Good nutrition is vital for maintaining good health status, particularly at this point of time when your immune system has taken a set back and is in a weaker state after being infected with the deadly coronavirus. When the body is combating an infection, it naturally needs more energy and fluids, hence it is pivotal to fuel the system with the right amount of nutrients than you usually need. Even if you have recently recuperated from COVID-19, you must adhere to a strict diet and healthy lifestyle. There are a whole lot of foods that will speed up the recovery process. Coronavirus affects your immune system immensely, so it important to trigger the immune response back to form by consuming healthful foods.
The aftermath of this lethal infection is many, it makes you exhausted, tired and drains out all your physical and mental energy. The National Health Service (NHS) recommends that people who have recently recovered from the coronavirus need more energy, proteins, vitamins and minerals to speed up the recovery process and this would essentially support you to strengthen immunity back and revamp stamina and energy.
As the body has been drained a lot, it is a must to add calorie-dense foods to get energy levels back to form. Include whole-grain cereals like wheat, millets, oats, brown rice and starchy roots such as potato, sweet potato, yam and tapioca in your daily meal plan. These foods are extremely beneficial for your immune system and give you a sudden boost of energy. It is important to avoid taking foods with empty calories like all types of junk food.
Proteins are the building blocks of life that help in faster recovery, the essential amino acids guard you against harmful pathogens. Consume a high protein diet about 75-100 g of protein is needed per day. Take as much as lentils, legumes, milk and milk products, soy, nuts and seeds as you can in the diet regimen. Animal sources such as lean meat, chicken, fish and eggs can be included for non-vegetarians.
Fruits And Vegetables
Natural fresh fruits and vegetables boast a dense nutritional punch such as dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These nutrients help to build a robust immune system and fight infections. It is suggested to have 2 cups of fresh fruits and 2.5 cups of vegetables on a daily basis. Fruits such as oranges, kiwis, strawberries, guava, papaya and other citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, which helps in the formation of antibodies and speeds up the recovery process. All green vegetables, carrots, and gourd varieties support to trigger the immune system.
Immune Building Foods
Right from fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices have impressive immune-boosting properties as they are loaded with antioxidants and a host of bioactive compounds. Incorporate these foods in your regular diet and also drink herbal drinks like kadha, turmeric milk, ginger tea, green tea and other herbal teas to uplift your energy levels and strengthen the immune response.
Water is an important element for life, it carries nutrients in the blood, regulates body temperature, and eliminates waste. Staying hydrated at all times is very essential, drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day. Furthermore, an infection can dehydrate the body, so it’s vital to hydrate yourself when you’re recuperating. You can also consume other fluids like hydrating foods, soups and herbal teas. Restrict intake of too much caffeine and avoid consuming sweetened fruit juices, syrups, fruit juice concentrates and carbonated beverages.
Fats And Oils
Consume unsaturated fatty acids such as nuts, olive, sunflower, gingelly, soy, canola and corn oils. Avoid all saturated fats like fatty meat, processed meats butter, cream, cheese and ghee. In addition, avoid consuming all Trans fats found in processed food, fast food, deep-fried snack, cookies and bakery foods.
Limit Salt and Sugar
It is recommended to limit the salt intake to less than 5g per day and use iodised salt. While cooking limit the amount of salt added and avoid using high-sodium condiments. Avoid snacks that are high in sugar like cookies, cakes and chocolates instead choose fruits and nuts.
M Sowmya Binu is a Senior Nutritionist with Netmeds.com