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“OPTIMAL NUTRITION AND DIETRY NUTRIENT INTAKE VITAL TO SHAPING IMMUNITY AGAINST CONTRACTING COVID 19,” REVEALS MMUST’s RENOWN PROFESSOR OF NUTRITION, PROF. ASENATH SIGOT

“Healthy eating and adequate dietary intake are essential to protect against an excessive inflammatory response to Covid 19 infection,” this is according to the MMUST’s reputable Professor of Nutrition, Prof. Asenath Sigot. Prof. Sigot made an illuminating presentation on ‘Healthy Eating and Dietary Guidelines for Proper Nutrition during COVID-19 Pandemic’ during the 2021 Kenya DAAD Scholars Virtual Conference themed ‘Mitigating the impact of Covid 19 and future pandemics: Role of Academia’. Covid-19 pandemic has spread rapidly and extensively around the world since late 2019. This has had profound implications for Nutrition and Food Security around the globe.

“Covid-19 has imposed a new set of challenges for individuals to maintain a healthy diet. Various dietary components studied in relation to Covid-19 infection include Micronutrients and Macronutrients. The micronutrients comprise of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc while macronutrients are Proteins and Omega-three fatty acids,” reiterated Prof. Sigot.

She further recommended that a healthy diet during the pandemic should consist of wholegrain foods like unprocessed maize which are rich in valuable fibre, consumption of raw vegetables and fresh fruits, healthy fats such as in olive. Prof. Sigot further urged the participants to practice food hygiene, regular drinking of water, limiting consumption of alcohol and watchfulness of the intake of fats, sugar and salt as key practices in relation to the virus infection.

Speaking during the conference, Prof. Sigot stressed that Nutrition plays an important role in boosting the immune system and enabling effective host defence. The researcher noted that a strong immunity creates a barrier that prevents pathogens from entering the body from the external environment. Alternatively, if the pathogens exist in the body, the immune system identifies and eliminates the microorganisms and generates an immunological memory.

Notably, her presentation showed that adequate nutrition supports optimal functioning of the immune system. Individuals who consume well-balanced diets are safer with better immune systems and lower incidences of chronic diseases and infections. A proper and healthy diet ensures a robust immune system that can resist any onslaught by the virus.

Some of the factors that result in depression of our immune system outlined during the presentation encompassed old age, environmental toxins, poor diet, chronic diseases, chronic mental stress as well as lack of sleep and rest. Boost your immune system, Eat healthy! Be healthy!


Ms. Linet Owuor