5 Essential Tips For Proper Nutrition During COVID-19 Pandemic

5 Essential Tips For Proper Nutrition During COVID-19 Pandemic

  • April 8, 2021

The current covid-19 pandemic has affected and changed lifestyles a lot. There is a big difference in prioritizing things now as it was before. There is a new normal lifestyle. With the COVID-19 pandemic, eating, living, working, and socializing patterns have completely changed. Even socio-economic stability has suffered a lot.

Food is an important aspect of life and a means of living. During the current situation, diet planning is an important question to most people about the suitable options to add to a routine diet and what foods should be given up. While planning a diet for yourself and your family, there are many things to keep in mind. Some aspects are elaborated for a more concise understanding.

Avoid Eating Outside

It is safe to eat at home and prepare meals by yourself. Going outside in public places increases the risk of getting in contact with the virus’s carriers and the virus itself. Restaurants and food places are among the most crowded places, and it is more likely for viruses to spread quickly in such places.

It is advisable to avoid visiting such public places and make sure to stay at home. Eat and drink with your family and prepare meals at home. Also, avoiding unhealthy food such as processed food is very important. Processed foods have less nutritional value and are made from synthetic ingredients.

Giving Up Alcohol

It is important to give up certain foods and beverages which are injurious to overall health and increases the risk of getting into serious disease and illnesses. Alcohol is one such beverage that negatively affects each organ of the body, especially during the current pandemic when there is no much physical exercise.

Alcohol abuse increases the risk factors and severity of disease and infection. It negatively influences immunity and the defense system of the body. It is important to look for ways to limit and abandon the use of alcohol. It might become troublesome for many people. People can get professional guidance to cope with addiction from numerous rehab centers.

Drink Enough Water Everyday

Drinking plenty of water is essential in keeping the body hydrated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Water is essential to many processes and functions in the body. It is recommended to take 8-10 glasses of water a day. It is especially important during the current pandemic as water is an essential way to keep air passages moist and secure with sufficient amounts of mucus, which protects the membrane and lining of air passages.

It makes it difficult for viruses and germs to get access to the body through air passages in the nose and throat. Also, it is very helpful in regulating body temperature. Maintaining good hydration is essential for overall health and wellbeing. It is as important as taking a healthy and nutritious diet.

Antioxidants To Strengthen Immune System

Foods rich in antioxidants help the body against free radicals and reduce inflammation. Different nutrients and antioxidants such as Vitamin E and B carotene help the body’s immune system in different ways and protect the body against infections and viruses. They also may help in building up your bodies natural immune system against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eat Nutritious And Well Balanced Diet

Nutrition and hydration are essential for a healthier body, and it boosts immunity. It also reduces the risk of getting serious and chronic diseases and infections. There are a number of healthy food options to add to a routine diet.

It is important to consider what food and food groups to add to diet on a routine basis as it has a lot to do with overall health, building immunity, and dealing with stress and anxiety of pandemic.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are rich sources of Vitamin C, and they play an important role in the body as an immunity booster. Incorporating Vitamin C-rich citrus fruits in a routine diet can have numerous benefits.

Common examples of citrus fruits are lemon, orange, mandarin, and grapefruit.

Research shows that Vitamin C helps with shrinking the duration and severity of a cold. So it is beneficial to incorporate a Vitamin C-rich diet and food sources.

Spices

If you are looking into what to add to a routine diet during the current pandemic, then these spices are a must for a healthy diet. Ginger, Garlic, and turmeric are extremely beneficial for health and can easily be incorporated into the diet.

These spices are part of many food recipes. These spices have antiviral and antiseptic properties, which are extremely useful in boosting immunity against cold viruses and other viruses.

Zinc Rich Food

Zinc is an important mineral found in food and is required by the body for many functions. Foods rich in Zinc, such as seafood including shellfish, oysters and mussels, seeds, nuts, red meat, and egg yolk, must also be added to a routine diet.

Zinc is found in many medicines used to treat cold thus has properties to fight viruses. A zinc-rich diet must be added to the diet as it boosts immunity against viruses and reduces inflammation.

Magnesium Rich Food

Magnesium is an important mineral found in many foods such as green vegetables, dark chocolate, Tofu, bananas, legumes, seeds, and nuts. Foods rich in magnesium are very helpful in reducing stress and anxiety.

With sufficient magnesium intake, a person may feel calmer, and it also supports immunity. Recent research supports the role of magnesium in reducing the severity of the COVID-19 virus.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 reduces stress and anxiety. Also, it has countless health benefits; it is also effective against the common cold and flu. It also boosts immunity against viruses and should be incorporated into routine diets.

Take Away

COVID-19 pandemic has brought in an elevated concern about diet and healthy diet options. It is important to avoid eating outside and making sure to prepare and take meals at home. Incorporating foods rich in various nutrients can help to boost immunity. Many foods with anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antiseptic properties are available. These foods also reduce the risk factor of diseases and infections. A body with stronger immunity can cope with viruses better.

 

Photo: Mint

Nutrition, health to stay key goals for food firms

  • April 7, 2021

When Mark Bunn, managing director of nutrition food brand Futurelife talks of the newly cemented partnership with Haldiram’s in India, he claims South Africa and India share many similarities in terms of natural beauty and delectable food. However, for now, his focus is on making Indians healthy. South African Futurelife and Indian snacks and restaurant company Haldiram’s in February announced a joint venture to launch a range of the former’s nutritional range in the country.

Haldiram’s noted that the JV reflected a growing commitment to health and nutrition by India’s younger generation, and its increased willingness to add more non-traditional food to its diet. Bunn agreed that this traction towards healthier products accelerated Futurelife’s move into the country with a partner that understands food, the Indian palate, procurement and distribution. “We really understand nutrition. So it is a great partnership,” he said.

The company has already launched its oats, granola bar and high protein products on marketplaces like Big Basket, Milk Basket and Amazon. To be sure, Haldiram’s is not the only company expanding its portfolio to cover health foods. In February, Tata Consumer Products Ltd said it was acquiring a 100% stake in Kottaram Agro Foods, which makes Soulfull brand of breakfast cereals and millet-based snacks.

Wipro Consumer Care Ventures, the venture capital arm of Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, has also put money behind a health and nutrition products brand, Onelife, which was launched in 2013. In the last few months, Marico Ltd, too, increased focus on its health and immunity portfolio by entering the chawanprash and honey categories. The developments indicate the interest even legacy companies have in the health food category.

Experts in the fast-moving consumer goods sector said health food companies are a hot pick in the time of covid, when consumers are sharply focused on better nutrition to boost immunity. As consumers pivot to health snacks and immunity boosters, companies’ appetite for investment in such firms and products is growing.

Legacy companies are taking the acquisition route to enter the category may be because some of these products are high-tech. “You need the technical know-how to make nutrition-based foods. There is a science behind it,” said Pinakiranjan Mishra, partner and national leader, consumer products and retail, EY.

Agreed Amit Adarkar, chief executive officer at research firm Ipsos India: “Technology and research offered by international health food companies are critical to Indian companies developing and owning health proposition.”

The increased number of deals reflects the hurry the companies are in as they figure that the health food trend is here to stay. “All our surveys have shown that health as an agenda is very critical,” said Mishra. When the pandemic hit, companies that lacked an omni-channel sales strategy suffered. These firms do not want to miss the bus on the nutrition trend, he added.

Adarkar agreed that post-pandemic, the country has seen heightened consumer interest in health and wellness products and health foods in particular. “Traditionally health foods had a niche appeal, partly linked to ‘low on taste’ perceptions and partly due to premium price”, he said. After the pandemic, three things have changed. First, preventive health consciousness and immunity boosting have become more mainstream. Second, the tendency to experiment with food has gone up during and after the lockdown, as purchase baskets changed. And third, rising e-commerce adoption has led to increased awareness and trial of health foods, which may not enjoy prime shelf space in general trade, he explained.

“We are reaching a stage where a large or mass foods manufacturer cannot neglect this high-growth segment, especially if one wants to win in top metros,” he added.

With Haldiram’s, Futurelife is looking forward to serving healthy and nutritious food to Indians, Bunn said. The long-term target is to have its food on their menu.

He said Futurelife cereals have had clinical study published, which shows they improve people’s immune system and energy. EY’s Mishra pointed out that with all these deals and their fetish for health foods, companies will eventually have to demonstrate outcomes. “They have to be something more tangible beyond just a marketing plank,” he added.

Shuchi Bansal is Mint’s media, marketing and advertising editor. Ordinary Post will look at pressing issues related to all three. Or just fun stuff

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How to strengthen your immune system to prevent COVID-19 infections?

How to strengthen your immune system to prevent COVID-19 infections?

  • April 7, 2021
Ancient Nutrition launches line of fermented herbs and organic mushroom supplements

Ancient Nutrition launches line of fermented herbs and organic mushroom supplements

  • April 6, 2021

Ancient Nutrition (Nashville, TN) has launched a line of fermented herbs and organic mushrooms that will bring adaptogens to a broader consumer market.

“At Ancient Nutrition, we believe in the power of nature to help the body. Our new Fermented Herbs and Certified Organic Mushrooms are some of the most powerful products on the planet. I am excited to consume these one-of-a-kind products myself because they are such incredible adaptogens. These formulas are great for anyone looking to bolster the immune system, boost energy, balance hormones, promote healthy digestion, support healthy inflammation response and so much more,” said Ancient Nutrition co-founder Dr. Josh Axe, in a press release. “Additionally, due to the fact that mushrooms act as sponges and absorb everything around them (including toxins), I’m very proud of the fact that our Mushroom Caplets are USDA Certified Organic – it is a really powerful thing.”

The line of organic mushroom supplements includes Multi-Mushroom, Cordyceps, Reishi, Turkey Tail, and Lion’s Mane. The line of fermented herbs includes Cranberry, Astragalus, Ashwagandha, and Turmeric. The line of fermented herbs also includes condition-specific products including: Brain & Mood, Joint & Mobility, Women’s Hormones, Sleep, Leaky Gut, Thyroid, Candida, Adrenal, and Liver Cleanse.

What To Eat Before And After Your COVID-19 Vaccine To Lessen Side Effects

What To Eat Before And After Your COVID-19 Vaccine To Lessen Side Effects

  • April 5, 2021

By May 1, all Americans will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Five states (Alaska, Arizona, Mississippi, Utah and West Virginia) have already opened vaccines to all adults over 16, with others planning to follow.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, side effects of the vaccines can include pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, as well as possible fever, headache, tiredness, nausea, chills and muscle pain. These symptoms are actually a good sign that your body is building immunity, and they will usually pass in a few days (if they do not, call your doctor), the CDC advises.

But there are small steps you can take to lessen those side effects, and many of them have to do with your diet.

Helpful foods and beverages for dealing with vaccine side effects

Obviously, it’s not fun feeling under the weather for a few days, which is especially possible after your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. “Budget for adequate rest and sleep when taking the vaccine, and maybe going easy on exercise,” advises Dr. Ronald Hoffman, a New York City integrative physician. Beyond that, he said, there are some simple do’s and don’ts in terms of food and drink.

Do: Try ginger tea for nausea

Ginger has a reputation as an excellent and safe traditional remedy for gastrointestinal complaints. Ginger tea is easy to make, and a simple recipe can be found here.

Don’t: Fast or do anything “drastic like juicing or detox”

“The development of immunity depends on the body ‘reading’ instructions from the vaccine and synthesizing antibodies and white blood cells, which requires adequate protein in the diet,” Hoffman said.

Do: Hydrate with healthy fluids

From water to tea to your favorite flavored sparkling water, drink up. The fever a vaccine may induce can lead to dehydration.

The Mediterranean diet places an emphasis on healthy fats, such as those found in salmon.

The Mediterranean diet places an emphasis on healthy fats, such as those found in salmon.

Do: Eat a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet

Try to start eating especially healthy a few weeks ahead of your appointment for a vaccine. A Mediterranean-style diet is known to have anti-inflammatory effects, but it’ll take a few weeks to kick in.

“Preconditioning your body for a few weeks beforehand makes more sense than just being abstemious in the immediate aftermath of the shot,” Hoffman said.

The diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy Omega-3 and monounsaturated fats (like those in olive oil), fish, poultry, beans and eggs. Dairy and red meat are limited. One study found that individuals over 65 years of age who ate five or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day had a stronger immune response to a pneumococcal vaccine than peers who ate two servings or fewer.

Do: Consider eating a low glycemic index diet for at least a few days after the vaccine

A low glycemic index diet will keep your blood sugar steady. Research centered around diabetes has shown that lower glucose levels tend to be anti-inflammatory. In general, foods that keep blood sugar at healthy levels include green vegetables, most beans, whole grains and multigrain breads, fruits like berries and apples, and of course healthy lean proteins, eggs and nuts.

Do: Turn to that favorite remedy of all time, chicken soup

A nice healing broth with many well-cooked veggies is easy to digest and nourishing.

Do: Fine-tune your gut health to increase your immune response

Across the human population, immune response to vaccines varies. Some of this depends on age — as we get older, our immunity wanes. Some of it depends on individual variation. And some of it depends on the type of vaccine you receive.

An important aspect of vaccine response, and of immunity in general, is a healthy gut microbiome, said Dr. Todd Born, a naturopathic physician and certified nutrition specialist in Washington. Not only are vaccine responses variable, but Born said that a healthy gut microbiome has been shown in scientific studies to increase immune response to vaccines.

“A diverse and healthy microbial community in the gut will influence the immune system directly,” Born told HuffPost.

Born recommends a high-fiber diet and fermented foods, and to “start two weeks before the vaccine and continue for a minimum of two weeks after.”

“Fiber-rich diets encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria that support the immune response,” he explained. And fermented foods ― from yogurt and kefir to kimchi and sauerkraut ― can help enhance the gut microbes that support immune response.

Studies have actually shown that some common probiotic organisms, such as lactobacillus rhamnosus, can improve the antibody response to vaccines. This and other healthy lactobacilli can be found in products in your supermarket ― these include kefir, yogurt, and some fermented beverages.

Born also likes a homemade “immune support” soup, which he often recommends to patients during cold and flu season. He recommended adding chopped onion and garlic, grated ginger, juice from half a lemon, fresh minced parsley and one grated carrot to a quart of miso, chicken or mushroom broth. Simmer for 15 minutes and add the parsley and lemon juice at the end.

While you sip that nourishing soup and let your immune system do its work, play some uplifting music and make a gratitude list. Thirty years of research has shown that stress, depression and loneliness can impair the immune system’s response to vaccines.

So, nourish your body with healthy food and drink, stay hydrated, rest well and be of good cheer. You’ll be giving your immune system the best chance to respond well to the vaccine and to recover quickly.

5 benefits of cherries for gout, sleep, nutrition, and more

5 benefits of cherries for gout, sleep, nutrition, and more

  • March 31, 2021

Cherries contain a number of beneficial nutrients, such as vitamin C and antioxidants. Some evidence suggests that they may also help lower inflammation, protect heart health, and improve sleep as part of a healthy diet.

The health benefits of cherries can depend on a number of factors, such as the cherry variety, how many a person consumes, and how often they consume them.

This article will look at the scientific evidence for the health benefits of cherries, their nutritional profile, and how people can get more cherries in their diet.

Inflammation is part of the body’s natural response to illness or injury. In the short term, it can be helpful. However, long-term inflammation is involved in many chronic conditions.

Although a diet that is generally high in fruits, vegetables, and fiber can help lower inflammation, cherries may be particularly beneficial as part of an anti-inflammatory diet.

According to a 2018 review, 11 out of 16 human studies into cherries and inflammation showed that they decreased inflammation. This applied to both tart and sweet varieties of cherry, and it included cherry fruits, juices, and concentrates.

The anti-inflammatory properties of cherries may also help with gout.

Gout causes sudden and severe joint pain. This is triggered by high levels of uric acid in the blood. One 2018 review stated that the consumption of cherries could help a person maintain moderate levels of uric acid in the body.

The review discussed a 2012 study that found that taking cherry concentrate or eating cherries led to a 35% reduction in gout episodes over a 2-day period. This effect remained the same regardless of sex, body weight, purine and alcohol intake, diuretic use, and anti-gout medication use.

The authors of the 2018 review stated that although more long-term studies are necessary, these findings are promising.

Learn more about the foods to eat and avoid for gout here.

In general, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat is best for heart health. However, cherries may be especially valuable in a heart-healthy diet, as they show potential for lowering blood pressure.

The 2018 review mentioned several studies in which various cherry products lowered blood pressure. One such older study in females with diabetes found that taking 40 grams (g) of tart cherry concentrate per day for 6 weeks significantly lowered blood pressure.

High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.

Cherries contain several nutrients that may help with blood pressure, including polyphenols and potassium.

Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant that can prevent oxidative damage. A large 2018 observational study suggested that increased polyphenol consumption could lower blood pressure.

One hundred grams of raw sweet cherries contains around 5% of a person’s Daily Value of potassium, which is 4,700 milligrams (mg). An adequate intake of potassium is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure.

According to a 2013 study, cherries are a rich, natural source of melatonin, which is a neurotransmitter that influences sleep and mood. Melatonin can be useful for those who have insomnia, as it is the chemical that induces sleepiness.

Another 2013 study involved participants aged between 20 and 85 years. Among other outcomes, the researchers studied the effects on sleep of those who ate a cherry-based product and those who had a placebo.

Among the participants who consumed the cherry-based product, sleep and nocturnal rest significantly improved. Older participants experienced an even more marked improvement.

Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. However, it can result in sore muscles or, if a person exercises in a way that causes strain, injury.

A 2020 meta-analysis involved participants who consumed tart cherry concentrate as a powder or juice for 7 days until 1.5 hours before exercising.

The results revealed that tart cherry consumption improved a person’s endurance during exercise. This was possibly due to its low glycemic index and anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and blood flow-enhancing properties.

Scientists need to carry out more research to determine whether or not cherries can reduce recovery times and soreness after exercise.

In addition to having specific health benefits, cherries are also a source of many important nutrients.

The following table shows the quantities of some of the nutrients in sweet cherries, according to the United States Department of Agriculture:

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025 recommend that most healthy adults eat 1.5–2.5 cups of fruit per day, depending on their calorie intake needs.

There are many ways to get more cherries into the diet. Cherries are available in many forms, including:

  • raw fruit
  • dried fruit
  • fruit compote or puree
  • fruit juice
  • concentrate, which a person dilutes with water
  • powder

To incorporate more cherries into a healthy diet, people can:

  • Add fresh cherries to fruit salads, smoothies, oatmeal, and yogurt.
  • Add dried cherries to fruit and nut mixes, cereals, muesli, and granolas.
  • Pair cherries with savory foods, such as salads, cheeses, seafood, or pork.
  • Use cherry puree or compote in dressings, sauces, and condiments.
  • Add cherry powder or cherry concentrate to smoothies.

When purchasing cherry products or using cherries in recipes, people should try to avoid added sugars. Some cherry products contain high amounts of added sugars.

There is some evidence to suggest that regularly eating cherries or drinking cherry juice may benefit a person’s heart health, boost sleep quality, and lower inflammation. People with specific conditions, such as high blood pressure or gout, may find them especially helpful.

However, as with all aspects of nutrition, there are no specific foods that can cure a condition. This is because many factors influence a person’s health, including their overall diet, fitness level, mental health, and genes.

People will get the most benefits from cherries by eating them as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Ancient Nutrition Launches Line Of Fermented Herbs And Organic Mushrooms Making Adaptogens Accessible To All

Ancient Nutrition Launches Line Of Fermented Herbs And Organic Mushrooms Making Adaptogens Accessible To All

  • March 17, 2021

From Organic Mushrooms that support the immune system, healthy energy, cognitive function and stress response to Fermented Herbs such as turmeric to promote a healthy inflammation response, the power of Ancient Nutrition’s Fermented Herbs and Organic Mushrooms are unlike anything currently on the market. The robust line-up was designed with the purpose of being a one-stop-shop for all of an individual’s health concerns, from general, everyday well-being to condition-specific targeting. The full list of new products is as follows;

New Organic Mushrooms

New Fermented Herbs

“At Ancient Nutrition, we believe in the power of nature to help the body. Our new Fermented Herbs and Certified Organic Mushrooms are some of the most powerful products on the planet. I am excited to consume these one-of-a-kind products myself because they are such incredible adaptogens. These formulas are great for anyone looking to bolster the immune system, boost energy, balance hormones, promote healthy digestion, support healthy inflammation response and so much more,” said Ancient Nutrition, Co-Founder Dr. Josh Axe. “Additionally, due to the fact that mushrooms act as sponges and absorb everything around them (including toxins), I’m very proud of the fact that our Mushroom Caplets are USDA Certified Organic – it is a really powerful thing,” said Axe.

The entire Ancient Nutrition Herbal & Mushroom line is available on the Ancient Nutrition store site and Amazon.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Media Contact:
Alex Loria
[email protected]

SOURCE Ancient Nutrition

Related Links

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Prebiotics Market Size & Share

Prebiotics Market Size & Share

  • March 15, 2021

Pune, India, March 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —

The global prebiotics market size is predicted to register substantial growth rate during the forecast period owing to trend for plant-based dietary fibers soaring. Prebiotics have become popular as a nutritional supplement to boost immune function and healthy digestion.

Both millennial and gen Z demographics have exhibited traction for prebiotics to increase the immune cells consisting of T lymphocytes, lgA-producing cells and reduce the chances of cardiovascular diseases. Notably, food fibers have become instrumental in negating the risk of communicable diseases and regulating the modulation of the immune system. In terms of revenue, the global prebiotics market will grow at a substantial pace by 2026.

Regional landscape indicates North America, Europe, and APAC to redefine the industry outlook. Trends which are likely to remain instrumental are delineated below:

North America to witness traction for GOS prebiotics

End-users in the U.S. and Canada are likely to show traction for galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) ingredient which is setting the trend as an invaluable component of prebiotics group. GOS ingredient is highly sought-after for treating rectal infections, colon and avoiding allergies in infants.

The North America market share from the galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) segment will grow at a healthy CAGR of more than 9% through 2026. A considerable shift in dietary pattern among the millennial population in the region alludes towards the consumption of dairy products, root vegetables and beans.

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Stakeholders to further investments in dairy products in America

With the demand for fermented dairy products, such as yogurt rising in the U.S. and Canada, use of prebiotics and probiotics will continue to gain an uptick in the region. The industry share from the dairy product segment in North America is likely to grow at a considerable rate in the next few years.

Considering the market presence of yogurt across the region, dairy companies are introducing various types of flavored yogurt in the industry. Accordingly, the consumption of prebiotics in dairy products market has surged in the past few years. For instance, market revenue from yogurt sales was pegged at around USD 9 billion in the U.S. in 2019. The dairy industry is likely to witness investments abound in the region, fostering the global prebiotics market trend.

Demand for FOS prebiotics to surge in Europe

FOS prebiotics are expected to gain impetus in various food products to improve the nutritional profile. It is worth noting that FOS plays an invaluable role in preventing gastro-intestinal diseases and has become immensely popular as alternative sweeteners with regards to their sweet flavor.

The Europe market size from the FOS ingredient segment was valued at more than USD 250 million in 2019 and will grow considerably in the next few years. Demand for prebiotics will continue to be witnessed for the prevention of diarrhea and constipation.

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Food & beverage application to be the major recipient of prebiotics in Europe

Rising consumer preference towards healthy eating habits has prompted food & beverage industry players to opt for prebiotic foods. Not to mention, these foods boost healthy colon microorganisms and bolster bone strength. The industry share from the food & beverage segment in Europe will expand at a strong CAGR of 9% through 2026.

Stakeholders are likely to up their investments in the U.K. following the trend for dietary supplements in the region. An uptick in the consumption of prebiotic formulas has become instrumental in preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and in enhancing the immune system. The U.K. prebiotics market value is likely to witness a substantial gain by 2026.

End-users inject funds in mannan-oligosaccharide (MOS) ingredient in APAC

With the rise in poultry farming in India, Vietnam and China, stakeholders have furthered their presence in mannan-oligosaccharide ingredients. It is pertinent to mention that beta-glucans and complex carbohydrate molecules play a pivotal role in the activation of the immune system in animals. The APAC market share from the mannan-oligosaccharide (MOS) segment will expand at a double-digit CAGR of more than 11.5% through 2026.

The emerging economies in the region will continue to exhibit traction for prebiotics which have set the trend in the food and beverage applications, including bakery, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, confectionary, dairy, and snacks.

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Traction for prebiotics to surge in dietary supplements in APAC

Bullish demand for dietary supplements among the millennial demographics in India and China has triggered growth of prebiotics in the region. Prominently, the trend for “going vegan” has accentuated the industry value. The prebiotics market share from the dietary supplements segment in APAC is likely to hit a double-digit CAGR of more than 10% through 2026.

Current trend alludes to investment spree in R&D activities and product innovation in the region. Prebiotics will continue to set the trend to enhance the metabolic health and prevent diseases linked with inflammatory conditions, digestive health and functional bowel disease.

As end-users show inclination for organic food and food supplements, the global prebiotics market is likely to witness investments galore.

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Take to Healthy Eating. Nutrition May Improve Covid-19 Vaccination Efficacy

  • March 13, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought uncertainties and challenges to keep ourselves and our families protected and healthy, both physically and mentally. As the vaccine drive is being rolled out, policy makers should focus on initiatives that can improve the efficacy of the vaccine for the common man. Multiple studies indicate that nutrition provides a cost-effective yet significant impact on vaccination outcomes, and can, therefore, improve vaccine efficacy.

It has been seen that immunocompromised individuals with underlying conditions of non-communicable diseases have been more prone to and are at risk from COVID-19. A study conducted on the efficacy of vaccines on obese people indicates poor response to vaccines in obese individuals, putting them at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases. On the other hand, malnutrition-induced immunodeficiency is known to reduce effective response to vaccines. Both undernutrition and obesity threaten to drive increased mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic and, in the long-term, they both potentially undermine the efficacy of new vaccines. The Novel Coronavirus, while being genetically similar to SAR-CoV, is a new strain and has no underlying natural immunity against it.

Lifestyle changes and increased consumption of ultra-processed food have led to an obesity epidemic leading to a rise in conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) account for about 70 per cent of all deaths worldwide. The pandemic has impacted the ability to address NCDs with the disruption it brought to health services in countries across the world. A rapid survey of 163 countries by the World Health Organisation reported a considerable degree of disruption to NCD services due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 75 per cent of the countries surveyed. Cancellation of elective care, lack of transportation due to lockdown, insufficient manpower to tackle the overwhelming number of cases and closure of hospital services were some of the cited reasons. Along with other risk factors—unhealthy diet, alcohol use, lack of physical activity and stress—it further puts people with NCDs at risk.

ALSO READ| Isolating Risky Pockets, Identifying Vulnerable Groups: How Mumbai Can Tackle Covid-19 Surge

A recent review on vaccine studies by Ohio State University indicates stress, depression and unhealthy behaviour to impact immune response to vaccines and this effect may be greatest in vulnerable groups like the elderly. The research suggests psychological and behavioural interventions in improving vaccine efficacy and reducing side effects.

The figure above clearly indicates the various factors that influence immune response to vaccination. Among others, it is evident that nutritional factors have an intrinsic role to play on the individual’s response to vaccines. According to Prof. Srinath Reddy, “A vaccine only provides the antigenic stimulus and how the body reacts is influenced by the nutritional status and will vary among individuals”.

Healthy eating helps build the immune system, and conversely, lack of a healthy diet can lead to weakening of both the innate and acquired immunity, making one susceptible to infections. However, it is possible to reverse and strengthen the immune system by correcting nutrition deficiency. The guidance on the requirements for health related to the immune system has recognised certain vitamins and trace elements such as zinc, iron, selenium and copper for their role in the functioning of the immune system. A review of micronutrients and their impact on the immune system suggests the role of vitamins C and D and zinc in strengthening immune support and reducing risk of infections. Thus, consuming a nutrient-rich diet is prudent to support the immune system and deal with pathogens.

Quoting Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

It is known that nutrient intake and incidence of the disease impact the nutritional status of individuals and a lack of it can lead to severe malnutrition. Malnutrition can affect the quality of immune response to vaccination, especially in vulnerable populations affected by the hunger pandemic. A balanced and healthy diet can ensure a robust immune system and lower incidence of chronic diseases and infections.

ALSO READ| As Covid-19 Ravages Maharashtra, Why Do We Not Fear it Enough to Stay safe?

As the world regroups and regrows after a devastating year, it has become increasingly important to have a nutrition rich intake of food to reduce the long-term complications from COVID-19. Studies indicate better response to vaccines and antibody stores in the elderly who consumed five or more servings of fruits and vegetables and/or Vitamin E supplements. Polyphenols are micronutrients naturally occurring in plants and act as dietary antioxidants. A review suggests long-term consumption of polyphenols offer protection against cardiovascular diseases and diabetes due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Another study elicits the role of zinc and selenium in immunomodulatory effects in the management of COVID-19. A review done on the impact of vitamin D on responses to the influenza vaccine indicates a low response to vaccinations for respiratory infection in individuals deficient in Vitamin D. A rapid review on vitamin D and COVID-19 suggests a possible role in the body’s immune response to respiratory viruses.

Experts suggest improving lifestyle and consuming diets rich in nutrients to improve immune responses. What is of utmost importance is providing information on COVID-19 vaccines along with counselling on good nutrition for improved vaccine response and efficacy.

This article was first published on ORF.

Disclaimer:The author is a senior fellow with ORF’s Health Initiative. Views expressed are personal.

Nutrition Can Strengthen the Immune System to Fight COVID-19

Nutrition Can Strengthen the Immune System to Fight COVID-19

  • March 12, 2021
  • Obesity, high blood pressure, and type two diabetes may raise the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19, research suggests.
  • Eating a whole foods diet and monitoring blood sugar may help maintain metabolic health.
  • Diet and metabolic health can strengthen the immune system to fight COVID-19 and other viral infections.
Kateryna Kon/123RF

Source: Kateryna Kon/123RF

No diet can reduce your risk of catching COVID-19. Viruses can’t reproduce without you, so if they find you, they’re going in. However, we are not passive Petri dishes. The human body is armed with a sophisticated security system for identifying and eliminating intruders of all kinds. Therefore it is largely the health of your immune system that ultimately determines your fate. So, is there a diet that strengthens your immune system?

Some advocates of Mediterranean, vegan, and low-carb lifestyles claim that following their diet of choice can help you fight off COVID-19, but no diet has been scientifically tested against this virus.

Yet even with a grand total of zero dietary studies available thus far, it would be a mistake to conclude that diet doesn’t matter in a pandemic. In fact, a pandemic should motivate all of us to double down on dietary quality, because the majority of people who suffer serious consequences from COVID infections have something in common: poor metabolic health. 

The Link Between Metabolic Health and Severe Cases of COVID-19

A new study of over 900,000 COVID-related hospitalizations in the U.S. confirms that people are at far higher risk for complications and death from this virus if they have obesity, high blood pressure, and/or type two diabetes. 

While these conditions may seem unrelated, often they are simply different tentacles of the same underlying beast: insulin resistance, aka pre-diabetes. The bad news is that at least one-third of American adults have pre-diabetes—and 80% of us don’t know it, because most doctors still don’t test for it.

In people with insulin resistance, insulin levels tend to run too high. The problem with high insulin levels is that insulin is not just a simple blood sugar regulator—it is a master metabolic hormone that orchestrates the behavior of every organ system in the body. High insulin levels shift us into growth and storage mode, making it easy to accumulate excess body fat. Insulin also plays a major role in controlling blood pressure, blood sugar, and the immune system—all three of which are intimately involved in how we respond to COVID-19 infections.

Blood Pressure. People with insulin resistance tend to have abnormally low levels of a cell surface enzyme called ACE-2, which is responsible for lowering blood pressure and protecting lung cells from injury. It just so happens that the only way COVID-19 can gain access to any human cell is by binding to ACE-2 first. Like a secret handshake, this crafty connection tricks the cell into letting its guard down and welcoming the virus inside. Because COVID-19 ties up ACE-2 molecules, people with insulin resistance who are infected with COVID-19 have even fewer ACE-2 enzymes available to keep blood pressure and lung damage under control than they usually do, leaving them more vulnerable to complications (Dalan et al. 2020).

Blood Sugar. Once inside, the virus hijacks the cell’s assembly lines to make copies of itself. It has long been known that respiratory viruses like influenza are particularly vicious in people with type two diabetes, with growing evidence suggesting that higher blood sugar levels encourage viruses to multiply faster (Drucker 2021).

Immune System. This elegant Stanford University study found that the immune systems of people with insulin resistance respond very sluggishly and abnormally to respiratory virus infections compared to metabolically healthy people, typically taking at least seven days to begin mounting a defense.

Dieting Practices to Reduce the Risk of COVID-19

Which diet might help stave off COVID-19? Any diet that keeps blood glucose and insulin levels in a healthy range.

Unfortunately, most popular home remedies believed to help ward off viruses such as orange juice, gummi vitamins, tea with honey, and elderberry syrup do exactly the opposite, because they are all high in sugar, which drives insulin levels up. What can you do instead?

1. Eat a nutritious whole foods diet. A whole food consists of a single ingredient, can be found in nature, and is perishable. Eggs, nuts, salmon, zucchini, steak, and blueberries are all examples of whole foods. Avoid factory foods and refined carbohydrates like sugar, flour, fruit juice, and cereal products that cause unnaturally steep spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels.

2. Find out whether you have insulin resistance. Anybody can have insulin resistance—even children, elite athletes, and people who are naturally thin. My post “How to Diagnose, Prevent and Treat Insulin Resistance” includes questions and tests you can use to find out where you stand on the insulin resistance spectrum, and an infographic to help you recognize sources of hidden sugar, boost your metabolism, and make healthier food choices.

3. Monitor your own blood sugar. People with insulin resistance don’t process carbohydrate normally, so blood sugar can run high between meals. Most doctors look for diabetes by testing morning fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C (long-term average blood sugar); they don’t test for pre-diabetes, so your daily blood sugar could be on a dangerous invisible roller coaster without you or your doctor realizing it.

A previous post explains how to easily test your blood sugar at home to analyze your own metabolism. Buy or borrow a simple finger stick blood glucose meter, or wear a continuous glucose monitor (even for a couple of weeks) to observe how your food and beverage choices affect your blood sugar throughout the day. If your glucose ever rises to 140 mg/dl or higher, your current diet is a poor match for your metabolism. Keeping it under 125 mg/dL is an even healthier goal. 

4. If you have insulin resistance, take action. If eating a whole foods diet doesn’t control your blood sugar well enough, consider lowering its carbohydrate content. In human clinical studies, low-carbohydrate diets have the best track record of lowering blood sugar, treating type two diabetes and helping people reduce their diabetes medications:

“Reducing overall carbohydrate intake for individuals with diabetes has demonstrated the most evidence for improving glycemia [blood sugar]” (Evert et al. 2019). 

Low-carbohydrate diets can also lower blood pressure and help people lose weight.

Carbohydrate restriction is safe for almost everyone, but do not start a low-carbohydrate diet without learning more and discussing it with your doctor first, especially if you take prescription medications, have health problems, or are currently ill with COVID-19 or any other infection. The good news is that Mediterranean, paleo, vegan, and vegetarian diets can all be modified to be lower in carbohydrate, so you can tailor this approach to your personal dietary preferences.

You can take meaningful action to invest in your overall health and bolster your defenses not only against serious COVID-19 disease, but against other viruses as well—including those lurking around the corner which we have yet to meet. 

capsimmunesystem.org