The rainy season is here and along with it, so are the seasonal viral infections. To top it off, we’re also amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recovering from illness is a long and arduous journey. Along with medication, you also need to focus on a well balanced, nutritious diet for healthy recovery. According to the National Health Service (NHS) those recovering from COVID-19 need more proteins, vitamins and minerals to speed up the recovery process and rebuild their immunity. Keeping this in mind, here’s a recovery diet routine you can follow.
COVID-19 Recovery Diet Routine
- Take Adequate Rest: Taking rest after the infection is very essential for your recovery. Good sleep of 7-8 hours improves the recovery rate. Try to avoid going back to your old routine just after recovery as stress or work anxiety might lead to weakness again
- Eat Small Frequent Meals: Small quantities of food at intervals of 2-3 hours will permit adequate nutrition without overtaxing the digestive system. As the gut microbe gets affected, one needs to eat easily digestible foods so that the stomach can easily absorb nutrients and provide energy as well
- Protein: It is the foremost concern as wear and tear of muscle, catabolism occurs at the time of infection. So an adequate amount of protein is needed. According to the Confederation of Medical Associations, Asia and Oceania about 75 grams is needed for the first few weeks. Good quality of protein builds up the immunity, it helps in muscle recovery as well for respiratory muscle strengthening. Include lentils, legumes, milk and milk products, soy, nuts, seeds, meat, chicken, fish and eggs in your diet
- Probiotics: There is a change in healthy gut bacteria because of the treatment with antibiotics, which can lead to inflammation and loss of taste. Probiotics will enhance digestion and help in restoring immunity. Include curd, yogurt, kefir, kombucha or sauerkraut to your meals
- Fluids: This is very essential as it will flush out toxins from the body. During fever, we are in a catabolism state, which leads to dehydration. Try to drink at least 2-3 litres of water every day. One can include other fluids like coconut water as it may help replace electrolytes that the body loses, lemon water which is rich in potassium, herbal concoction and fresh juices. Avoid packaged juices, caffeine and fizzy drinks. For cardiac and kidney patients, the volume of fluid and sodium, along with other electrolytes may have to be restricted.
- Foods high in Vitamin C: Vitamin C boosts our immune system. Most of the vitamin C rich foods are rich in flavonoids. According to The National Institutes of Health flavonoids might help in recovery of the upper respiratory tract infections. Include foods such as lemons, berries, grape, broccoli, raw, dark leafy greens, oranges, capsicum, Guava and amla daily
- Omega 3 fatty acids: Studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids present an anti-inflammatory effect that also helps in recovery after viral infections, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as this reduces inflammation. Sources of Omega 3 fatty acids include Salmon, cod liver oil, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds. Other green leafy vegetables and beans also contain small amounts.
- Garlic: It has been used for centuries for medical ailment. Studies have shown garlic enhances immunity and reduces the severity of the symptoms of viral infections. Garlic can be crushed, sliced, chewed as it produces allicin which has immunity boosting properties
However, recovery also depends on the rate of infection as well. Take adequate bed rest with home cooked food and avoid alcohol, smoking, hard and processed foods which might lower the immunity system and delay recovery.
We hope these recovery diet recommendations help you! Do let us know your thoughts in the comments below. For more on COVID-19 recovery, check out Healthy Reads or tune in to sessions by experts on GOQii Play.
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