The second wave of coronavirus has been brutal and there is no exaggeration in saying that it affected countless number of families in our country. Optimal nutrition is essential for building a robust immune system and this is the only sustainable way to thrive and revive in the pandemic situation. Good care is needed while recovering from COVID-19 infection, the foods, and beverages you consume can either help or impede the process of recovery. As the body has been combatting all through the day to thwart off SARS-CoV-2, you need to restore it with all the lost nutrients to avert the risk of other health woes.
A good lot of foods, including fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and protein is shown to improve health status and speed up convalescence. One key nutrient that holds a significant role in this process is protein, nutritionist and health care provider in unison recommend all patients affected with coronavirus have a high protein diet along with adequate fluids, which is key to a healthy recovery. A high protein diet has shown to lower inflammation, boost immune health, promote healing and offer a steady supply of energy necessary for repair.
How Protein Helps In Recovery?
Poor protein intake or deficiency of protein is associated with impaired immune response, which is directly linked to an increased risk of getting inflicted with coronavirus. The body needs protein to support repairing and building several body tissues, including muscle and skin. It is also a key player in triggering immune functions, helping to combat infection. Aside from this, protein also plays a role in balancing body fluids and carrying oxygen to all the vital organs.
Generally, for any person recovering from an injury, surgery, or illness protein aids in healing and faster recuperating. However, you should also have a wholesome diet comprising a colourful array of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Food’s rich in protein with a high biological value contains all the nine essential amino acids that possess potent anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting activity.
How To Know If You Are Protein Deficient?
Loss Of Muscle Mass
Protein is important for the maintenance and growth of muscles, When the diet is lacking in protein, the body tends to take protein from skeletal muscles to sustain tissues and body functions. Loss of muscle mass is one of the keys signs of poor protein intake.
Irritability, brain fog and unstable mood are associated with inadequate protein intake. Protein holds a significant role in synthesizing hormones and neurotransmitters that are responsible for mood and mental well-being.
When the body is not provided with enough protein, it can lead to a drop in blood sugar levels that triggers unusual cravings and hunger. Incorporating protein-packed foods helps to ensure that the blood sugar levels are stable and keep you satiated.
Skin, Hair And Nail Problems
The skin, nails and hair are mainly made of proteins, hence lack of protein in the diet will negatively impact their health. Severe protein deficiency can result in flaky, dry skin and depigmentation and also lead to hair loss and brittle nails.
High Severity of Infections
A protein-deficient diet can take its toll on immune health. Impaired immune functions may elevate the risk of infections. Consuming very little protein may impair the body’s ability to combat infections like common cold, cough and flu.
How Much Of Protein Should You Consume?
The requirement of protein depends on several factors including body weight, muscle mass, physical activity, and age. However, bodyweight is regarded as one of the most important determinants for protein requirements. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 0.8 -1.0 grams per kg for most healthy adults. However, during recovery from an illness the protein demand increases and it safe to consume about 1-1.5 grams of proteins per kg of body weight.
Some of the best natural food sources of protein include lean meats, eggs, fish, dairy and dairy products, legumes, pulses, soy and nuts. Protein supplements like whey protein or vegan protein powder can also be included if you are not able to meet the demands from the diet. However, it is always best to seek advice from your health care provider before taking any supplements.