Renowned nutritionist and certified diabetes consultant Sheryl Salis, who is also the founder of Nurture Health Solutions, shares some simple and easy lifestyle and diet changes that can go a long way in combating and preventing Covid-19 infections.
May I help you:
Eat your rainbow
Colored fruits and vegetables are a rich source of antioxidants that help boost immunity. Color your plate with fresh, seasonal, local fruits and vegetables like pumpkin, peppers, carrots, tomatoes and papaya.
Turn on with protein
It is necessary to get enough good quality protein in your diet every day, preferably with every meal, in order for the immune system to function optimally and to help you overcome post-COVID weakness.
Foods rich in protein are eggs, quark, buttermilk, paneer, sprouts, dal, soybeans, soy pieces, soy granules, lean meat, fish, chicken.
High protein foods
The recipes of traditional Indian foods such as Dosa, Idli, Khichdi, Quark, Sattu Paratha, Dal Dokli and Rajma Chawal provide good quality protein.
Focus on building a strong gut
Follow a healthy lifestyle and use pre-biotics like sweet potatoes, garlic, mushrooms, onions, and green banana flour, as well as probiotics like yogurt, fermented foods, and panta bhaat, kefir, kombucha, and kimchi to improve gut health and strengthen the immune system.
Boost your immune boosting foods that are high in micronutrients by including them Citrus fruits, amla (Indian gooseberry), lentils, beans, sprouts, nuts like walnuts, almonds, peanuts, seeds like sesame, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, onion seeds, sunflower seeds, whole grains, millet like fingergrass and sorghum, green leafy vegetables and moringa
Make sure you get your dose of vitamin D, which will help maintain health and boost immunity. You can go out onto the terrace or balcony without sun protection between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and receive your Vit D dose. If your Vit D levels are low, consult a doctor and he / she may suggest a Vit D supplement.
Food sources for Vit D are egg yolks, cod liver oil, mushrooms, sardines and oily fish.
Include foods rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3s like walnuts, chia seeds, oily fish, flax seeds, and soybeans.
Include these antiviral foods
Garlic (2-3 freshly chopped cloves), fennel seeds (2-3 teaspoons), ginger (1-2 inches), cloves (3 -4 no.), Cumin (2-3 teaspoons), tulsi, basil leaves or thyme (4 -5 leaves), turmeric (4 pinches) and coconut oil (10 ml) have antiviral properties that prepare our bodies to fight viral infections and the flu.
Black pepper with turmeric is an exceptionally good combination because the piperine in black pepper increases the absorption of curcumin from turmeric. Turmeric milk (Haldi milk) is an ancient remedy for coughs, colds, etc.
We can strengthen our immune systems by adding the above foods that are readily available in our kitchen to build a strong immune system without compromising our taste buds.
A word of caution here is that excessive use of spice cooking (kadha) or spices can cause internal bleeding, acidity, mouth and stomach ulcers, rashes, acne, and other health problems. Consume in moderation.
Nutritional support during COVID infection
Fatigue, shortness of breath, dry mouth, and a lack of taste and smell lead to reduced food intake. Eat small, frequent, high energy, and nutritious meals to avoid shortness of breath. Eat slowly, choose foods that are soft, moist, and easy to swallow.
Use different flavors, spices and herbs for taste and smell. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking boiled water throughout the day. Follow dietary guidelines to avoid fatigue and achieve a faster recovery.
Soft and semi-solid foods such as thin dal khichdi, porridge, daliya / rawa porridge, moong dal dosa / oat dosa / besan chilla, rice kanji. Sambhar rice, rasam rice, quark, panta bhaat
Refined foods like refined flour, bread, cookies, cakes, biscuits, sugar
Boiled egg, scrambled eggs, paneer, tofu, fish, chicken, unsalted nuts, seeds and dried fruits such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, roasted and powdered flax seeds, dates, apricots.
Any diet that clears food groups
Fresh seasonal fruits, steamed fruits
Fruit juices (fresh or packaged)
Mix vegetable soup, tomato soup, dal soup or chicken soup, egg drop soup. (Add fresh herbs and spices)
Herbal teas with lemongrass, cardamom, ginger, lemon and moringa
Warm milk with a pinch of pepper and turmeric
Carbonated drinks, alcohol and smoking
Nutritional support for recovery from COVID
It is advisable to drive slowly for at least two weeks after recovery. Symptoms after COVID include tiredness / low energy levels, shortness of breath, chest congestion, loss of appetite, and anxiety and fear
Shortness of breath is a common complaint, so small, frequent meals are recommended.
· These include whole grain products such as barley, broken wheat, oats, wheat, ragi (finger millet), bajra (pearl millet), jowar (sorghum), brown / unpolished rice or root vegetables such as yam, sweet potato.
· Include quality sources of protein
· Add unsalted nuts, seeds and dried fruits
· Consume at least 5 servings of fresh, seasonal, and local fruits and vegetables.
· Drink 8–10 glasses of water a day. It helps move nutrients in the blood, remove toxins, and regulate body temperature.
· To avoid coughing and phlegm, drink warm water and drink clear soups throughout the day. Avoid alcohol, sugary drinks, and beverages containing caffeine to avoid dehydration.
For more information, check out our special cover story on Friday May 21st entitled Wellness on a Plate