Post COVID-19 Recovery: Here’s What You Should Eat
The pandemic has irrevocably changed the way we live. Whilst newer strains of the virus are being discovered, the rate of recovery among patients infected with COVID-19 is also increasing. Beating the disease is only half the battle won as it leaves a lasting impact on the body. Post recovery, people continue to have symptoms such as foggy memory, hair loss, joint pain, loss of energy, extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, and dizziness. Patients with underlying comorbidities such as Diabetes and Coronary Heart Disease experience blood sugar spikes and erratic lipid profiles. The rate of recovery differs from person to person. However, this process can be hastened with sound nutrition.
Nutrition can speed up the healing
Good nutrition helps your battered body to heal and build up the lost energy as fast as possible. Clean and healthy eating through regular intake of small meals can help restore energy levels. Meals should comprise a balance of both macro and micronutrients. A diet rich in complex carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals promotes healing and helps repair worn-out cells and tissues. There is a tremendous loss of protein in the body due to the damage done to the immune cells. Certified Clinical Nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood says that the body needs to power up on protein to restore tissue damage and increase the production of T-cells, the key agents that promote immune function. Vitamins and minerals through fruits and vegetables help to boost gut health after a heavy dose of antibiotics. Fruits and vegetables also improve immunity.
Follow these critical nutritional guidelines
Fruits and vegetables to fight inflammation
Post COVID-19, one must opt for a diet that is rich in Cilantro, Mint, Ginger, Garlic, and Coriander as they have high anti-inflammatory properties. Include these in your recipes along with certain spices such as cinnamon, turmeric, honey, and black pepper. The healing properties of curcumin found in turmeric get activated when you take adequate amounts of black pepper. Hence, this must be included in the diet.
Food such as a healthy khichdi paired up with seasonal vegetables is very easy to digest. It also packs a nutritional punch as it is full of essential carbs, protein, and disease-fighting vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, C, D, E, Magnesium, Iron, and Zinc.
Nutrition for people fighting comorbidities
Patients suffering from diabetes need to be extra careful about what is going into their bodies. Eating millets such as Ragi, Jowar, Bajra along with vegetables such as bitter gourd can stabilize blood sugar levels and help prevent blood sugar spikes.
Hydrate to replenish lost fluids from the body
One must sufficiently hydrate to replenish the lost fluids from the body and also to boost overall energy levels. Fluids such as coconut water are chock-a-block full of electrolytes that restore and replenish lost hydration. Vegetable juices from different colored vegetables such as carrots, beets, and tomatoes are full of antioxidants that have disease-fighting properties and vitamins to restore lost immune function.
Role of Vitamins and Minerals found in fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables provide quality fiber to the body along with fructose as a source of energy and carbohydrates. Spinach, Broccoli, and Peas are loaded with protein that helps the cells in the body to repair and heal. Iron stimulates hair growth while Zinc helps in the growth of hair follicles. Green peas and green beans are great sources of Zinc that build up the body’s T-cells and B-cells. These help to restore memory function in those suffering from a loss of memory due to the disease.
Immunity boosting fruits and vegetables for a speedy recovery
The important micronutrients for post-COVID-19 recovery are Selenium, Zinc, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Iron. Alpha-Lipoic Acid is a powerful antioxidant that helps to counter fatigue. These can be consumed in the form of: · Easily available herbs: Oregano, Tulsi, Lemongrass, and Rosemary · Fruits: Pomegranate, Guava, Mango, Grapes, Lemons, and Oranges · Vegetables: Drumsticks, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Leafy Greens, and Cruciferous Vegetables · Probiotics: Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Rice Kanji, Kombucha, Pickles · Prebiotics: Apple, Garlic, Asparagus
Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential for a speedy COVID-19 recovery as they are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins which help to boost the immune system as the body recovers and starts to creep back to normalcy. Here is a rough diet plan that you can follow to hasten recovery and ensure that your intake of essential micronutrients through fruits and vegetables is adequate. · Early Morning: Fresh vegetable juice made from carrot, beet, or amla · Breakfast: Lightly sautéed mixed vegetables with toast or oats or chilla · Mid-morning snack: Any citrus fruit which is high in Vitamin C · Lunch: A simple home-cooked meal such as mixed vegetable khichdi with chutney · Evening snack: Fruits smoothie using mangoes or bananas · Dinner: Vegetable soup/ vegetable with chapati and a lentil There are also some fruits and veggies which must be incorporated to increase oxygenation in the blood: These are pomegranates, onions, garlic, beets, tomato, ginger, and leafy green vegetables.