It’s time for healthy food for family

Muscat: Staying at home could be an opportunity for family members to come together to cook and have meals that is nutritious.

According to Sumaira Fatma, Dietitian and Diabetic educator, Muscat, “This is the time where kids and adults are at home for most of the time and for all the meals, nutritious food and well cooked meals can help them boost immunity specially the younger children, pregnant women and old who are at higher risk of developing complications.

In certain ways you can improve your family nutrition at the same time enhance consuming healthy food at home says Samira.  Here is her take:

SERVE WIDE VARIETY OF VEGETABLES SPECIALLY GREEN

Vegetables provide nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and photo chemicals which are rich in antioxidants and help reducing oxidative stress. Spinach, kale, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, and bell peppers can easily be incorporated in meals in the form of salads and soups.

GIVE THEM ENOUGH PROTEINS

Well-cooked lean meats like chicken, fish, beans, lentils, eggs, and cheese can be incorporated in the diet during main meals while nuts and low fat dairy products like milk, yoghurt can be used during the day.  The protein complements in the form of amino acids by building antibodies to supplement the immune system in fighting against infections. Lean meats and eggs are a rich source of vitamin B6, which is important in the formation of new red blood cells, while chondroitin released from lean meats helps in gut permeability and develops intestinal immune mediation.

SERVE COLOURFUL FRUITS AS SNACKS

Fruits provide a wide range of nutrients and are source of powerful antioxidants and fiber which help in reducing inflammation. Commonly available fruits can do the best work like orange, kiwi, pomegranate, papaya, red grapes, mango, cherries, berries but exclusively lemon tops the list.  During leisure everyone feels to munch between meals , fruits can be a great alternative for children specially to avoid cookies , chips ,chocolates and other junks which are unhealthy loaded and with excess fat, sugars and calories.

ADD UP PROBIOTICS

Probiotic drinks are known to fight infections. Greek yoghurt, laban, cultured vegetables – Tempeh: fermented soybeans; Kefir: cultured dairy product; Miso: fermented soybeans probiotic yoghurt, soft cheese made from goat or sheep milk, and olives cured in brine supports in the growth of healthy intestinal microbial flora and break down of dangerous bacteria and virus.

HYDRATION

Keeping hydrate is one of the most important and effective ways to flush out toxins from the body.  Drink enough water at least eight to 10 glasses a day.  Hydration can be done by consuming simple soups, flavoured water, coconut water, green tea, mint tea etc.

ADDITIONAL USE

Add up use of certain foods with medicinal properties like citric acid in lemon, zingerone in ginger, allicin in garlic, curcumin in turmeric, cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon, which are well known compounds to prevent and fight viral infections and were used widely in ancient practice and can be a part of our daily meal as is the use of crushed ginger in tea, honey or soups, raw garlic cloves in salad or laban, turmeric in milk and soups or cooking also have benefits.

“People with vitamin D deficiency should consume more of dairy and well cooked fish to boost immunity and prevent respiratory infections.  We have the opportunity to choose healthy and nutritious food in order to prevent and fight infection to overcome the pandemic,” she concluded.

Of course eating healthy has to become a habit to have a major difference.  But we can start now.