Health tips to remember this festive period

Monday, December 21st, 2020 00:00 |
Anthony Khaemba, a registered professional nurse.

 Sandra Wekesa @ewekesa_sandra

With the holiday happening at a time when the world is going through a pandemic, it is quite hard to tell how to ensure you have a healthy festive season.

Anthony Khaemba, a registered professional nurse, says no matter how hard and stingy it may sound, staying home is the best and safest option this Christmas. 

“Reality is, hosting large parties, travelling to see friends and family, brushing off masks and ignoring social distancing could have a consequence to your health and that of others,” he says.

He warns that although people might yearn to get hugs from family members after months of staying in isolation, economic anxiety and pandemic fatigue it is only okay to ensure you don’t get loose during this festive season.

Khaemba advises Kenyans to ensure they take more nutritious foods, loaded with a lot of vitamins, fibre and minerals to support a strong immune system. It is also important to ensure you stock up and take medication as prescribed by your doctor. 

Just as the World Health Organisation recommends, adherence to hand  washing with soap and water or using alcohol-based sanitisers is important.

“Avoid close contact with, shaking hands with, hugging and kissing people who have flu like symptoms. This safety measures ensures everyone is safe,” Khaemba says.

He recommends party hosts to limit attendees to a small number and hold events outdoors rather than indoors.

If indoors, they should increase ventilation by opening windows and doors. Importantly, they should use face masks and sit six feet away from each other while eating or drinking.

Henry Ng’ethe, chairman of Nutrition Association of Kenya, says besides watching our diets, it is necessary to increase water intake.

“Ensure you take eight to 10 glasses of water throughout  the day. Reduce on sugar sweetened beverages and caffeinated drinks,” he says.

The 2011 Kenya National Micronutrient survey showed that about 47 per cent of Kenyans suffer from macro nutrients deficiency. 

Processed foods

“In most cases, this is brought about by food that is not nutritionally sufficient, contributed mostly by overcooked or improper preparations,” he says.

He advises Kenyans to reduce processed foods and focus more on fresh produce. 

“Most food processing reduces nutrients in foods through exposure to high level of heat, light or oxygen; therefore, focusing on fresh produce and using appropriate cooking methods can help to increase on nutrients intake,” he adds, saying incorporating indigenous vegetables and avoiding mixing them during cooking as well as including whole grains and nuts in daily diets improves general nutrition.

He also recommends increase in intake of white meat and going moderate on nyama choma. 

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