Nutrition advice for adults during the COVID-19 outbreak

Nutrition and hydration are essential. People who consume a well-balanced diet have stronger immune systems and are less likely to get chronic illnesses and infectious diseases. To acquire the vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, protein, and antioxidants your body need, you should consume a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods every day. Drink plenty of water. Reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer by avoiding sugar, fat, and salt.

Every day, eat fresh, unprocessed meals.

Consume fruits, vegetables, legumes (e.g. lentils, beans), nuts, and whole grains (e.g. unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat, brown rice, or starchy tubers or roots like potato, yam, taro, or cassava), as well as animal-derived foods (e.g. meat, fish, eggs and milk).

2 cups fruit (4 servings), 2.5 cups vegetables (5 servings), 180 g grains, and 160 g meat and beans (red meat 12 times per week, poultry 23 times per week) should be consumed on a daily basis.

Snack on raw vegetables and fresh fruit rather than high-sugar, high-fat, or high-salt items.

Overcooking vegetables and fruit can result in the loss of essential vitamins.


Choose canned or dried veggies and fruit that haven’t been salted or sugared.

Every day, drink plenty of water.

Water is required for survival. It distributes nutrients and chemicals through the bloodstream, controls body temperature, eliminates waste, and lubricates and cushions joints.

Every day, drink 8–10 cups of water.

Water is the best option, but other liquids, fruits, and vegetables that contain water, such as lemon juice (diluted in water and unsweetened), tea, and coffee, are also acceptable. However, excessive caffeine use should be avoided, as should sweetened fruit juices, syrups, fruit juice concentrates, fizzy and still drinks, which all contain sugar.


Consume fat and oil in moderation.

*Instead of saturated fats, consume unsaturated fats (such as those found in fish, avocado, almonds, olive oil, soy, canola, sunflower, and maize oils) (e.g. found in fatty meat, butter, coconut oil, cream, cheese, ghee and lard).

*Rather to red meat, choose white meat (e.g. poultry) and fish, which are often low in fat.

*Avoid processed meats due to their high fat and salt content.

*Select low-fat or reduced-fat milk and dairy products whenever possible.

*Avoid trans fats made in a factory. Processed foods, fast food, snack foods, fried foods, frozen pizza, pies, cookies, margarines, and spreads are all common sources.

Reduce your salt and sugar intake.

*Use less salt and high-sodium condiments while cooking and preparing food (e.g. soy sauce and fish sauce).

*Use iodized salt and limit your daily salt intake to less than 5 g (about 1 teaspoon).

*Salty and sugary foods (such as snacks) should be avoided.

*Reduce your sugar intake by avoiding soft drinks, sodas, and other sugary beverages (e.g. fruit juices, fruit juice concentrates and syrups, flavoured milks and yoghurt drinks).

*Sweet snacks such as cookies, cakes, and chocolate should be replaced with fresh fruits.


Eat at home as much as possible.

Reduce your interaction with other individuals and your chances of contracting COVID-19 by eating at home. Maintain a 1 metre gap between yourself and someone who is coughing or sneezing. In crowded social environments such as restaurants and cafes, this is not always practicable. Droplets from sick persons may land on surfaces and people’s hands (e.g., customers and employees), and with so many people coming and going, it’s impossible to detect if hands are being washed frequently enough, and surfaces are being cleaned and disinfected quickly enough.



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