The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic is leaving a trail of death, destruction and hysteria. As we continue to battle the flu, much is being said about lifestyle changes needed to prevent falling prey to this virus.
"Proper nutrition and hydration are vital. People who eat a well-balanced diet tend to be healthier with stronger immune systems and lower risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases. So, you should eat a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods every day to get the vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, protein and antioxidants your body needs," says dietitian Garima Goyal.
While not much is known about COVID 19 and newer information is slow in coming, we asked Garima about the safety of our food.
Is the intake of raw salads safe during COVID 19?
"For many, eating healthy and salads are synonymous. However, many others tend to be apprehensive about eating raw produce, especially during allergy or flu season. With the outbreak of Covid-19, many are finding themselves turning to comfort food (mostly junk items) instead of reaching out for a bowl of salad. There is currently little scientific information about the survival of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) on the surface of open food," she says.
She adds that it is important to maintain good hygiene practices around open food such as unpackaged bread, cakes, fruit, salad bars to reduce the risk of contamination of the food.
Should we be eating uncooked food, like fruit, vegetables and salads?
"Yes, please continue to eat fresh fruit, vegetables and salads. The best advice is to wash your hands with soap when preparing fruit and vegetables and to rinse fresh produce with water just before you eat it," she says.
How to maintain hygiene with your food?
Garima suggests the following tips to make your diet, health and hygiene on point:
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water before and after food preparation.
- Wash raw vegetables and fruits thoroughly under running water before eating, cutting, or cooking it, whether it’s grown at home or purchased from a grocery store or farmers market, and whether it’s grown conventionally or organically.
- If you are using soap and water to clean the raw vegetables, make sure that the remnants of the soap on the surface is also cleaned well. It is difficult to wash off such stains and soap particles. Soap stains are often visible on plates, even after you wash them. The same stands true for vegetables. In fact, it is more difficult to remove soap from the surface of vegetables.
- If there are vegetables that cannot be washed as soon as you bring it in, try to keep it in a closed space and do not cook or consume within three to four hours.
Remember, you are what you eat, so it is imperative to up your kitchen hygiene!