Good nutritious food is very important when you are recouping from Coronavirus. This is because immunity is very low and one is very weak at this stage. And your diet plays a major role in boosting the immune system and getting you back on track.
Therefore it’s equally important to know what to include and what to avoid in your diet while recouping from COVID-19.
First, you need to avoid alcohol and junk food as they will not help in restoring your good gut bacteria. Remember the diarrhoea symptoms during the infection. So alcohol and junk food will not help, but rather increase inflammation in the gut.
Also avoid spicy and processed food as they will irritate the throat and can cause acidity. Limit intake of processed carbs and sugar if you had breathing issues and took oxygen support. Along with it do not consume raw vegetables as it might result in indigestion and one will lose out on appetite, which can lead to secondary infections.
Now, here is what you need to have: whole grains (complex carbs), country chicken, eggs, fish (harvested from natural habitat), lentils, cottage cheese, tree nuts and seeds.
The virus has already affected the immune system and now is the time to pep and build it up with a balanced diet of macro and micro nutrients. Particularly proteins, which will start repairing the cells, muscle and tissues damaged during the illness. A protein-enriched diet will boost the immune cells and bring them back to normalcy.
Vitamins and minerals: Consumption of Vitamin C (citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, and berries), Vitamin D (egg yolk, salmon and morning sunlight) and Zinc (shellfish, organ meat processed cheese) helps in strengthening the immune system and fast recovery.
Along with that one requires Omega 3 rich ingredients such as flaxseeds and fish oil. Besides, having nitrate-rich vegetables like beetroots and peppers helps in lung functioning, relaxation of blood vessels, controlling of blood pressure and optimisation of oxygen uptake. On top of it, these are sources of Vitamins C and D and zinc that are antioxidant and ensure optimal immune function.
Post COVID: have calorie dense food such as parboiled rice, carb rich tubers, whole cereals curd and chass with homemade dishes. This helps in reviving the appetite one has lost during the virus attack. Have enough fluid along with coconut water, milk, fresh juice, kadha tea, and turmeric milk.
Have the following in your day’s diet plan:
Semi solid foods like porridge daliya & rawa daliya, soft dosa (pitha fermented batter or chilla if fresh) made from husked/whole moong dal, besan and paraboiled rice with coconut for breakfast.
Try out dalma & rice, plain dal & rice or pakhala. Side accompaniments can include eggs, fish, chicken, and paneer which should be less spicy and less oily.
Munch tree nuts, almonds and seeds of pumpkin and sunflower, which can be roasted with sea salt & black salt. In the evening settle for vegetable or chicken soup with eggs (optional) depending on your reference. You can go in for fresh seasonal fruit chaat or Chana (Indian chickpea) chaat.
Go in for whole grain chapattis with stewed vegetables or opt in for less oily veg pulao or chicken fried rice. But don’t forget your daily allowance of curd in the form of raita or simple curd mix in seasonal herbs along with coriander and mint leaves.
It’s also important to pace your day by having herbal tea and kadha at intervals. Pack it up in the night with warm milk with turmeric and black pepper. Make sure to have anti-viral condiments with your food to boost the immune system and repair the taste buds. These condiments — garlic, fennel seeds, ginger, cumin seeds, tulsi and turmeric — are easily available in the kitchen.
For post-COVID recovery, go slow with your daily routine for at least a fortnight as one might experience fatigue, shortness of breath, congestion in the chest, poor appetite, stress along with anxiety.
The final take for post-COVID recovery is to have less quantity of food, but more frequently. The diet should include a wee bit of extra carbs especially from whole grains, brown and unpolished rice and tubers. Protein enriched diet with nuts, seeds & dry fruits and generous servings of seasonal fresh fruits. Hydrate with at least eight to ten glasses of fluid spreading across, coconut water, & fresh fruit juice. And at intervals, sip warm water induced with cumin seeds. This helps in regulating one’s body temperature while removing toxins.