Muscogiuri, G., Barrea, L., Savastano, S. et al. Nutritional recommendations for CoVID-19 quarantine. Eur J Clin Nutr (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-020-0635-2
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Carbohydrate craving encourages serotonin production that in turn has a positive effect on mood. In a sense, carbohydrate-rich foods can be a way of self-medicating anti stress. The effect of carbohydrate craving on low mood is proportional to the glycemic index of foods.This unhealthy nutritional habit could increase the risk of developing obesity that beyond being a chronic state of inflammation, it is often complicated by heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease that have been demonstrated to increase the risk for more serious complications of CoVID-19.
Quarantine-related stress also results in sleep disturbances that in turn further worsen the stress and increase food intake thus giving rise to a dangerous vicious cycle. Therefore, it is important to consume food containing or promoting the synthesis of serotonin and melatonin at dinner.
A considerable variety of plant species including roots, leaves, fruits, and seeds such as almonds, bananas, cherries, and oats contain melatonin and/or serotonin
Protein foods such as milk and milk products are the main sources of the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan.
Further, beyond sleep-inducing properties, milk products such as yogurt could also augmented natural killer cell activity and reduce the risk of respiratory infections
During quarantine the increased intake of macronutrients could also be accompanied by micronutrients deficiency as occurs in obesity, thus making more susceptible to viral infection.
Anti-oxidants increase the number of T-cell subsets, enhance lymphocyte response to mitogen, increased interleukin-2 production, potentiated natural killer cell activity, and increased response to influenza virus vaccine compared with placebo
Beta Carotene is most abundant in sweet potatoes, carrots, and green leafy vegetables while sources of vitamins C include red peppers, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, mangoes, lemons, and other fruits and vegetables.
The major dietary sources of vitamin E are vegetable oils (soybean, sunflower, corn, wheat germ, and walnut), nuts, seeds, spinach, and broccoli.
Vitamin D protects respiratory tract, killing enveloped viruses, and decreasing production of proinflammatory cytokines by our immune system, therefore reducing the risk of a cytokine storm leading to pneumonia. Foods containing vitamin D include fish, liver, egg yolk and foods (e.g., milk, yogurt) with added vitamin D.
It has been reported that Zn(2+) Inhibits Coronavirus and Arterivirus RNA Polymerase Activity in Vitro.Although oysters contain the most zinc per serving, the most common food to get zinc are represented from poultry, red meat, nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, beans, and lentils.
All the above described nutrients are enclosed in Mediterranean Diet pattern that could represent a healthy nutritional pattern to be followed in quarantine. Key ingredients of Mediterranean cuisine include olive oil, fresh fruits and vegetables, protein-rich legumes, fish, and whole grains with moderate amounts of wine and red meat.
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