Pratiwi Hariyani Putri, Lecturer of Study Program (Prodi) S1 Nutrition Faculty of Health (FKes) Nahdlatul Ulama University Surabaya (Unusa) offers suggestions to boost immunity for dealing with the new normal era with nutritious food.
Pratiwi explained that amid the Covid-19 pandemic, there were many changes in people’s lives, especially families. It is important for families to always maintain endurance to avoid transmission of the coronavirus.
“One of the efforts that need to be done is eating a balanced nutritious diet because maintaining a diet is very important to increase immunity,” said Pratiwi.
Pratiwi added that if the immunity is low, the body will be susceptible to other viral infections. “So this new normal moment, we must maintain and enhance immunity level with the intake of nutritious food,” he said.
Many people have not fulfilled balanced nutrition. “Of the twenty respondents in the area where they live, it is known that approximately 76 percent of respondents who had one meal did not follow the recommendation. As many as 82 percent of respondents consume instant noodles almost every day and 73 percent of respondents do not always eat vegetables in one meal,” he explained.
Pratiwi recommends several foods that can increase immunity, such as foods that contain Vitamin A. Vitamin A serves to help regulate the immune system and as protection against infection. “Vitamin A can be obtained from carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, spinach, fish oil, and egg yolk,” he said.
In addition, foods containing vitamin E are antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and its consumption can enhance body immunity. “Foods rich in vitamin E include almonds, vegetable oils, nuts, and green vegetables,” said Pratiwi.
Pratiwi further added that foods containing zinc are useful in optimizing the immune system. “Seafood, beef, chicken liver, eggs, and cheese are some food ingredients that contain zinc,” he said.
Foods that contain vitamin C which can play a role in helping the formation of antibodies that can boost immunity. “Vitamin C is found in many fruits such as strawberries, oranges, tomatoes, guava, and others,” said Pratiwi.
Pratiwi also reminded other useful nutrients in food ingredients that are Vitamin B6, Folate Selenium, Iron, and fiber which could provide food for good bacteria in the intestine. In addition, the consumption of five servings of vegetables and fruit per day will help meet the needs of important nutrients needed to increase body immunity.
Pratiwi added that for a balanced meal, people must include staple foods, animal side dishes, vegetable side dishes, vegetables, and fruits. In addition, it is recommended to also drink eight to ten glasses of water every day. “So, prepare yourself to face the new normal era by consuming nutritious and balanced food,” said Pratiwi.