Coronavirus : Nutrition hints and tips for the general public as we face into the current crisis.
Many dietitians are being asked for advice around nutrition during the current coronavirus pandemic. What should we eat to boost our immune system is a common opening question! Simply put, you cannot "boost" your immune system through diet, and no specific food or supplement will prevent you catching Covid-19. Good hygiene practices, coughing etiquette and social distancing remain the best means of avoiding infection. To date, the European Food Safety Authority have not authorised any claim for a food or food component to be labelled as protecting against infection.
However, there are many nutrients that are involved with the normal functioning of the immune system, so we would encourage maintaining a healthy balanced diet in order to support immune function (include copper, folate, iron, selenium, zinc and vitamins A, B6, B12, C and D). We don't recommend any one food over another, but instead encourage eating a variety of foods to maintain a healthy balanced diet.
There is NO NEED to stockpile or buy more food than you normally would. Although you should seek to keep shopping trips to a minimum, if you are not ill and are only undertaking social distancing, you can still visit the shops to but pay normal supplies.
Check out our tips here for eating well on a budget and using store cupboard essentials - more important than ever at the moment!
Remember to :
In normal circumstances, sunshine, not food, is where most of your vitamin D comes from. So even a healthy, well balanced diet, that provides all other vitamins and nutrients you need, is unlikely to provide enough vitamin D if you aren't able to get enough sun. During autumn and winter months when we spend more time indoors and the sun is weaker, adults and children over the age old one are advised to take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.
Now we are in spring, if you can you should seek to spend some time outdoors in the sunshine (eg. your garden or balcony). However, if you are having to self-isolate or if you are unable to go outside, you should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms to ensure a healthy vitamin D status (for adults and children over the age of one).
You can also eat plenty of vitamin D rich foods, including:
There is currently no evidence to suggest that the Covid-19 virus is transmitted when handling or preparing food. Please continue to follow general food safety advice;washing hands thoroughly, cleaning surfaces and separating raw meat / fish from other foods when preparing food. Safefood have very good leaflets on this topic.
It is important older people are still encouraged to keep active. Good nutrition, including eating enough protein, is essential to protect people's muscles including respiratory muscles to help with breathing. Click for some high protein and high calorie tips from the HSE 'Making the Most of Every Bite' leaflet. The Making the Most of Every Bite Cookbook by Dr Aoife Ryan, UCC also provides lots of recipe ideas here.
Finally getting enough fluid is essential for good health and you will need more fluid than usual if you have an infection. Adults are usually advised to have 6-8 mugs or large glasses a day, but this may need to be higher for someone with a high temperature.
(Credits: Some material adapted from BDA website)
In these unprecedented times, there is a need for greater communication of evidence-based information and the sharing of expertise across the Dietetic Community.Many Dietitians will find themselves working in areas that are unfamiliar. To support you as you navigate this changed landscape, the INDI has formed a task and finish group to develop resources.
These resources are now available for you in our INDI E-Learning centre.
Our aim is to be flexible and evolve documents that are fit for purpose and we welcome suggestions of resources – existing or needed - so let us know if you see any gaps. These documents are in word format so you can adapt them to local PPG.
We have also developed a forum on our Learning Centre to share experience, support one another, and seek knowledge. This forum is private and is not moderated.
There are two areas in the E-learning centre – one for clinical dietetic practice and one as a signpost for general information which may be useful (non-urgent, non-acute, general healthy eating)
The resources are for use by our members and you can also share them with other Health Professionals and members of the public as needed.
These documents have been developed and/or collated by Dr Anne Griffin, Ruth Kilcawley, Carmel O Hanlon, Jennifer Feighan, Ruth Reidy, Mairead Aherne and Lisa Shanahan using material from a variety of sources. The resources have also been shared with our colleagues in the BDA and throughout the EU via EFAD.
Huge thanks to all in the group who worked tirelessly over the last few days to prepare these resources for you - we are very grateful for all their efforts.
We hope that you find them useful.
To access the E-Learning Centre: Please follow this link https://learning.indi.ie/course/index.php?categoryid=8 then click on the 'Resources for Dietitians' course and click LOG IN AS GUEST from the login screen.
The Dietitians of the Renal Interest Group of the INDI are delighted to present an opportunity for dietitians to learn from those working in this specialist area of dietetics with their Online Renal Nutrition Course.
It's that time of year again - always a good idea to rethink the school lunchbox.
Lots of useful hints and tips from safefood here below to inspire you.
As you may be aware, a HSE Working Group for Changes in Dysphagia Management, reporting to Dr Colm Henry, HSE Chief Clinical Officer (CCO), has been working on a plan to support the transition to the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative Framework (IDDSI,2015) starting September 1st 2019.
Please find details below on how to access the share centre on hseland.ie where educational and training resources to support staff in implementation of the transition to International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative Framework (IDDSI).