In this article, you will find diet & nutrition advice and what are some good foods to eat during the COVID-19 pandemic to boost your immunity.
COVID-19 damages your immunity system, which leaves you in a weaker state than before. Even if you have mild symptoms of Coronavirus, this deadly virus can cause a severe adverse impact on your lungs, heart and brain.
To help your recovery faster from COVID-19 and get you back in everyday life sooner, I have compiled this guide on eating and drinking when recovering from corona virus.
DISCLAIMER: This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, including corona virus.
What To Eat & What To Avoid When Recovering From COVID-19
What makes food and drink important? When your body is fighting an infection it needs more energy and more fluids; therefore we need to eat and drink more than we usually would if we were well.
Our body also needs more building blocks (from protein foods) to support our immune system and help repair our body tissues during recovery.
Vitamins and minerals help these processes along. When we are unwell it is difficult to eat and drink for many reasons. If we do not eat and drink enough your body may need to use its natural stores of energy, protein, minerals and vitamins; you may notice some weight loss or your muscles getting smaller and weaker. We hope the tips in this article will help to limit these changes in your body.
Eating And Drinking When Recovering From Corona Virus
Let’s first see why food and drink are important even after you have recovered from Covid-19. A negative corona virus test after you have recovered doesn’t mean that you have adequate immunity. So, you need to continue taking precautions.
Doctors recommend that people who have recently recovered from the Covid 19 require more building blocks (from protein foods) to reinforce their immune system and repair their body tissues during recovery. They also need vitamins and minerals to speedup the recovery process and boost immunity system.
But when you are unwell it becomes difficult to eat enough food and drink due to many reasons. So, your body digs in its natural stores of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Here are foods and drinks that will help you get your strength back and boost your immune system:
The most important is protein. A protein-rich diet will help repair your damaged body tissues, build up the cells and recover strength. It will also boost your immunity to fight the infection.
That is why the protein content of your diet has to be very, very good after recovery of corona virus.
Let’s see what are the rich sources of protein.
For vegetarian they include legumes, pulses, beans, peanuts, tofu, milk, yogurt, cheese, seeds, soy and mushrooms.
And the non-vegetarian sources are fish, eggs, chicken and meat.
You have to see to it that you are having at least one serving of protein each for your breakfast, for your lunch, for your snacks and your dinner.
This is definitely going to make a big difference in your recovery.
Vitamins & Minerals
The second most important is consuming adequate amount of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants for faster recovery. This you can ensure by eating plenty of different color fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruits, nuts, and seeds.
I recommend that you eat about 200 grams of fruit and 300 grams of seasonal vegetables in a day – whether cooked, sautéed, boiled, steamed or as a raw salad.
If you find difficult to eat all these, you may take a multivitamin & mineral supplement daily, as suggested by your doctor.
One important tip – getting 15 to 20 minutes of morning sunlight daily is the best way to get Vitamin D
High Energy Food
During post covid recovery period, the third most important thing is energy. Definitely, your body needs more calories after you recover from corona virus.
You have to eat enough carbohydrates to get energy levels restored. So include in your diet whole grain bread or pasta, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and various other cereals.
If you eat good amount of these carbs, it will not only provide you energy, but carbohydrates with protein is a complete meal in itself and helps in quicker recovery.
But don’t take this as an excuse to eat junk food that is a big no-no.
Healthy fat is also very, very important because of two things. One it helps meet the critically enhanced energy needs of your body because of covid 19, and second it builds up immunity and supports the recovery process.
The healthy fat options are olive oil, cheese, cream, sour cream, homemade nutty butter, avocados, nuts and seeds.
Drinking More Fluid
COVID-19 causes lose of a lot of fluids because of the infection and fever. This causes dry mouth in a lot of cases. So, the fourth important thing is hydration. You must drink 8-10 glass of water each day, including coconut water, soups, stews, broths, non-caffeine herbal teas, immunity kadha and milk.
You can also have juicy fruits, like the oranges, watermelon or musk melon, which are having a lot of water content and that will definitely take care of your dry mouth.
Also avoid cold water. Try to drink warm water.
I keep a thermos filled with warm water handy near me. This trick works well as it reminds me to drink more water and also helps to keep the track how much water I am drinking.
Also don’t drink water just before or during your meals because it will fill up your stomach and then you will not be able eat enough nutrient, energy dense foods, which are really required for the proper healing process.
Vitamin C The Super Fighter
Another important thing is Vitamin C. It increases your immunity that helps in controlling the infection. So, make sure you eat some citrus foods such as oranges, sweet lime, lemon, guava, bell peppers, broccoli, tomato and green leafy vegetables. They all are really rich source of vitamin C.
Eat Little and Often
Next important thing is eating smaller – 6-7 meals a day, including snacks, instead of three larger meals. Take smaller bites; eat slowly. Eat while sitting up. These all will while meeting your nutritional needs, will also help prevent heaviness, bloating and acidity.
There is one more reason as why your meals need to me small and frequent. Corona virus is likely to cause shortness of breath, which at times even continues when you are recovering. So, if such is a case with you then it can become very, very difficult for you to eat big meals. This is a very useful tip, especially for those who are having difficulty in breathing.
Now I am going to share with you a very, very important tip. This is about the foods that you enjoy and feel like eating other times of the day, you don’t have to wait you know like this is your breakfast time this is your lunch time.
In between if you really feel hungry, choose that time and go ahead and eat food at that point of time. It can be smaller snack or a nourishing drink. As I just told you, you can have smoothies you can have soup you can have fruit juices or make for you your favorite delicious shake.
Foods To Be Avoided
Let’s now see what foods you need to avoid:
(i) During post corona infection many people suffer from breathing difficulty, exhaustion and fatigue. And caffeine causes dehydration, increases our heart rate and blood pressure. So it makes sense to avoid caffeine-rich beverages such as tea & coffee.
(ii) Stay away from all kinds of junk food including Burger, Pizza or aerated drinks, etc. Because these food and drink items will weaken your immune system and slow down the recovery process.
(iii) Avoid eating or drinking anything from outside, as much you can.
Watch this video to learn diet & nutrition tips to speed up your covid 19 recovery process:
I hope you find this article useful. You may like to share with the people struggling with recovery post corona virus.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me age is just a number!”