The impact of Covid-19 on human body is devastating. Even after successful treatment, the fear of relapse and emergence of new symptoms and other complications are too high. This makes post-discharge commitment towards self even more demanding to avert future unexpected catastrophes. On top of medical suggestions and precautions, what plays an indispensable role is the proper nutrition. It will help to sustain the effect of strong treatment, reduce internal inflammations, and replenish nutritional deficiencies while boosting the immunity.
Why diet and nutrition are important post covid-19 treatment?
People infected with coronavirus face several health problems including frequent fever, fatigue, severe weight loss, inflammation, dehydration, drastic changes in taste, smell, loss of appetite, and difficulty in chewing and swallowing. In such conditions, people usually avoid meals resulting in a deficiency of nutrients that lead to malnutrition.
Not only this, the medication administered during the treatment course also leads to loss of appetite leading to unintentional weight loss.
The fragile body post treatment with a poor immune system, might get vulnerable to related-complications and risk of other infections. This is the reason, why taking care of your nutrition becomes too crucial for your faster recovery.
How diet will help in post covid-19 recovery?
Diet plays a major role in any acute and chronic health condition. Consuming immune-boosting, muscle building and energy generating food is quite necessary to ensure your body is stepping up towards normalcy after receiving the treatment. So, make sure to consume five to seven servings of whole grains, four to six servings of fruits and vegetables, and two to three servings of dairy products per day to get adequate energy, antioxidants, essential vitamins (A, C, D, E, and vitamin B complex) and minerals (zinc, copper, selenium, magnesium, iron) for improving immune system naturally.
What is the optimum nutritional combination for Covid-19 recovering patients?
Nutritional support is very important during Covid 19 recovery period. Try to take 5-6 frequent meals instead of having 2-3 heavy meals to avoid shortness of breath or other breathing difficulties as an aftermath of lung damage due to the infection.
1. Protein is one of the major nutrients which help in building the immunity and repairing damaged body tissues. Post Covid, people should continue protein rich diet to fight and get rid of the infection from root. Select food items like legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, milk and its products, soy food products, eggs, fish, chicken, and poultry.
Calculate your daily protein requirement as per your weight
It’s simple! Multiply your current body weight with 1.2 and get the accurate daily protein requirement in grams. For example, if your weight is 60 kg, multiply it with 1.2. The result is 72. Hence, you have to take 72 grams of protein daily to fulfill your protein needs.
2. Vitamin D strengthens the immune system by boosting anti-inflammatory properties which help in reducing the risk of respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D rich foods include egg yolks, mushrooms, fortified orange juice, cereals milk and its products. The most important source is sun exposure between 8 am to 3 pm. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen when the sun is high in the sky.
3. Vitamin C is well known to boost immunity. It has natural antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties which help in reducing oxidative stress and cytokine storm. The best sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits and vegetables such as lemon, amla, orange, capsicum, cabbage, broccoli, tomato and green leafy vegetables.
4. Some additional immune-boosting foods which are rich in many other essential vitamins and minerals are fatty fish, turmeric, curcumin, basil leaves, garlic, onions, ginger, yogurt, curd, seeds, and nuts.
5. Probiotics and prebiotics encourage the growth of good bacteria which help in digesting foods and supporting the immune system.
Post Covid dietary guidelines and tips for faster recovery-
After discharge from the hospital, people should follow all the below tips for quicker recovery.
- Take fresh balanced diet with adequate calories, fluids, macro and micronutrients.
- Add 4-6 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day either in the form of salad, nourishing drinks, soup, stews, or well-cooked curry.
- Dry mouth is a common complaint due to the frequent use of steamer and nebulizer. Keep yourself hydrated to maintain body temperature and get rid of wastes through urination. Hydrate your body by using more fluids in the form of water, buttermilk, lemon juice, coconut water, soups, stews, and even juicy fruits like orange, watermelon, pineapple, etc.
- Keep monitoring your weight every 2-4 days and follow safe hygiene practices.
- Get 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night to promote mental as well as physical health.
- Stay physically active at home by doing yoga, exercise, dance, cleaning, playing with children, and walking. Do activities in limit as per your stamina.
- Follow traditional Indian home remedies or herbal drinks in the morning and turmeric milk as immune booster before going to bed.
These mistakes can delay your recovery
Consuming too much of packaged milk or packaged dairy products in place of fresh milk from local vendors as they contain lots of toxins and hormones.
- Consuming too much of salt, sugar, caffeine, sweetened drinks, and syrups.
- Taking cold drinks, soda, canned fruit and juices as they contain less fiber and more sugar.
- Enjoying deep fried, oily, and processed foods.
- Using tech gadgets before going to bed.
- Smoking and consuming alcohol.