A well-balanced diet can assist people who are recovering post-COVID-19 infection. It is very crucial to meet the increased nutritional requirement of your body as it helps in replenishing your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing during this time. Few modifications in your daily routine which will help in early healthy recovery are:
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables: Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants present in colorful fruits and vegetables help in speedy recovery. Try to have at least 3-4 servings per day from the fruits and vegetables exchange group. For example, you can simply have 200 gms fruits in a day as raw or just add them to your milkshake/lassi and 300 gms of seasonal vegetables in any form may be cooked, sautéd, steamed, boiled, raw salads, or in snacks.
Protein-rich diet: A normal adult male/female during this phase should have on and average atleast 65 to 75gm of protein per day. Vegetarians can include 2-3 servings/day of thick dal, milk & milk products, nuts and seeds. Besan, sattu, lentils, peanut, paneer, cheese, mushrooms, white sesame seeds are the best options for them on the other hand non-vegetarians can include all of these along with lean meat like eggs, chicken, fish in their diet.
Healthy fats to meet the increased energy requirement: Make your meals energy dense by adding fat and oils like ghee, cream, cheese, sour cream, homemade nutty butter, avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds. Can include 30gms to 35gms of fat per day.
Add Calcium to your diet: Don’t forget to add food items like lotus seeds (makhana), Ragi, soybean, milk& milk products, calcium-fortified food items (flour, milk), figs, raisins, almonds all are excellent sources of calcium in an Indian diet.
Prefer Germinated or fermented grains and pulses for Zinc: All the grains and cereals are rich in zinc whereas Germination and Fermentation of these grains also increase the zinc content in them. This not only increases the zinc content in the diet but also prevents constipation and helps in good bowel movement.
Go for Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps in enhancing our immune system and fights off the infection in the body so, give emphasis on citrus foods and vegetables like orange, lemon, sweet lime, guava, broccoli, bell peppers, tomato, and green leafy veggies as they are rich in vitamin C.
Eat little and often: Include small 6-7 meals in a day. Eating small and frequent meals helps in fulfilling your nutritional requirement as well as prevents GI-related complications like gastritis, bloating, heaviness, acidity.
Keep yourself well hydrated: Drink 3-4 Liters of water daily, keep a bottle handy with you to track your water count daily. The optimal fluids to consume are clear beverages with calories and protein, oral rehydration solution, or sports drinks.
Limit tea/coffee and caffeine-rich beverages: As caffeine tends to increase heart rate, dehydration and blood pressure in the human body, On the other hand breathing difficulty, Fatigue, exhaustion are the major symptoms affecting people during post-COVID infection So, to get early relief from these symptoms to try to avoid caffeine-rich drinks as much as possible.
Quit smoking and drinking alcohol: Smoking directly damages your lungs and lowers down to their strength and capacity, making you prone to furthermore infections. And as we all know, alcohol consumption suppresses the immune system so, Smoking and alcohol consumption both should be avoided.
Note: This info is generalised but not personalised.
For further information and consultation:
Doctor name: B Sirisha
Department:Nutrition & Dietetics.
Specialization: Women & Child Health ( Gyneac and Pediatric)
Timings-9am to 8 pm
Degree: Masters in Nutrition & Dietetics,
Dip in Public Health mannagement,
(Oncology certified dietician, IAPEN Diabetes core committee member)
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