At this point, it would be difficult to find someone who has not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in India. Almost everyone appears to have a relative, a friend, a colleague, a spouse, or even a child who is or has been affected by the virus. And, while the pain is excruciating, the side effects and weakness it causes post-recovery can be affecting very healthy individuals.
Most experts think, though there are no significant nutritional limitations for those suffering from or recovering from COVID-19, there are plenty of suggestions that will allow patients to heal faster and more effectively.
Dr. Rachita Ahuja, the co-founder of “The Diet Cell,” a company that creates custom diet plans and provides diet consultation, has weighed in and shared her nutritional suggestions.
According to her, the most important thing is to address how the patient will try to make a nutrient-dense diet to rejuvenate the body and rebuild healthy cells that the virus has damaged. In some cases, the patient is alone and has no way of preparing a lavish meal.
There’s also the loss of appetite, taste, smell, and nausea to contend with. The best way to accomplish this is to rely on supplements. Looking for nutrient-dense meals that are simple to prepare, such as quinoa khichdi that can be made in a pressure cooker and topped with plenty of vegetables, is an excellent pick.
Those who are experiencing severe appetite loss should consider Threptin, Ensure, or other similar options. In addition, well-cooked food is very important during such time because it attacks the virus to some extent.
Some of the expert advice shared by Dr. Ahuja regarding Do’s & Don’ts while recuperating from covid infection.
What to have in the diet for those both suffering and recovering from the virus?
Doctors recommend vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc supplements because we are unable to bridge the gap between good nutrition and the need. As a dietician, I usually do not recommend supplements. Instead, I would advise my patients to take natural food supplements, but not right now. Supplements are essential since they are concentrated and easily digestible.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can be found in green leafy vegetables or citrus fruits, but due to symptoms such as nausea and diarrhoea, consuming enough to meet your needs may be difficult, so it is best to rely on supplements.
Vitamin D is essential because many people are suffering from depression as a result of the 14-day quarantine, which can be alleviated by taking vitamin D tablets. It is also an excellent way to strengthen the body and immunity. Zinc is important because it aids in protein synthesis and aids in the restoration of smell and taste.
Protein powder supplements are unnecessary because our diet is primarily high in carbohydrates and protein. Micro minerals, such as vitamin D, that are not readily available in our diets should be consumed, while vitamins and minerals that are readily available in our diets can be skipped.
As the virus multiplies and kills healthy cells, we must regenerate and regrow them. As a result, protein is an essential component of these dietary requirements. Dal may be the richest source of protein for a vegetarian, but it is of poor quality; it contains B-class proteins.
So vegetarians can eat quinoa, which is high in protein, as well as soya and kidney beans. Non-vegetarians can eat eggs, which are high in protein, poultry, or fish.
During this time, all of these things are crucial. Sprouts contain a high concentration of vitamin C. Protein and vitamin E are abundant in pumpkin seeds. Almond and other nuts are also recommended as they are a rich source of protein and vitamin E.
Nausea and diarrhoea can be relieved with lemon water and electrolytes. As a result, plenty of fluids are required. Those suffering from a wet cough should drink ginger tea with honey. It is also beneficial to consume solid raw turmeric boiled in water throughout the day. Those suffering from a dry cough, on the other hand, should avoid turmeric.
Milk products are high in energy. Turmeric milk is also suggested. Those who are lactose intolerant can substitute almond, oat, or soy milk.
Because nausea and diarrhoea are common symptoms, focusing on easily digestible foods that are also good for gut health is critical. Yogurt, Greek yoghurt, and probiotics are all beneficial to the gut and are easily accessible.
Of course, fresh fruit and vegetables are a must. All of the above, as well as their combinations, must be balanced.
What are the things that should be avoided?
Patients are not allowed to consume more than 5 grams of salt per day, which is quite a lot. Sugar must be kept to a minimum because bacteria and viruses thrive on it. As a result, it’s best to limit your sugar intake. Processed foods should be avoided as much as possible to reduce salt intake.
People should not believe everything, Here are some of the myths one must not believe
Protein and carbohydrates are to be avoided: As previously stated, we require both to rebuild the cells. So protein is essential, but only A-class proteins that can be digested should be consumed, such as eggs, chicken, and fish. Carbohydrates are required for energy, so they must be present as well.
When you stop eating carbohydrates, your body gets its energy from protein, which has the primary function of promoting cell growth. As a result, if the patient does not consume enough carbohydrates, they will rely on proteins for energy, and the protein will be unable to aid in cell growth.
Furthermore, it is a myth that yoghurt and tomatoes are unsuitable for patients and may aggravate their symptoms. These are both high in vitamin C. If your lungs are affected, cook the tomato and eat the curd at room temperature.