Commemorated on December 1st each year, World AIDS Day is an opportunity to demonstrate solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. It’s a day to remind the public and government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight stigma, increase access to treatment, and improve education. People around the world come together in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV, and remember those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.
Service to people living with HIV remains integral to our mission at God’s Love. Medical Nutrition Therapy with our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists helps clients manage HIV, strengthen the immune system, prevent infections, and reduce risk of other chronic diseases.
People living with HIV can protect their immune system with a high-quality diet consisting of daily fruits and vegetables, lean meats, nuts, legumes, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Vitamins and minerals found in these foods are essential nutrients used in the body for growth, repair and maintenance. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Aim for at least 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables per day (1 serving = 1 cup of cooked or raw fruit/vegetables)
- Consume a variety of nuts and legumes regularly. They are good sources of immune supporting vitamins and minerals, as well as protein.
- Include a lean source of protein at each meal – try beans, tofu, legumes, fish and chicken.
- Exercise according to your ability. Check with your medical provider before adding any exercise routine. Benefits of exercise include:
- Improved immune function
- Increased bone health and strength
- Reduced blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- If you smoke, seek help to quit. Smoking cessation significantly reduces risk of cardiovascular disease. Visit NY Smoke Free or NYC Quits for more information.