Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
As the world employs every available means to fight the dreaded COVID 19 pandemic, a dietician from the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital Calabar, UCTH has spoken of the role proper diet in combating the virus.
Maryjane Umeh who spoke with TNN over the telephone maintained that the human body required adequate diet to boost the immune system so as to fight every disease that comes its way. She stated that for the immune system to be built, all the nutrients must come to play for effective result.
In her words, “for the immune system to be built, it requires all the six nutrients of carbohydrate, protein, fats and oil, vitamins, mineral and water in the body.”
“And each one should come in the right proportion which is what constitutes adequate diet. It is not just the work of a single nutrient as people do say today that fruits and vegetables boost the immune system.
“For instance, we know that proteins are anti-bodies and without it being adequate in the diet, you can’t build anti-bodies. So all the nutrients you get from all the rest play vital role in boosting the immune system”.
She further noted that natural foods contained enormous medicinal components when compared with synthetic or processed food and that most of the nutrients are destroyed on the process of food processing.
She therefore advised for the combination of the synthetic foods with natural foods so as to replace the lost nutrients and make the meal adequate.
She said one would live healthily when the diet on the table was adequately rich with all the food nutrients, adding that even when there is an underlying disease, one could remain healthy with adequate nutrient together with obeying every other health law.
Umeh however, explained that taking these nutrients more than the body system requires poses a danger to the health.
“When you take excess carbohydrate the excesses are stored in the body as fat which can lead to obesity. Also, when the protein is taken in excess, the remaining ones will be broken down into several components that can lead to several health defects”, she revealed.
She added that there was need to always seek for professional advice from dietitians and nutritionists for them to prescribe the needed quality after examining the individual’s body system and activity. She said the Association of Nigerian Dietitian, ASD, will always be there whenever their professional advice is needed. She disclosed that they are also on the process of having a council here in Nigeria.