Expert recommends foods you should eat during Covid-19 for a faster recovery

August 19, 2021

It is important to keep a tab on what you are eating and avoiding while recovering from Covid-19. Read on to know the kind of foods good for your health during recovery.

Covid 19 has a substantial impact on the immune system of a person. To maintain health, you need to provide the required nutrition to the body. Eating the right kind of food at the right time can help build a strong immune system as well as give strength to people who have recovered from Covid. The food you consume plays a major role in how fast you recover. Having the right knowledge about food on what helps and what harms leads to faster recovery.

As patients who have tested positive for covid 19 face symptoms like a gastrointestinal problem, loss of smell, loss of taste, swallowing difficulties, so the diet needs to be focused and well balanced. It is also crucial to understand the comorbidities of the patient like hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease and cardiac problem in order to choose the right type of diet. Your exercise routine and the food you eat determine your rate of recovery.

Foods to eat during Covid-19

Listed below are a few suggestions for patients who are suffering from Covid 19:

Say no to empty calories

In most cases, obese patients suffer from respiratory problems, weakened immune systems, and reduced lung volume. They are more vulnerable to develop pneumonia and cardiac issues. Hence, it is crucial to keep a check on your weight and calorie intake. However, an additional amount of energy is required after recovery from coronavirus infection to cope up with the daily activities. This additional energy requirement caters to the intake of food like rice, potato, whole grain, cereals in your diet. It is best to avoid empty calories like junk food or sugary beverages. It is important to keep your calorie intake in check.

A big yes to protein-rich food

It is recommended that recovering patients should consume 1.2-1.3 g/kg of protein per day. Include whole grains, lentils, legumes, dairy products, soy products, nuts and seeds in your diet and for non-vegetarians, chicken, eggs, and fish will be recommended.

Consume more fruits and vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables are filled with dietary fibre, folate, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Include all of them in your diet for a better result. Many fruits, vegetables and herbs have immunity-boosting properties as they have phytochemicals and bioactive compounds.

Do not forget to hydrate yourself

Infections can dehydrate the body. Therefore, it is vital to rehydrate when you are recovering from Covid. Drink 8-10 glasses of water every day. Consume broths, soups, and other juices as part of your daily diet.

Follow these tips while recovering from Covid

  • Always opt for fresh fruits and vegetables instead of frozen ones or the packed ones with conservatives.
  • Make sure the food is freshly cooked and try to consume home-cooked food as much as possible
  • Ensure you follow the hygiene protocols. Wash vegetables and fruits before use and wash your hands before and after eating
  • The loss of taste and smell may make you feel full very fast. Consume food in smaller quantity but make sure, they are frequent meals
  • Do not avoid eating food if you have a sore throat or difficulty swallowing. Consume soft and mashed food.
  • Ensure proper sleep at night. Short exercise routines for a smaller duration will also help.

Tips for asymptomatic people or those with mild symptoms

It is not only the people who have recovered from Covid should be concerned about the kind of diet they have to follow. Even asymptomatic people or those who have mild symptoms and at home quarantining must be careful about their diet for faster recovery. Listed below are the few tips which they can follow.

  • Consume sufficient water. Staying hydrated is the best way to avoid any harmful effects of Covid-19.
  • Protein consumption is necessary to take care of the damaged tissues and muscles. Besides, it also helps to recover from post-disease weakness.
  • Micronutrients should also be consumed as it plays a key role to strengthen the immune system. Vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds are some of the major sources of micronutrients.
  • Similar to proteins and nutrients, calories are also important for the body. Calories can generate energy, which helps our body to fight any disease.
  • Select easy-to-digest food. You should eat home-cooked meals prepared in hygienic conditions.
  • Limit your salt and sugar intake.
  • Fibre-rich food leads to a healthy digestive system and offers a prolonged feeling of fullness which helps prevent overeating.
  • Avoid alcohol intake. Alcohol is not a part of a healthy diet. It also weakens the immune system. Its heavy use undermines your body's ability to cope with infectious disease, including COVID-19.

Consuming nutritious food is a vital part of living healthy. The food we eat should be giving strength to our body. Also, after the illness, it is mandatory to eat well to come out of it.

- By Ms Sherly Ganesh, Head of Nutrition and Dietetics, Columbia Asia Hospital - Hebbal

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