Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head – Dietetics, Max Healthcare – Delhi
3 lifestyle changes that aid you when recovering from Covid-19. If you have battled and recovered from the Covid19 virus that is taking the world by storm, you are no less than a warrior. And, just like warriors, you too need to take complete care of yourself during your journey of recovery, which might not be easy. However, by incorporating a few changes to your daily routine, you can amp up the recovery process!
Increase your protein intake to get back muscle lost
Protein is one of the most essential nutrients which helps in cell growth and regeneration of the muscles and is widely known as the building block for the body. The amino acids present in proteins, protect us against harmful pathogens. Hence, depletion of protein due to Covid-19 also means lowering immunity. To replenish this immunity, a high protein diet of about 75 – 100g of protein every day is recommended as per the severity of the disease. Since eating the required amount all at once will be of no use, try to spread your protein intake throughout the day.
3 lifestyle changes that aid you when recovering from Covid-19. Foods such as daal (lentils), milk and milk products, lean meat, chicken, and fish are rich in proteins. Daal and milk are good sources of protein. Incorporate eggs and paneer into your diet as well. You can have them for breakfast or cook them as a curry for lunch. This is also a good time to add nuts such as almonds into your diet plan. Almonds are high in Vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant to support pulmonary immune function. Vitamin E is also known to offer protection against infections caused by viruses and bacteria.
Hydrating your body with fluids, essentially water, is one of the most important steps to recover from any type of illness. Water constitutes 55% of body weight in adults and is the body fluid that helps to replenish metabolites. It is recommended to increase intake of liquids like soups, coconut water, fresh lime water, shakes, etc in addition to water for better hydration both during the illness and recovery phase.
You can also increase your immunity by eating plenty of fruits, veggies, and nuts like almonds to get your daily dose of vitamin C and zinc. Zinc is known to play a central role in the immune system and is crucial for the normal development and function of cells mediating innate immunity, neutrophils, and natural killer cells. Moreover, patients in recovery feel very hungry due to the high dosage of medicines. Almonds can be a good substitute for unhealthy snacks as they have satiating properties, which help keep a person full in between meals. A recently conducted research by the University of Leeds, established how snacking on almonds also led to suppressed unconscious desire (“implicit wanting”) to consume other high-fat foods. Almonds are low on the glycemic index and contain powerful nutrients like hunger-fighting protein, filling fiber, good fats, and important vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. Other healthful snacks include sprouts, fresh fruits, boiled corn, and so on.
Control your blood sugar levels, to avoid complications
As one of the treatment modalities for Covid 19 is the use of steroids, its use does lead to hyperglycemia, and if uncontrolled may cause post covid complications. Hence a tight blood sugar control both during the treatment of Covid and post-recovery is very important. Diet and lifestyle modification are important for controlling blood sugar levels.
These sugar levels can be controlled with the help of indoor exercise routines and yoga. In relation to your diet, green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale need to be incorporated. They are packed with vitamins and have minimal effect on your blood sugar levels. Also, whole grains like brown rice, millet, and quinoa are storehouses of fiber. The intake of fiber helps slow down the digestion process leading to slower absorption of nutrients. This helps keep blood sugar levels stable. In terms of fruits, citrus fruits are the best during this time since they contain more vitamins and lesser carbohydrates. You can also never go wrong with nuts such as a handful of almonds.