COVID-19 and Diabetes: Maintain a Balanced Diet to Boost Your Immune System

Kasparas Aleknavičius

2020 Apr 14

6 min read

Individuals with diabetes are at higher risk during the COVID19 global pandemic. There is a good chance your daily routine is somewhat different than before. The good news is that you can use the quarantine period to boost your immunity system through a balanced healthy diet.

Simultaneously, you should also adhere to all the basic guidelines laid out by WHO and CDC to remain safe. Naturally, people with diabetes do not want to face complications after the contraction of the virus.

That said, the data does indicate that people with underlying health conditions are at higher risk. And that is because when you are ill, it becomes difficult for people with diabetes to manage the right level of glucose. By eating specific foods, however, you can boost your immune system.

How is the Virus Spreading So Fast?

As of now, the COVID19 virus spreads largely from individual to individual via respiratory droplets from sneezing or coughing. Furthermore, the virus could live on numerous surfaces for 2-3 days. You might not display all the symptoms (i.e., coughing, fever, or shortness of breath), but you should still protect yourself to prevent the spread of the COVID19.

What Could Happen?

Well, the information is not to scare people away, but to enlighten the possible risks of COVID19. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is clear about folks with diabetes who develop the virus are inherently at higher risk of developing a severe illness like pneumonia.

Technically, people with diabetes under stress or other illness can increase their blood sugar levels. In fact, the state of diabetic ketoacidosis could happen when an individual with diabetes does not have sufficient insulin in the body to handle the elevation.

As a result, your body starts to break down fats to get the required energy, which leads to the development of ketones in your blood cells. Ketones turn your blood more acidic and can cause severe health issues. Well, now that you know the worst, it is time to move on to the part where you learn to boost your immune system.

Boost Your Immune System

Here is the thing; there are many foods that can boost your immune system, which means protection against COVID-19. However, you should consult with your doctor and dietary physician before starting a diabetic diet.

There are numerous nutrients, such as folate, iron, copper, selenium, or zinc that can build immunity. Similarly, vitamins A, C, D, B6, or B12 can also play a vital role in your immune system. Ideally, eat a balanced and healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruits.

As much as eating healthy matters, you cannot sit on your couch all day. Any continuous physical healthy activity in your house would be enough to reduce stress. Additionally, get as much sleep as you can to regulate your immune functioning.

In essence, make sure you meet your dietary requirements. After all, minerals and vitamins are crucial to maintain good health and normalize your immune system. Once you start to eat a healthy and balanced diet, it would provide all the required nutrients your body needs. However, if you face difficulties in meeting dietary requirements, you can include nutrient supplements.

What Exactly Can You Add in Your Diet?

Seeds and Nuts

Nut butters – almond, peanut, and cashew

Nuts – walnuts, almonds, and peanuts

Seed butters – seed, sunflower, or tahini

Seeds – sesame, flax, sunflower, chia, or pumpkin

Beans & Peas

Dried and canned beans – black, white, garbanzo, kidney, or split peas

Grain Foods

Whole-grain and bean pastas

Whole grains – barley, brown rice, quinoa, millet, couscous, farro, or oatmeal

Whole-grain bread, crackers, or muffins

Whole-grain cereal

Canned Vegetable and Fruit Items

Select a variation of no extra salt vegetables – asparagus, corn, green beans, tomatoes, beets, artichokes, carrots, roasted peppers, potatoes, or mushrooms

Select fruits packed in water or juice – pineapple, pears, mandarin oranges, applesauce, or fruit cocktail

Soups & Broths

Soups – minestrone, reduced-sodium vegetable, or chicken noodle  

Broth – beef, reduced-sodium chicken, vegetable stock or broth

Other Protein Sources

Pouches or tuna Cans, salmon cans, sardines’ cans, chicken, clams, or ham

Fish or beef jerky

Shelf-based tofu

Control Your Glucose

One of the most valuable elements in any infection control for diabetic patients is the maintenance of glucose levels. When your glucose levels are in control, you could significantly decrease the risk of complication and as well as the seriousness of the infection.

It All Comes Down to YOUR Diet Plan

It is high time you start a meal plan that can guarantee a balanced diet. Besides, people with diabetes cannot afford to let the luck run its course. Instead, use a diet plan that offers you sufficient required nutrients and vitamins to remain healthy. You can, of course, follow a web-based diet plan that will allow you to boost your immunity more naturally.

Don’t Overlook Common Preventive Measures

While you boost your immune system through a balanced diet, follow the precautionary safety rules of WHO and CDC. If you have to go out, maintain a distance of at least 2 meters (6 feet) from the person who might be contagious.

In addition, wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water. If you are out of soap, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% of alcohol. Wash your hands if you touch door handles, tabletops, or countertops. And most importantly, do not touch your nose, mouth, or eyes with those unwashed hands. And practice physical distancing religiously.

Conclusion

The truth is COVID-19 is a lethal virus, and it is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges faced by medical professionals all around the world. The infectious nature of the disease spreads like wildfire because of the close physical contact.

Diabetic patients, for instance, should have a family member, friend, or neighbor on a speed-dial. And if you feel unwell, contact your trusted doctor online. Your doctor can make the right call because of the knowledge of your diabetic history.

The best course of action for people with diabetes would be to prepare beforehand. Whether you contract the virus or not, improve your immunity all the same. Apart from preparedness, stay informed about any new information that might make all the difference.

Written by

Kasparas Aleknavičius

Kasparas is one of our freshest doctor’s in the Klinio family. With his master’s in medicine and broad-spectrum experience in health, he is currently helping our customers better understand diabetes management. He is participating in every product project - from our blog and hub articles to diabetes management subtleties. As a healthcare futurist, he is also constantly looking for innovative ways to control blood glucose and assure the easiest diabetes management complexes.

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