It is important to eat healthy meals along with all the medications and multivitamins after you have recovered from COVID-19. A well-balanced and nutritious diet, particularly at the time when you are down with COVID-19 and your immune system has taken a setback, can help in building internal strength and aid in speedy recovery.

The World Health Organization (WHO), UK’s National Health Service (NHS) provided several dietary recommendations which say, people should eat more fresh vegetables, mostly the unprocessed ones to get an adequate amount of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibres, protein, and anti-oxidants. Based on all of these guidelines, a proper recovery diet for COVID-19 patients should include the following categories of nutrition.

The Do’s:

1. Calories 

Your body has been drained of energy, so calorie-dense foods are what you need to get your energy levels back up. Include rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, whole grains, and cereals in your diet, but avoid foods with empty calories – like all types of junk food.

2. Protein 

Eat more protein-rich foods to get 75-100g of this nutrient every day. Add as many whole grains, lentils, legumes, dairy products, soy products, nuts, and seeds as you can in your diet. If you’re non-vegetarian, then have plenty of chicken and eggs as well as fish.

3. Fruits and veggies

Fresh fruits and vegetables are great sources of dietary fibre, folate, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

4. Immune-boosters 

Fruits, vegetables, herbs, and some spices have immense immune-boosting qualities because they’re packed with phytochemicals and bioactive compounds. Add these to your diet and drink immune-boosting herbal drinks like kadha, turmeric milk, green tea, herbal tea, etc.

5. Fluids 

Infections can dehydrate the body, so it’s important to rehydrate when you’re recovering. Drink 8-10 glasses of water every day, and make broths, soups, and other drinks a part of your daily diet.

Things to remember about the recovery diet

  • Prioritise fresh produce like fruits, vegetables and animal products over pre-packaged ones.
  • Make sure all your meals are simple and freshly cooked at home instead of relying on outside foods.
  • Eating large portions may be difficult during the initial phases of recovery from COVID-19 infection, so take smaller but more frequent meals.
  • Many COVID-19 patients experience difficulties swallowing during their recovery period, so experiment with soft, mashed or liquids to begin with.
  • Any diet is ineffective without proper sleep and exercise, so get enough rest and start with smaller physical activities to get back in shape.

The Don’ts:

1. Say NO to outside food: It is always recommended to not have outside foods rather have fresh home cooked meals.  

2. Avoid cookies, cakes, and chocolates: Carbonated drinks, processed fruit juices, and other sweet and flavored drinks contain large amounts of sugar which are extremely harmful to the body.

3. Avoid processed meat or any food item, frozen meat, sausages or any other frozen food

4. Trans fat found in industrially produced food items (frozen pizza, fried food, pies, cookies, etc) is also to be avoided.

5. Do not eat leftover foods rather eat fresh, easily digestible food as it important and a key factor to fight the virus.

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