Experts believe eating healthy is the best and only way to completely recover from the prolonged effects of COVID-19. Ayushi Sharma talks to a few nutritionists...
You must have heard that if you manage to beat the common symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, dry cough, sore throat or loss of taste and smell, you pretty much have emerged victorious against the deadly virus. However, experts believe that the road to recovery is a prolonged affair, supported by the fact that even after testing negative most people experience fatigue. The novel Coronavirus takes a toll on the immune system, which leaves the person much weaker than before. And that’s the reason why good nutrition is important for your health when you are recovering from Coronavirus.
A nutritionist on board for GAIL India, Dr Rohini Patil, emphasises on taking one step at a time. She feels that dealing with post-COVID fatigue is not an easy task, the struggle is very much real. “Don’t make the mistake of jumping back to your ‘normal life routine’ right after you have tested negative. Subsequently, you need to give yourself enough time to get back to the old everyday practice by taking one step at a time. Do not forget, you have recently battled an illness that has critically attacked your immune system. Even if your reports come negative, the body is still fighting the underlying effects. And that is why one needs to rest well. Sleeping for at least eight to nine hours is mandatory,” says Dr Patil, who also happens to be the founder and CEO of Nutracy Lifestyle.
According to experts, exerting yourself physically or even mentally can be harmful. She suggests that hydration is another important key to make sure you’re keeping well. “Drink a lot of water along with some chia or basil seeds. They would provide the much-needed hydration to the body,” adds Dr Patil.
Since it’s vital to maintain your energy levels, another leading health coach, nutritionist and the founder of MY22BMI, Preety Tyagi, underlines the importance of including a sufficient amount of healthy carbohydrates in your diet. She says, “The best option is to consume more complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, millets and other similar items. Consume legumes and pulses regularly. Aside from these, incorporate fermented foods into your diet, such as yogurt, kombucha, kanji, fermented pickles and beans. This will help maintain a stable gut microbiota and improve immunity. Just maintain a sufficient amount of carbs in your diet and don’t skip them. You should start your day with a handful of nuts and seeds such as walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds among others. This will give the body an immediate boost and will aid in recovery as the day progresses. These nuts, especially walnuts, are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.”
Well, this reminds one of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)’s guidelines, which emphasises on consuming foods with omega-3, zinc, selenium, protein and vitamin B as they play a role in our body’s healing process, which would help us in maintaining a healthy immune system. And, walnuts are a great source of all these nutrients.
While no single item can prevent or treat illness, let’s look at what health and fitness educator Yash Vardhan Swami hints at. He says, “More than the exact food sources, we should look for nutrients we need for better recovery and immunity. Opt for food rich in vitamin C, vitamin D3, zinc, protein and anti-inflammatory in nature.”
A prediction by the great inventor and businessman Thomas Alva Edison seems very relevant in today’s times, “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”