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Unhealthy food vs immune system


As dengue fever is speedily spreading in Punjab along with the persisting threat of coronavirus, health experts are advising people to include in their routine diet food items that strengthen immunity and nourish the blood.
Medical experts suggest that the citizens should avoid junk food and adopt healthy eating habits to protect themselves from the heath risks.
The spread of dengue fever has reached an alarming level with patients being admitted to hospitals across the province. Earlier, Covid-19 patients were being treated on a large scale and the pandemic has not yet ended.
Medical experts point out that a strong immunity level is necessary to fight both the diseases and a healthy diet was the best solution in this regard.
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Official figures show that in last 24 hours at leat 165 new dengue patients were confirmed in Punjab, raising the total number for the year to 2,587.
The situation in Lahore is particularly grave as 2,013 of the total patients have been recorded in the city.
As many as 319 patients with severe symptoms of the disease are currently admitted to hospitals in the provincial capital.
The number of patients is increasing with each passing day.
“The people should not take dengue fever lightly as it is also dangerous like coronavirus. We lost many people to dengue fever in previous years,” Institute of Public Health’s Dean Dr Zarafshan Tahir said while speaking to The Express Tribune.
“Food is very important before and also during dengue fever that rapidly decreases the number of platelets in the blood. The people should not wait till being affected by the fever for taking healthy food. The immunity system has a very important role against both dengue and coronavirus, especially in dengue when the platelet count drops,” the doctor added.
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“Human body needs protein, vitamins, calcium and strong immunity to fight dengue so we should use such foods, especially fruits and vegetables, that raise the platelet level and boost immunity. People should eat pumpkins, carrots, paprika, tomatoes and other such healthy vegetables along with pomegranate, strawberry, grapes, apple and other fruits that containing vitamins, said Dr Tahir.
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital Emergency Ward Director Dr Riaz Ahmad said changes in eating habits over the past years had affected the general health of the people of the country. We are using substandard food and living in pollution, consumption of junk food by the youth is also a reason of poor health.
He said that in case of being diagnosed with dengue fever, the patients should increase the intake of fruit juice and vegetables. They should avoid junk food and eat simple food.

“I have performed duties in dengue wards and seen the families bringing juice and fruits for the patients but they should always have a healthy diet to avoid diseases and hospitalisation,” the doctor added.
“Rather than falling for myths about miraculous treatment of diseases, the best thing is that we adopt a healthy lifestyle to develop our immunity level. Exercise and pure food are essential preventing dengue and also coronavirus. Eating yogurt, vegetables, nuts and meat is the best for immunity,” said Mayo Hospital Senior Medical Officer Dr Gulam Fareed, while also stressing the need for a clean environment.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2021.

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