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POOR DIET MAY AFFECT COVID-19 PATIENT SURVIVAL.

Nutrition experts have said COVID-19 patients need adequate and balanced diet to build their immune system in order to effectively fight the viral infection.

President, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Dr. Bartholomew Brai, said COVID-19 patients must eat adequate diet containing both macronutrients and micronutrients.

Recall that last Tuesday, Gombe COVID-19 patients had protested against alleged negligence, inadequate food and medical attention in the isolation centre.

Brai, alongside a nutrition dietician and a public health physician, however, told PUNCH HealthWise that COVID-19 patients must be well-fed, warning that lack of adequate food can lead to complications for the patients.

“The nutrients should be in adequate quantities and it has to be a balanced diet such that all the food groups should be represented.

“There should be cereals, legumes, tubers, vegetables, animal protein, grains, and water and it should be taken in the right quantity,” Brai counselled.

He said both the old and young COVID-19 patients need adequate nutrition, but the energy requirement of the elderly is lower than the one for younger ones.

The young ones require more energy than the elderly, but when somebody is sick, he needs the energy to cope with COVID-19 and that is why we are talking about energy-providing foods like tubers, cereals, grains and protein, as well as nutrients that can produce antibodies to help fight the disease.

“COVID-19 patients need minerals, zinc, vitamins A and C to support the immunity and they need to take as much as 1.5 litres of water a day,” he added.

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