Post recovery care from COVID-19 is of utmost importance and eating healthy and nutritious food for rebuilding your immunity is essential. COVID-19 leads to a loss of appetite or reduced urge to eat. Good nutrition is important for your health if you have recently recovered from the Coronavirus infection.
Popping health supplement pills is an easier option but replacing them with healthy, simple foods, and having a well-organized eating regimen is much required to compensate for the loss of appetite.
Dietary Recommendations For Post COVID-19 Recovery
1. Include protein-rich foods in your diet. Patients recovering from COVID-19 need sufficient amounts of building blocks (protein) to repair their bodies. A diet rich in protein will not only help you get your strength back but also boost your immune system and keep other infections at bay.
- The overall intake of protein should be between 75-100 gms per day, which is one and a half times more than required for a normal healthy human being.
Proteins can be in the form of pulses, legumes, peanuts, nuts, milk, yogurt, cheese, besan, ragi, paneer, soya, eggs, fish, lean meat, chicken, and white sesame seeds.
2. Eat nutrient-dense foods. Include plenty of fresh seasonal fruits and veggies of different colors, as well as nuts and seeds in your diet. Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in colorful fruits and vegetables help in speedy recovery.
3. Add healthy fats. Healthy fats in the form of ghee, cream, cheese, homemade butter, avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds will be helpful. More calories mean more energy to fight off infections and the ability to recover faster.
You can include about 30 to 40 gms of fats per day.
Opt for whole grains, potatoes, bread, pasta, rice, milk, avocados, jaggery, and roasted chana.
4. Eat vitamin C-rich foods. Citrus foods and vegetables help in enhancing your immune system. Include orange, lemon, sweet lime, amla (Indian gooseberry), guava, broccoli, bell pepper, tomato, green chilies, and other green leafy vegetables in your daily diet.
5. Consume foods high in calcium to regain your lost bone mass. Calcium-rich foods are essential to maintain your bone mass, bone muscle, and bone density.
- Foods like makhanas, ragi, soybean, milk and milk products, calcium-fortified foods, figs, raisins, and almonds are rich sources of calcium.
- Do not forget to include sources of vitamin D (red meat, egg yolks, oily fish, mushroom, fortified almond, and rice milk) to your diet for better absorption of calcium.
More Points to Remember
1. Keep yourself well hydrated. Drink around 3 to 4 liters of water daily. Include soups, broths, herbal teas, kaadha (decoctions), and non-caffeinated drinks in your diet.
2. Eat sprouted/fermented foods. Germination and fermentation increases zinc content in the foods. Findings suggest that zinc has protective effects against COVID-19 and is known to boost immunity.
3. Eat small & frequent meals to fulfill your nutritional requirement and to prevent bloating, gastritis, heaviness, and acidity.
4. Avoid tea/coffee. The major symptoms affecting people post COVID-19 are breathlessness, fatigue, and exhaustion. Since caffeine increases the heart rate, causes dehydration, and increases blood pressure, it is advisable to avoid caffeinated drinks as much as possible.
5. Quit smoking and drinking alcohol. Smoking directly damages your lungs. Smoking and consuming alcohol also suppresses the immune system, making you prone to other infections.
COVID-19 can affect your sense of taste and sense of smell (anosmia) and that can lead to a loss of appetite. You might also get tempted to eat outside food but your safety and recovery should be your only priority. Stick to fresh, simple, home-cooked meals that are prepared in hygienic conditions with love and care.
Any diet is ineffective without proper sleep and exercise, so get enough rest and start with a light or moderate amount of physical activity to get back into your normal routine.
Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.