DIET TIPS TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE STRENGTH DURING AND POST COVID-19

 

Nutrition plays a significant role for both, the COVID-19 patients and those who are on the path of recovery. During COVID-19, the body gets weakened and it continues for days even after recovering from the symptoms. Thus, it becomes essential to consume the right kind of diet for a speedy and complete recovery of the body.

 

So one should eat a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods every day to get the vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, protein and antioxidants your body needs. Avoid sugar, fat and salt to significantly lower your risk of overweight, obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain types of cancer. Drink enough water and liquid foods, even mild fever is associated with loss of fluids which can lead to dehydration. If the patient’s dry cough and sore throat are severe, solid food intake may decrease. Therefore, warm, soft foods and supplements can be used. Small & frequent food intake would be better if the appetite is less, timing of fluid consumption should be in between meals and not with the meal.

 

 

DAILY DIET ROUTINE TO FOLLOW:

  1. Eat small amounts frequently. Preferably eat 5-6 meals in a day.
  1. Due to stress you need more calories, also to protect against breakdown of muscles for energy you need more calories and protein than normal diet.
  1. Drink 3-4 litres of water per day. Drink every hour in some form to hydrate your body. You can have fresh fruit, soups, coconut water, herbal tea, etc.
  1. Try using nutritional supplements between meals to improve your nutritional intake (for eg. on doctor’s advice vitamin C, D, Zinc, etc can be taken).
  1. Consume whole grains, especially unprocessed maize, millet like ragi, jowar, bajra, oats, wheat, brown rice. Processed foods and food like bread is not good for poor digestive system.
  1. Beans, legumes / pulses / lentils should be consumed regularly. Non vegetarians can have meat / fish / chicken /eggs 2-3 times a week. Protein foods can be individually adjusted with regard to nutritional status, physical activity level and digestive tolerance.
  1. Eat 2 cups of fresh fruits and 2.5 cups of vegetables to maintain good health. Do not overcook vegetables and fruit as this can lead to the loss of important vitamins. Have colourful foods for improving immunity.
  1. Water is essential for body. It transports nutrients and compounds in blood, regulates your body temperature, gets rid of waste, and lubricates and cushions joints. 
  • Do not consume too much caffeine, and avoid sweetened fruit juices, syrups, fruit juice concentrates, fizzy and soft drinks as they all contain high sugar and not good.
  • Thin buttermilk, soups, coconut water (unless there is a potassium restriction), salted lemon water and ORS can be used. Add mint, tulsi, ginger powder, ajwain, jeera wherever possible.
  • For cardiac and kidney patients, the volume of fluid and sodium, along with other electrolytes may have to be restricted. Your physician will advise you on the total fluid intake for the day. 
  1. Consume unsaturated fats (e.g. found in fish, avocado, nuts, olive oil, soy, canola, sunflower and corn oils) rather than saturated fats (e.g. found in fatty meat, butter, cream, cheese, ghee and lard).

  

 

Avoid processed meats because they are high in fat and salt. Avoid trans-fat that are often found in processed food, fast food, snack food, fried food, frozen pizza, pies, cookies, margarines and spreads. One handful of nuts and oilseeds in a day is advisable.

  1. Limit your daily salt intake to less than 5 g (approximately 1 teaspoon) and use iodized salt. Avoid foods (e.g. snacks) that are high in fat, salt and sugar, sauces and salad dressings.
  1. Do not order online of readymade foods with spicy and salty taste. You may recover from lack of “taste” and “smell” symptoms in few days, have patience. Food creating high acidity may be avoided and replaced as per your intake status.
  1. Reduce heavy workouts, may continue stretching and light exercise on advice.
  1. We recommend maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet, wear mask and sanitize your hands regularly.

Based on the normal nutritional status, the sample diet is given below. Malnourished or

obese person with comorbidity may require personal diet counselling after doctors’ advice

and from the qualified dietitian.

Type of meal

Suggested diet/food

Early morning

(8 am)

4-5 soaked almonds and 1 glass luke warm water

Morning meditation

20 mins

Breakfast (9 am)

 

1 glass milk (low fat)/1 cup tea- Without sugar / haldi milk

/ fruit juice

1 katori boiled chana / boiled moong / 2 besan chila / 1

katori paneer poha / 6-7 dhokla / 2 boiled eggs / 2 idli with

chutney

Mid-morning

 

fruit

1 Khakhra / small katori sheera in jaggerry / seviya

Lunch (1pm)

 

2 roti (plain) / daliya / porridge and sabji (without potato)

and salad (carrot, cucumber, sweet potato), 1 katori dal, 1

small katori curd or chaas

4 pm

 

Fruit juice / luke warm water with lime and honey,

4-5 dates

Evening snacks

(6 pm)

 

1 cup ginger tea / coffee / milk / chicken soup / orange

or lemon juice and 2 khakhra / 1 katori roasted

mamra / 1 katori roasted poha chivda / 1 katori

roasted makhana

Evening meditation

20 mins

small cup tulsi water / kokum water

Dinner (7.30 pm)

 

1 bowl tomato/spinach/spinach carrot beet tomato/mix

veg soup

Daliya vegetable khichadi / Moong khichadi kadhi / 2

vegetable uttapam green chutney / Dal fry and 2 roti /

Vegetable upma / Vegetable poha / Moong dal chilla /

Besan (pithla) and 2 roti / vegetable pulao / mutton pulao

/ curd rice and suji kheer / 2 methi thepla

Bed time

 

Warm water + pinch of turmeric

You can also have turmeric in milk if desired

 

‘Eat healthy to live healthy’ is not just a phrase but it needs to be followed if one wants to stay healthy & fit always. And a well-balanced nutrition diet plays a significant role in this. A wholesome natural diet which not only gives the required amount of energy, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals but also the right amount of fiber, all in moderate amount at regular intervals.

In order to fulfil your daily dietary requirement, you can include ActiFiber in your daily meals. ActiFiber is completely Plant Based, Soluble Fiber nutrition, with no additives & preservatives. It dissolves easily with no taste, odour, or colour and thus can be added to any food, beverage, or even water.  You won’t even know you have added it to your food or beverage.

Bibliography:

DEPARTMENT OF FOODS AND NUTRITION, FACULTY OF FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SCIENCES. THE MAHARAJA SAYAJIRAO UNIVERSITY OF BARODA, VADODARA – 390002