In December 2019, infectious respiratory disease named as Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has become the latest national and global health crisis (WHO,2019). Globally, as of 27th December 2020, there have been 79,232,555 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including 1,754,493 deaths reported to WHO (WHO,2020). These numbers are dramatically increasing day by day. In Malaysia, up until 27 December 2020 a total of 105,096 cases and 452 death were recorded (MOH,2020).
COVID-19 spread via close contact such as touching and fluid droplets produced from sneezing, talking or coughing. The virus will penetrate the cell of lungs, arteries, heart, kidney and intestines via the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 receptors, or ACE2 receptors once the virus enters human body (Hoffmann et al.,2020). Once the virus enters human cells, it will take control of the cell’s genetic reproduction process, replicates itself and burst through the cell membrane. However, infection severity may different depending on the host’s age, health condition and immune status.
Hence, it is mandatory to sustain good nutritional status in order to fight against virus. Optimal nutrition and dietary intake can impact the immune system, therefore the only sustainable way to survive in current context is to strengthen the immune system. During this COVID 19 pandemic, we are encouraged by government to stay at home and have a state of isolation, social distancing and take precaution steps by washing hands frequently suggested by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by organizing CDC’s Handwashing Campaign : Life is Better with Clean Hands. All the measures are important to flattening the curve of the diseases. We must follow all the medical and social advice given.
However, the act of confining to one’s home has significant impact on one’s health, including changes in eating patterns, sleeping habits and physical activity. All this changes can lead to an increased risk of obesity and lower the immune system.
Hence, having a good nutrition and lead a healthy lifestyle is the key to strengthening the immune system and it is very important for the vulnerable group (elderly and people with medical condition) to practice it.
In addition to that, there are several tips I would like to suggest to make sure that we can get adequate nutrients to increase immune system.
Last one is to stay positive, socialize with people via modern technology, self-reflection and have your own spiritual development. Here I share with you one of recipe for your healthy snacking.
Makes 1 (big) bowl
Add the almond milk, chia seeds, rolled oats, lemon juice, maple syrup, and vanilla to a blender and blend until the chia seeds and rolled oats have been fully puréed. At this point, the mixture will still be a runny liquid – the chia seeds need a few hours to thicken into a gel. Add to a covered container (mason jar?) and refrigerate overnight, or at least 3 hours.
When you’re ready to serve the pudding, thinly slice 1/3 of a banana and set aside for garnish. Mash the other 2/3 of the banana into your serving bowl. Add a tablespoon of shredded coconut to the bowl. Finally, pour the chia pudding over the top and mix the banana, coconut, and chia together.
You may be wondering why we don’t just add the banana while blending. The problem is, the banana would turn brown and develop some weird flavors if it was left in the refrigerator overnight. That’s why it’s best to simply mash and stir in the banana right before serving.
Add the toppings! The pudding is great by itself, but the toppings take it to another level. Lay the banana slices on top, sprinkle on a few raisins, dust with some shredded coconut and cinnamon. Experiment with other additions as well, such as chopped nuts or additional spices.