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Superfoods which benefit people and keep obesity away during Covid-19
Monday, 27 July, 2020, 14 : 00 PM [IST]
Dr Shunmukha Priya S
We have time and again heard how obesity is a threat for overall health and acts as a catalyst for numerous other disorders. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), particularly heart failure (HF) and coronary heart disease (CHD). This implies that the disease, a byproduct of an unhealthy lifestyle, further births several other health issues.

The mechanisms through which obesity increases CVD risk involves changes in body composition that can affect hemodynamics and alters heart structure and innate immune system. It is involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, acute coronary syndromes, stroke, viral myocarditis, sepsis, ischemia-reperfusion injury and heart failure.

As if the challenge itself was not big enough, various studies reveal how obesityis the most common risk factor for severe Covid-19 infection. The recent medical reports and studies from the UK, Europe and US highlight obesity as a major threat during the ongoing pandemic, especially for patients below 60 years with no other health condition.

Here’s why people with obesity are at enhanced risk:

Extra weight equals additional burden: Our body is engineered to efficiently perform a gamut of functions on choicest food. It has an ecosystem that needs to be perfectly balanced. Burdening the ecosystem with junk and unwanted food throws it out-of-proportion. Every extra kg of body weight increases the load on our immune cells. One kilogram equals 1000 g of tissues and has to be guarded by our immune system cells. More the body weight, greater the load which leads to a compromised immune system.

Internal problems compromise external defence: Excess fat around the waist is linked to chronic low-grade inflammation. When your system is continuously fighting an internal war with pro-inflammatory markers, it will not have enough immunity soldiers to fight a new war with Corona virus.

Being overweight creates pressure on vital organs: People who are overweight carry extra weight on their chest area that compresses the lungs. The lungs, not able to expand fully during the inhalation process, cause breathing problems. As Covid-19 is mainly a respiratory disease, the excessive weight makes the problem worse.

To fight the current situation, obese individuals must avoid all contamination and be cautious during this pandemic. Along with social distancing, it is important to focus on maintaining an ideal weight. Choosing the right food, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep are important things to maintain optimum body weight and improve immunity.

With hectic work schedules, mental stress, less outdoor movements result in missing out on healthy food consumption. But this is not a time to stress as it only adds to the existing health woes. This is not a time to fret but the best one to take action.

To save you all from nutrient deficiency, superfoods are made out of plant-based healthy ingredients and sometimes even fish and dairy. These superfoods render a powerhouse of essential vitamins and minerals that bolster your immunity to counter attacks of microorganisms both from the inside and of foreign origin like Covid-19.

Plus one point for the efficacy they display reducing those extra inches off your waistline. Besides, these superfoods offer an interesting twist to the boring and bland diets that people blindly follow. A combination of delicious syrups, herbs, seeds, grain, fruits and veggies, these superfoods can also be consumed as a healthy snacking option. Include the following superfoods in your daily diet for a healthy you.

?    Apple Cider Vinegar
?    Lemon
?    Garlic
?    Ginger
?    Combination of seeds - pumpkin, flax seeds, chia seeds etc
?    Fibres like Psyllium husk
?    Spirulina
?    Millets like Ragi, JowarBajra
?    Quinoa
?    Oats
?    Green Tea
?    Egg whites, lean meats, lean fishes
?    Pulses
?    Whey Proteins
?    Fruits such as papaya, pear, apple, orange, etc.

The current scenario demands enhanced immunity. One must not create situations that blow our natural defence mechanism exposing our health to contagious diseases. A tiny ignorance can turn ugly. Carrying extra weight is one such factor that hampers immunity.

Therefore, it is advisable to start working on your health without delay. Rest assured, these food superheroes will work miracles in the backdrop by reducing your weight and strengthening your immune system.

(The author is scientific research officer, Truweight. She can be reached at priya_s@truweight.in)
 
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