Inflammation is the body`s initial healing response to trauma from and invader such as infection. It is necessary for survival but the process becomes damaging if it is continuing for weeks, months or indefinitely. Chronic inflammation also leads to immune intolerance. When the body has good level of immune tolerance it leads to effective response to invaders when required, but then also deactivates the response as soon as the goal is met. Effective immune tolerance is the essence of good health. An intolerant immune system leads to range of illnesses and gut is where many people first lose immune tolerance. What to do when coronavirus hits you? Good nutrition is important for health specially at a time when it is fighting an infection like in the case of COVID-19.
Components of a COVID-19 recovery diet:
1. Calories – As body is fighting infection it needs energy for that. So, it is important to take calorie dense foods like rice, potato, wholegrains and cheese.
2. Protein – Cells of immune system rely on proteins. Good sources of proteins are lentils, legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy products, eggs, chicken and soya products.
3. Vitamins A, D – Vitamin A provides protection in the gut by increasing immune response. Vitamin A rich foods include cheese, eggs, oily fish, milk, yogurt, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables like papaya, mango, pumpkin. Vitamin D modulates production of antimicrobial peptides. Vitamin D rich foods include oily fishes such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, egg yolks, mushrooms and fortified foods.
4. Probiotics – It restores the healthy composition and function of the gut microbiome. Good sources of probiotics are homemade yogurt, Kombucha and other fermented foods like idli, dosa etc.
5. Glutamine – It is required for strengthening of the gut lining and modulating immune system. Good sources are salmon, milk, nuts, eggs, cabbage, beans and whey protein, bone broths.
6. Exercise –It improves immune system function. Walking, yoga, strength exercises for 3- 4 days in a week for an hour is beneficial.
7. Add garlic, ginger, lemongrass, curcumin and green tea for their anti-inflammatory effect as they reduce inflammation. Soups are best way to include them.
8. Omega 3 fats – They act as a gastro-intestinal anti-inflammatory. Sources include oily fishes (salmon, sardines, mackerel), flaxseeds etc.
Last but not the least believe in yourself that this shall pass too and destress yours