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Eating Well to Regain Your Strength Post-Covid

Post-Covid, the next critical step during the rehabilitation phase is to restore the muscle strength and replenish our body’s nutrient stores that will gradually help build up our immune strength.

Post by on Monday, June 14, 2021

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Post-Covid, the next critical step during the rehabilitation phase is to restore the muscle strength and replenish our body’s nutrient stores that will gradually help build up our immune strength.

A well-balanced diet can assist people who are recovering from post–COVID19 infections. Meeting the nutritional requirements during this phase is essential as it will help to restore and replenish the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.


Here is a step wise guide to regain back your strength post-Covid:

1. The first step to follow post-covid recovery is to start with a food schedule for meals and snacks, which will help to ensure that you get in the calories and nutrients which were lost during the infection phase. During the Covid phase, there is loss of appetite and hence it is very critical to bring back that appetite with consumption of meals and snacks between a time gap frame of 2-3hours

2. Adequate number of calories-are quite necessary to reduce on the stress load acquired during the Covid infection phase. Allow the food you consume to build up on the lost strength. During the recovery phase, do not under eat – as you are again putting your own body in the stressful phase and devoiding your body of essential nutrients it requires. Try to consume calories at equal intervals throughout the day. Undereating during the day and overeating at night is a wrong practice and one should avoid this at all costs.

3. Along with adequate calories, Protein rich foods are cornerstones for rebuilding on the muscle strength. There will be good amount of muscle restoration and stimulation if the protein is included throughout the day versus to protein been consumed all together in only one meal. Make sure to include protein with each meal. Include 2-3 servings of thick dals, beans, sprouts, soya, milk/milk products, nuts and oilseeds, eggs, chicken and fish in diet.

4. Include healthy amounts of fats to increase and support energy requirements needed during the recovery phase. Fat is a major source of energy and it helps in the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals. Fat is required for the building of cell membranes and development of sheaths around nerves. Include mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated types of fat (which are the good categories of oil) most commonly found in Olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocadoes, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, sunflower, safflower oil, soybean oils and corn oils.

5. Include plenty of Fruits and Vegetables– Vitamins, Minerals and antioxidants present in colorful fruits and vegetables help in speedy recovery. Try to have at least 5-6 servings from each fruit and vegetables food groups.

6. Vitamin C rich foods– Vitamin C helps to keep your immune system healthy. It is found in many fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and it is ideal to pair up your meals with vitamin C rich foods so that it can ensure the body has its defense system ready to fight against infections.

7. Add Calcium rich foods - This is an important nutrient for bone health. Calcium rich foods are essential to help keep the bone mass you have. Include Ragi, soybean, milk and milk products, calcium fortified foods products to enhance the nutritional value of your everyday meals.

8. Add Zinc rich foods– All whole grains and cereals are rich sources of zinc, whereas germination and fermentation of these grains also increase the zinc content in them. This not only helps in enhancing the nutritional status of meals via zinc but also helps in relieving of constipation and maintaining of good bowel health.

9. Gut heath, probiotics and prebiotics - In addition to our skin, our gut is the first line defense against infection. Include probiotics and prebiotics rich foods. Probiotics are found in fermented foods like curds, kefir, pickled vegetables. Prebiotics are found mostly in fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. Eating these foods helps to keep a healthy digestive tract as a part of a healthy immune system.

10.Add Omega-3 fatty acids to the diet – Omega 3’s help to reduce excess inflammation. As you recover post covid- your body may be experiencing a significant amount of inflammation. Consuming food-based sources of omega-3 is very helpful. Omega-3 are found in salmon, tuna, chia seeds, ground flaxseeds and edamame. Omega-3 supplementation can also be taken with prior proper consultation with your doctor.

11. Avoid caffeine rich beverages –Too much of Caffeine tends to increase the heart rate, dehydration and blood pressure in the human body. Post covid infection, there is lot of fatigue, exhaustion and hence to get early relief from these symptoms avoid caffeine as much as possible.

12. Hydration – Staying well hydrated is always important, but especially so when you are sick. Drink 3-4 liters of water daily. Did you know? – We actually absorb fluids better when we drink throughout the day rather than having a lot of fluid all at once.

13. Try daily a dose of Mindfulness Meditation- Meditation boosts antibodies. Meditation also helps to stimulate the brain function regions; these are also the areas of the brain that act as a command center for your immune system. When stimulated through meditation, they make the immune system function more effectively.


TIPS

1. Prioritize fresh food produce over pre-packaged ones.

 2. Make sure all your foods are simple and freshly cooked at home, instead of relying on outside foods. 

3. Eating large portions of food is difficult during the initial recovery phases from COVID-19 infection – so take smaller and frequent meals throughout the day.

4. Post Covid Recovery, many patients feel difficulty with swallowing – hence go for soft, mashed or liquid foods.

5. Any diet is ineffective without proper sleep and exercise, so get enough rest and slowly gradually start with small amounts of physical exercise depending upon the body’s capacity.


Post-Covid, the fight to return to normal self still continues…

Post-Covid, the next critical system during the rehabilitation phase is to restore the muscle strength and replenish body’s nutrient stores that will gradually help build-up immune strength.

Eating large portions of food is difficult during the initial recovery phases from COVID-19 infection – so take smaller and frequent meals throughout the day

Krishna Parmar

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