A consultant nutritionist, Dr Olusola Malomo, has recommended the regular intake of fruit juice and regular exercise as measures to boost the immune system and combat the coronavirus disease.
Malomo, who is also the Publicity Secretary of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, gave the advice at a healthy living dialogue organised by CHI Limited.
He said the World Health Organisation and other global public institutions have confirmed that the severity of the COVID-19 infection was linked with the overall state of the body’s immune system.
“COVID-19 is a respiratory infection which causes fever, tiredness, sore throat and in severe cases, shortness of breath. This is the reason why people with pre-existing health challenges are most vulnerable to the virus.
“Deficiency in Zinc, Iron, Copper, Folic Acid, Vitamins A, B6, C (which is contained in large quantity in fruit juice) and E have impacts on immune responses.
The Cable News Network reported that the United States retail sales of orange juice jumped about 38 per cent in the four weeks ending on March 28, 2020, when compared to the same period last year. Also, the Florida Department of Citrus disclosed that there was a spike in demand for orange juice within the same period.
“Regular exercise is an essential component of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, helps control body weight, removes toxins in the body, increases blood circulation and lowers blood pressure.
“The result of these is a strengthened immune system that protects the body against infections and diseases. Regular exercise is most valuable when one shuns junk foods and stick to healthy eating habits and a balanced diet,” Malomo said.
He added that pure fruit juices, where available, could be substituted for raw fruits since it was difficult to ascertain the level of hygiene maintained by those who sell raw fruits.