Importance of a Nutritional Diet in a Post-Pandemic World
Including nutrients that boost immunity and beat stress by releasing neurotransmitters is highly recommended.
In the post pandemic world, where a major number of people has suffered from Covid-19, recovery for many patients seem to be a prolonged process. Fatigue and weakness are the common symptoms which are experienced by many people.
Hence, it becomes essential to consume an adequate nutrition that promotes a faster recovery and a good health in the post pandemic world. Therefore, a diet rich in iron, zinc, and vitamins A, B 12, B6, C and E is important to consume as it can help your body recover and recuperate better.
Viral infections tend to induce fatigue and specifically in case of Covid, patients have been observed to have a long standing fatigue and as a reason we see protein rich diet to be a great source of energy.
Additionally, including nutrients to your meal that boost immunity and beat stress by releasing neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, is highly recommended.
Stress levels have adverse impacts on the immunity, therefore maintaining mental health goes hand in hand with preserving and boosting immunity. Hence, consuming immune-boosting foods will have a dual effect, as one may feel less anxious and will be able to boost its immunity better.
The intake of protein is recommended to be at 1.2-1.3 g/kg per day with increasing the supplementation of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) to 50 percent, to prevent muscle loss and enhance the strength of respiratory muscles.
Whey protein is the ideal choice if patient can tolerate and consume, at least for the first two-three weeks. If not, fresh curd, paneer or thoroughly cooked eggs can be given depending upon meal preference and digestive function. Protein must be individually adjusted with regard to nutritional status, physical activity level and digestive tolerance.
Since there is a challenge in maintaining the saturation, the focus is not Carbohydrate but Protein. The aim of carbohydrates should be up to 100-150g per day.
The usage of carbohydrates leads to the production of equal carbon dioxide (called respiratory quotient) which must be avoided to decrease respiratory distress.
If the patient is diabetic, he/she should to be monitored closely for high and low glucose levels and the medication needs to be adjusted accordingly. Persistent high glucose is an effect of infection and can also delay recovery, however adding proteins to each meal reduces the glycaemic load.
Here Are Some Tips for Diet in the Post-Pandemic World
Start your day by consuming soaked almonds and walnuts with a glass of almond milk or dairy milk.
Ensure that you have a wholesome breakfast. This could include, oatmeal pancakes/egg omelette with vegetables and multigrain toast /vegetable, burger with boiled egg / besan (gram flour) or moong dal chilla with veggies / multigrain dosa with chutney.
Mid-morning snack should include sprouts, fruit chaat, sattu drink (roasted gram flour) or chana chaat, with a fruit serving.
For lunch, preferably have a home-cooked, multigrain flour-based chapatis with vegetables and a source of protein which can be dal/chicken/fish. (Note: You can add chana (gram)/sattu/soya flour to the flour to make protein rich chapatis.) You could also consider having vegetable khichdi or dal-rice with your choice of vegetables.
Late afternoon snack can include few nuts and dry fruits with one tablespoon of pumpkin seeds. Having a trail mix of nuts and seeds is a good idea.
Evening snack should include a protein-rich meal like besan chilla / boiled eggs / omelette / sprouts chaat or one can also consider having makhanas (fox nuts) with some roasted chana.
For dinner, multigrain chapatis with vegetables and a source of protein would make it a balanced meal.
As Post Covid recovery is a gradual process, taking care of nutrition in the post pandemic world is really important.
For promoting a good health in people, foods rich in nutrition and meals cooked with love and affection is a great way for helping them attain a good health.
Choosing right options and adding adequate quantities can make a diet wholesome and really effective in maintaining a healthy body.
(Dr Priyanka Rohatgi is the Chief Nutritionist at Apollo Hospitals)
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