Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, many of us prefer to stay at home. Many businesses and restaurants were closed in our country. We rarely even go to the market to ensure social isolation. This may have affected your food intake and diet. In this article, I will briefly give you some suggestions that can help you protect your health during this period.

 A strong immune system is key to providing a good defense against pathogenic organisms. You may have heard from the media or someone you know for a while that a specific food or supplement will strengthen your immunity and you should definitely use it. However, there is no scientifically proven nutrient or supplement that can protect or treat you from the coronavirus alone. Healthy life is a whole, therefore it is not right to expect a miracle from a single food or supplement. However, you can keep your immune system strong with a balanced and adequate diet, exercises at home and a regular sleep.

 Malnutrition lowers immune defenses and makes us more susceptible to infection. There are many nutrients (copper, folate, iron, selenium, zinc and vitamins A, B6, B12, C and D) involved in the normal functioning of the immune system, deficiencies of these nutrients impair the immune function. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain a balanced diet to support immune function. For this;


 In order to get enough vitamins and minerals, you should consume at least 400 grams of vegetables and fruits per day (5 servings in total). In addition, vegetables and fruits contain high amounts of fiber (pulp). Fiber contributes to a healthy digestive system and helps prevent your tendency to overeat by increasing your feeling of fullness. In order to ensure adequate fiber intake, you should not forget to include vegetables and fruits as well as legumes and whole grains in all of your meals. Instead of refined grain foods such as white pasta, rice, and white bread, you should consume oats, brown pasta and rice, quinoa and whole wheat breads.


 Your total fat intake should be limited to 30% of total energy intake, and saturated fat (animal, fat) intake should be less than 10%. To achieve this, you should prefer cooking methods that require less or no fat, such as steaming, grilling, or sautéing instead of frying food. To limit your intake of saturated fat, you should choose lean and skinless options for meat and poultry. You should avoid trans fats as much as possible. Many packaged foods, especially chips, contain trans fats. In order not to consume trans fat unnoticed, you should examine the ingredients of the products you buy. You should include foods containing healthy unsaturated fat sources such as oily fish, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, olives and olive oil in your diet.


 During this period, the availability of fresh food decreased. For this reason, your tendency towards canned, frozen or processed foods may be increased. Many of these foods contain high levels of salt. The World Health Organization recommends consuming only 1 teaspoon of salt (5 g) per day. To achieve this, you must prioritize foods with added or reduced salt. You can try to reduce salt by soaking canned foods such as vegetables, beans or cheese in water. Remember that pickled foods and delicatessen products (sausages, sausages, salami, etc.) also contain high levels of sodium. In many countries, it is reported that 50-75% of salt intake comes from the food we eat rather than what we add ourselves. You should avoid adding extra salt to your meals while cooking and at the table, considering that you may have already consumed enough salt. Instead, you can sweeten your meals using fresh or dried herbs and spices.


  Daily sugar consumption should be limited to 5% of your total energy intake. This represents approximately 6 teaspoons of sugar. If you crave something sweet, fruit should always be your priority. If you want to consume other dessert options or cook at home, you can use date puree, fruit puree, honey, molasses instead of refined sugar.


  Maintaining good hydration is essential for optimal health. You can simply calculate the ideal amount of water for you using the equation your weight (kg) x 35 ml. Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, dark tea and energy drinks cause water excretion from the body, so you should avoid consuming too much.


  Excessive amount of alcohol consumption can impair your body's ability to deal with infectious diseases, including COVID-19. It is also known that alcohol consumption increases the symptoms of depression, anxiety, fear, and panic. It may be beneficial to stay away from alcohol so that these symptoms are not triggered, especially during this period of indoors at our homes.


  Probiotics are living microorganisms that benefit us when taken in sufficient quantities. These microorganisms in our intestines develop and regulate the immune system. In studies, it has been stated that regular consumption of beneficial nutrients for intestinal health such as yoghurt and kefir and probiotic supplements containing a specific mixture of bacteria protects us from diseases by protecting our healthy intestinal flora. For this reason, even if you are not taking probiotic supplements, you should be careful to consume yogurt and kefir every day.


  If you always find yourself in the kitchen at home, please read this article more carefully. First of all, you should learn to distinguish between physiological and emotional hunger. If you suddenly feel hungry during the day despite having a perfectly adequate and balanced diet, it may just be due to your annoyance. In this period when our level of physical activity is very low, you should avoid distracting yourself with food to prevent you from gaining excess weight. It can cause overweight, obesity and many diseases. Many of these diseases are considered risk factors for Covid-19.

To prevent this,

  • Eat adequate and balanced nutrition, do not skip your main meals and provide portion control. Learn the amount of nutrients that will meet your body's physiological needs from your dietitian.
  • Ask yourself if you are really hungry, and if you think you are not really hungry try to focus your attention on other activities you enjoy.
  • Your hunger may be due to thirst. Drink 1 glass of water before snacking and wait, the feeling of hunger will probably disappear.
  • Try to find the reason that triggers your hunger feeling. This can often be a feeling like sadness or stress. When you tend to overeat, try to think about your condition and what you are doing. For example, watching and hearing too much bad news may be driving you into bad and overnutrition. Try to stay away from the factors that affect you.


  1. Calder PC (2013), Feeding the immune system, Proc Nutr Soc, Aug;72(3):299-309. 
  2. Kassir R. (2020), Risk of COVID-19 for Patients with Obesity, Obes Rev. doi:10.1111/obr.13034.
  3. Fata GL (2018), Probiotics and the Gut Immune System: Indirect Regulation, Probiotics & Antimicro. Prot. 10:11-21.
  4. The Association of UK Dietitians, COVID-19/Coronavirus-Advice for the General Public, 2020.
  5. WHO/Europe 2020, Food and Nutrition Tips During Self Quarantine.
  6. TUBER 2015, Türkiye Beslenme Rehberi