Covid-19 recovery: Swear by avocados, lentils, loads of liquid
Gut cleansing foods and immunity boosters must form the core of a post-Covid diet regime, say health experts.
Covid-19 has been detrimental in more ways than one, and a majority of those who contracted and recovered from the virus have complained of fatigue, loss of smell and taste. Many are also experiencing a loss of appetite, strength and stamina, as well as a host of digestive issues, while on the road to recovery.
“Many Covid-19 patients experience loss of appetite, strength, and stamina in their recovery phase, along with stomach complications due to a weakened digestive system. This happens as once the virus enters the body, it destroys all healthy cells, including those present in our digestive system. Nausea, loss of energy and breathing trouble also contribute to loss of appetite. A person may even stop eating due to stress and anxiety that a severe disease like Covid-19 triggers,” shares Dr Vinay Bhat, general physician at a hospital in Ghaziabad.
To regain strength and stamina, experts say it is essential to flush out steroid-induced toxins from the body. “Focus on gut cleansing. Immunity-boosting hydrating liquids are pivotal to regain strength and recover. This is important not just because of the virus, but also to flush out any toxins remaining in the body due to severe medications and steroids,” says Eshanka Wahi, nutrition coach.
When attempting to rebuild appetite, dietitian Gauri Anand recommends starting with small meals at frequent intervals: “Food eases the path of recovery, so a balanced diet is a must. One clove of garlic should be consumed every day, so should good fats like chia seeds, walnuts etc.”
She goes on to explain, “Two food groups, that is, vitamins and minerals, are important for recovery. Vitamin C is very important when it comes to immunity, and vitamin D has proved effective against respiratory tract infection. When it comes to minerals, zinc, a vital component of white blood cells (WBCs), fights infection. Also, probiotics are essential for rejuvenation of gut bacteria.”
Here are some superfoods one must consume, if recovering from Covid-19
Avocados: Avocados are rich in vitamins A, C, D, K, B, E, magnesium, copper, iron, and therefore, help in building immunity. They reduce inflammation and maintain bowel regularity, being extremely easy to digest.
Smoothies: Drinking unsieved smoothies (of fruits like banana, orange, berries, apple and avocado) that are a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins helps regain strength, build immunity and increase appetite.
Nuts and seeds: Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, zinc, magnesium that supports immune health and gives energy over a longer period of time. Incorporating soaked almonds in your morning routine is recommended. Furthermore, it is advisable to snack on chia seeds, walnuts, etc. for a boost of omega 3.
Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of vitamin A, C, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium etc. that helps in building strength and promotes immune function. It also helps in cellular functioning in the body and is easy to digest.
Chickpeas: Chickpeas are a rich source of protein and clean slow carbs. A bowl of boiled chickpeas with a drizzle of lime juice and rock salt is an extremely healthy snacking option.
Detox water: Hydration is key, when recovering. One must consume a lot of coconut water, lemon water and calming teas (such as chamomile, fennel, ashwagandha tea) to stay hydrated constantly.
Whole grains and lentils: In addition to fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals are a must every day. One must also up their protein intake with eggs, fish, meats, as well as milk, cheese or other dairy alternatives. A bowl of lentil porridge, made with boiled yellow lentils, rice, seasonal veggies and spices is also a great option for an instant energy boost.
Fermented foods: In order to improve gut health, items such as yogurt and idli should be consumed, for they are a powerhouse of probiotics.
Author tweets @srinidhi_gk