By Ebere Agozie
The consumption of organic and natural foods, vegetables and spices have been found effective in boosting the immunity and as well as possible cure of some symptoms of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
Dr Olugbenga AdeOluwa, National Coordinator, Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative in Nigeria said this at the Initiative’s stakeholders’ forum in Abuja.
AdeOluwa said that although several types of research had been implemented to find effective vaccines to stem this pandemic, organic food is still the preferred option.
He added that one of the precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases must include eating right.
Eating right starts with eating chemical free foods which through organic food, as organic farming does not permit the use of substances that are foreign to nature.
“Organic agriculture does not allow the use of organisms or substances that are foreign to nature like Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), chemical fertilisers, pesticides or food additives,
“Rather, it gives farms and animals life conditions that correspond to their ecological roles and allow them to display natural behaviour,’’ he said.
AdeOluwa urged Nigerian farmers to embrace organic farming to enable them access all the benefits associated with the farming system.
He said that one of the strengths of organic farming is the production of healthy produce and products, which should be encouraged.
“In organic farming, the use of inputs that are hazardous to human health are avoided but rather inputs are used with due regard to its implications on the health of consumers and the environment.
“Some of these benefits include improved health and nutrition. Organic farming causes little damage to the environment and less costs for society, while reducing nutrient losses as well as erosion”.
According to him, `research has shown the potential of organic spices to improve the body immune system’.
“Several studies have shown that persons with strong immune systems are more likely not to be affected by the COVID-19.
“Even if they get infected, they have higher chances of surviving the attack, hence, the need to explore ways to build the body immune system’’.
He said organic spices are known to contain and maintain phytonutrients which are plant compounds that exhibit the capacity to alter biochemical reactions and consequently influence human health after ingestion.
“Crops, including spices grown using organic standards, contain better combination of nutrients and phytonutrients than the ones grown in conventional systems,’’ he added.
Recall that coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan, China in December 2019 without a definite cause.
The outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30th January 2020 and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a name for the disease on 11 February 2020 as COVID-19.
WHO also declared the outbreak a pandemic on 11th of March 2020 considering the way the number of cases continue to rise significantly on daily basis in 213 countries of the world. All African Countries had also been affected by the pandemic as at 12th June 2020.
COVID-19 is a virus that causes severe upper and lower respiratory tract infections.
COVID-19 has various symptoms which include fever, tiredness, itching in the throat, dry throat, and dry cough. Some infected patients may experience pains and aches, nasal congestion, sore throat, runny nose or diarrhoea.