The gut is a valuable immune organ and people don’t consider taking care of it. “General notion is that Vitamin A, C, proteins, omega 3fatty acids, etc, can only help in building immunity. Though it is equally important, one should make sure to eat prebiotics which in turn helps in the synthesis of probiotics. This will keep the healthy bacteria in your gut alive. Barley, oats, apples, onion, wheat, bran and garlic are rich in prebiotics. Probiotics include probiotic yogurt and overnight curd. If you are recovering from the coronavirus, you have to first excrete all toxins from the body. Don’t dump your system with anything high in saturated fat, sugar, etc,” says Meenakshi.
The dietitian also stresses the importance of maintaining a healthy weight. “The road to recovery for an overweight person is more than a normal-weight individual. Crash diets like keto, paleo are not recommended now. Mindful healthy eating is the key. Also, avoid eating leftover and processed food. If you are recovering from the virus, it is suggested to have hot and freshly cooked meals. Select food with a high ORAC value — ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity. Food with high ORAC value has a better antioxidant capacity. A few high ORAC values include cinnamon, moringa leaves, walnuts, turmeric, cocoa,” the dietitian adds.
Saturation needs to be up for COVID-19 patients and certain food can help one maintain that. “It is okay to consume fruit juices and tender coconut water when sick. But during the COVID-19 recovery phase, it is advised to concentrate more on proteins, healthy fats, fluids that will improve lung strength than refined carbohydrates. Children can consume whole eggs and adults, who have high blood pressure, can have egg whites alone. Another way to include proteins is by consuming overnight soaked almonds and walnuts. Soaked almonds also provide you with bioavailable zinc. Always stay hydrated — drink warm water, soups, moringa soup, tomato soup. Any type of sundal is another source of protein. Cocoa and nuts mixed with milk can be given to children. A teaspoon of coconut oil is recommended for children on alternate days,” Meenakshi concludes. —MJ