What should one eat while having COVID 19?
One question that arises in people’s minds that what to eat and what not to eat if some tested as COVID-19 and Pneumonia? Proper nutrition and hydration are important because they help to manage the symptoms. A well-balanced diet can optimize the function of the system, improve metabolism, thus help in preventing the event of chronic symptoms related to COVID-19. It is recommended that a diet with fresh and unprocessed foods are to be included in your daily diet, besides vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, protein, and antioxidants.
Symptoms of Covid 19 virus
The symptoms of this virus vary greatly from person to person. As per CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the foremost common symptoms, an affected person faces are:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Body ache
- Muscle pain
- Throat infections
- Gastro Intestinal Symptoms like Stomach ache, Diarrhea
- Loss of sense of taste and smell
Therefore, as per your symptoms their severity, and also what your likes and dislikes are, a diet is also planned accordingly. A diet varies from person to person.
Role of drinking water in Covid 19 patients
Drinking water is extremely important if you get sick, especially once you have a fever or diarrhea, which can actually cause you to sweat out water. Staying hydrated with water and natural liquids is important, whether or not you are doing not feel thirsty, to switch fluid losses and thin respiratory secretions. If respiratory secretions don’t seem to be thinned, it can cause pneumonia. Take sips of water, and also try infused waters with fruit, mint, lemon for better taste. Instead of taking lots of water; Fluids will be taken in the following options:
- Tea with honey
- Vegetable broth
- Fruit juice
- Vegetable Soups
- Electrolyte drink
- Green milk
If you’ve got proof of coughing, tea with honey is reassuring and it’s going to help to calm a cough. Special electrolyte drinks could also be required if you’re having trouble eating or experiencing diarrhea or vomiting. Juice can even facilitate your to urge some nutrients like carbohydrates which offer you energy, and also make it easier to hydrate since it’s tasty.
8 diet for Covid 19 and Pneumonia patients
- Protein-rich diet
Adequate protein intake is required to forestall muscle loss and maintain metabolic functions.
Protein deficiency is additionally connected to impaired system function and might worsen symptoms and thus end in an extended recovery time. Try to include a little protein-rich food in each and each meal. One should take 2-3 servings of pulses, soya, milk & milk products, nuts, and seeds. Also, besan, sattu, khichdi, peanut, paneer, curd, and mushrooms are excellent options to be incorporated into the daily diet.
2. Healthy fats
Reduce the intake of excessive fat, be it refined oil, and avoid the utilization of saturated fats and take a look at choosing cooking methods that need less or no fat, like steaming, grilling, or sautéing rather than frying foods.
3. Plenty of fruits and vegetables
Try to include a minimum of 5-6 servings of seasonal fruits and vegetables in your daily plan.
Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in colorful fruits, and vegetables facilitate a speedy recovery. Fruits may be taken as raw or will be added to your milkshakes or smoothies. Seasonal vegetables are often taken in forms like cooked, sautéed, steamed, boiled, or raw within the variety of salad. But confirm all vegetables and fruits should be cleaned thoroughly and proper hygiene is to be followed.
Recent research has shown that probiotics help in boosting the system. Healthy bacteria are found in probiotics, which help the gut and intestinal tract to repulse the disease-causing germs. Yogurt, kefir (a fermented drink made up of Milk), kimchi (fermented Veg. Salad), and kombucha (fermented green tea) are loaded with probiotics.
Probiotics support the expansion of fine bacteria, which plays a crucial role in balancing your body’s good bacteria and are stored within the gut. These healthy bacteria help in balancing your digestion, immunity, and metabolism.
5. Super fighter water-soluble vitamin
Vitamin C protects you from infection by stimulating the formation of antibodies and boosting immunity. Antioxidant also acts as an antioxidant and fights with free radicals which are present within the body. Attempt to include more antioxidants in your diet by incorporating citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, sweet lime, grapefruit, papaya, strawberries, guavas, kiwi, and vegetables like red bell pepper, tomatoes, broccoli in your daily diet.
6. Zinc-rich foods
Across the globe, zinc has also been recognized as one of the indispensable components in standard covid treatment plans. Zinc has been labeled as the most important nutrient that can fight against Coronavirus and pneumonia. Zinc is an essential nutrient, which cannot be stored or produced in the body. It needs to be supplemented through diet. Adequate zinc is crucial for the development and functions of the immune system and may help wounds to heal. Zinc can be found in plant sources such as beans, nuts, whole grain cereals, milk, pumpkin seeds, and fortified breakfast cereals. Regular dietary intake is recommended to maintain its optimum level. In case of its deficiency, supplementation is advised after consulting a physician.
Though selenium is not widely popular for improving immunity, it works in this regard as effectively as vitamin C and zinc. It also keeps your metabolism optimum. As far as the role of selenium in the COVID-19 is concerned, it has strong antiviral properties that can be therapeutic for you if you consume this mineral in the right amount. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, your immune system requires selenium to produce the infection-fighting WBC. And, it also prevents and stops viral replication in your body. Thus, consuming enough selenium-containing food items can also prevent the progression of various diseases. Therefore, you must include this significant nutrient in your daily diet during the pandemic. Every day, your body needs around 70 to 80 mcg of selenium. For vegetarian sources, you can have nuts, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, broccoli, spinach, grains, and dairy products to prevent deficiency of selenium.
8. Small frequent meals
Frequent meals at frequent intervals should be incorporated into your daily diet plan. Every 2-3 hours helps in fulfilling your nutritional requirement as well as prevents GI-related complications like inflammation, gastritis, bloating, heaviness, acidity.
Diet plan for COVID-19 and pneumonia patients
One can follow this sample meal plan with three small, but balanced, frequent meals and light snacks throughout the day that will give you an idea of what to eat as part of your quarantine protocol. You can mix and match the following as per your likes and dislikes.
Early Morning (6 – 7 am)
- 1 glass of lukewarm lemon water
- 5 soaked almonds, walnuts and anjeer
Breakfast (After 30 minutes)
- Oats porridge with nuts and seeds or Cracked wheat porridge and seeds
- One bowl of fresh Vitamin C rich fruits
1 glass of papaya smoothie with chia and flax seeds or 1 bowl of fruit with chia/pumpkin seeds
- 2 Chapattis
- 1bowl Vegetables ( Beans/Cauliflower/Broccoli/Leafy vegetables/Mixed vegetables
- 30-40 grams of Paneer
- 1 cup curd
- Kefir/ Green Tea/ Coconut Water
- Boiled sprouts or roasted makhana/ channas – ½ cup
- Carrot/tomato/spinach/broccoli Soup – 1 cup (without spices or butter)
- 1 bowl of vegetable khichdi
- 1 cup curd or
- 2 Moong dal cheela with stuffed paneer or
- 2-3 pieces of Idli with vegetable sambar or
- 2 Chappattis with seasonal vegetable 1-2 katori
- Dal 1 katori
- Paneer 2-3 cubes as salad
- Warm skimmed milk– 1 glass
Proper nutrition is crucial for health, particularly at times when the immune system might need to fight back. Limited access to fresh foods may compromise our efforts to continue eating a healthy and varied diet. It can also potentially lead to increased consumption of highly processed foods, which are high in fats, sugars, and salt. Even with few and limited ingredients, one must try to eat healthily and support the body in the fighting of the virus. One can also do breathing exercises to overcome the diseases.