, increasing the ability of the immune system cells to detect foreign pathogens in the body. It also increases body temperature, which can help the body to deal with possible infections.
5) Taking care of the hours of rest
Getting sufficient, good quality sleep can help regenerate the body's cells, including those of the immune system. This is recommended:
- Establishing and maintaining a schedule for both going to bed and getting up can contribute to the proper functioning of circadian rhythms.
- Avoid high-calorie past dinners that include acidic or spicy foods that make digestion difficult. Opt for light dinners with fresh produce.
- Limit the use of electronic devices. Screen light can contribute by altering the sleep cycle and quality, inducing us to wake up several times a night.
- Avoid practicing intense sport in the late afternoon. It is recommended to leave a minimum of two hours. Sport activates us by stimulating the secretion of adrenaline and increasing the heart rate, thus making it difficult to sleep.
- Food and nutrition recommendations for the Spanish population in the face of the COVID-19 health crisis Position paper of the Spanish Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the General Council of Official Associations of Dieticians-Nutritionists. Version 1.0. March 2020.
- Vilaplana i Batalla M. Nutrition and immune system. A very close relationship. Pharmaceutical field Nutrition. 2019;29(6):75-80.
- Ortiz-Andrellucchi A. Nutrition and immunity. Rev Soc Med Quir Hosp Emerg Perez de Leon 2007; 38(Suppl 1): 12-18.
- Dapcich V, et al. Guide to healthy eating. Spanish Society of Community Nutrition. 2004.