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Post COVID-19 Recovery Diet: What to Eat & What to Avoid

Posted on: 13 May 2021

By: Dr Vinoth Kumar

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Taking a healthy nutritious diet is an important aspect in any disease recovery. More so after a deadly infection like COVID19. Post-COVID recovery is state of physical and mental stress for anybody. The following are few tips to fasten your recovery and boost up your immunity:

  1. Eat fresh food :

WHO recommends eating fresh and unprocessed food rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals? Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains are to be included for wholesome nutrition. Daily – 2 cups of fruit, 2.5 cups of vegetables is the recommendation.

Red meat can be eaten 1−2 times per week and poultry 2−3 times per week. Do not overcook vegetables and fruit as this can lead to the loss of important vitamins?

  1. Adequate water intake :

Hydration is very important for any metabolic function. The best choice is water. At least take 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. Other water-rich fruits (watermelon, strawberries, oranges, apple), vegetables (cucumber, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach), tender coconut water, buttermilk are all good sources of hydration.

 

  1. Eat a moderate amount of fat and oil:

Consume unsaturated fats like fish, avocado, nuts, olive oil, soy, sunflower, and corn oils rather than saturated fats like fatty meat, butter, coconut oil, cream, cheese, and ghee.

Choose white meat and fish rather than red meat.

Avoid industrially produced Trans fats. These are often found in processed food, fast food, snack food, and fried food

  1. Eat less amount of salt and sugar:

Limit your salt intake to < 5gms per day preferably iodized salt

Limit your intake of soft drinks or sodas and other drinks that are high in sugar

  1. Take food rich in immune-boosting vitamins and minerals.

The following minerals and vitamins help in the proper functioning of the immune system of your body. Either you can take supplements or increase their dietary intake by consuming food items rich in them.

VITAMIN D – is rich in oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks, milk, and milk products, and mushrooms

VITAMIN A – eggs, oily fish, milk, liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, papaya, and pumpkin

VITAMIN E – oily fish, nuts like almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds and oils like sunflower and safflower oils

VITAMIN C – citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach

FOLATE – all green leafy vegetables

ZINC – chicken, beef, crab, nuts like cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, and other beans

SELENIUM– seafood, meat and liver, cheese

  1. Lifestyle strategies

Apart from the above said dietary adaptation the following lifestyle strategies help you boost up your immunity.

  1. Adequate sleep
  2. Avoid stress ( do meditation, hear music, spend time with loved ones )
  3. Quit smoking
  4. If you consume alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  5. Adequate rest for 2 to 4 weeks. Avoid strenuous exercise immediately after recovery.
  6. Slowly resume regular exercise to maintain ideal body weight.