Anyone who has suffered from Covid 19 knows that it puts a lot of stress on the body. With symptoms like high fever, cough, loss of taste and smell, and diarrhea, patients also tend to lose their appetite. Not enough emphasis can be put on the fact that immunity plays a big role in patient recovery. And immunity is built when the diet is balanced.
Depending on the severity of the disease, likes and dislikes of the patient, and what can be made available, a diet plan should be made. It is necessary to have a protein-rich diet with a balanced amount of fat and carbohydrates. The patient should also consume a good amount of liquids and electrolytes. Let’s understand more!
The diet plan for any individual is made according to their nutritional requirements, habits, and what they like to eat. Some patients suffering from Covid may need low sodium, some may need fewer carbs, some may need more protein.
On average, covid positive patients who need protein should aim to consume 75 to 100 grams of it daily. Good sources of proteins include eggs, meat, cottage cheese, fish, yogurt, and protein shakes.
Nutrients dense food should be an obvious choice for those who do not feel like eating or are very low in energy. Food items containing fats and carbs, like cheese, butter, margarine, sour cream, avocado, should be included in a diet plan for covid 19 patient.
Meals should be divided into 5 to 6 small portions for those who are unable to take larger portions. Patients can connect with dieticians through virtual covid care programs, like that offered by DayToDay Health.
Patients lose water and electrolytes when they have fever or diarrhea during Covid. It is necessary to consume water or ORS to replenish the body. Other options include chicken broth, juice, electrolyte drinks, and tea with honey.
Consumption of at least three liters of water per day is adequate. High water intake also helps to keep urinary infections at bay.
Honey with tea helps soothe the throat and keeps the liquid consumption in check. In case one is vomiting frequently, they can try coconut water or a sports drink. It is advisable to avoid alcohol during this period.
Any Covid patient diet chart must factor in how many calories the individual is consuming. Calories are required to increase the energy to counter the virus. An individual with a normal BMI should consume at least 25-30 kcal/ kg actual body weight.
In addition, the immune system also requires a boost of Proteins, vitamins A, E, C, D, and zinc. On average, 30 - 220 mg/ day Zinc, 10 - 1000 mcg/ day Vitamin D, 200 - 2mg / day Vitamin C, and 138 - 800 mg/day Vitamin E, is adequate.
One can incorporate dry fruits like cashew and almonds in their diet. Smoothies and yogurt are also great options as they are easy to digest and taste great.
Always wash the vegetables and meat using warm water. Wash hands before and after cooking the meals. Keep separate utensils for the patient.
While preparing food for Covid patient, consider moderate quantities of fat and carbs with high protein value.
Minimize the use of sugar and salt. Fats should not go beyond 25 - 30% of the total calories.
Antioxidants and nutritional supplements should be encouraged. Vitamin C and D have proved to be useful for recovery.
Leftover food of a Covid positive patient should be treated as medical waste and should be disposed of properly.
For patients with comorbidities like diabetes or hypertension, consult with a dietician for the right diet plan during Covid.
One may feel lazy to incorporate all these elements in their diet during recovery. But, nutrition can make all the difference in this case. Limited access to fresh food can pose a difficulty, but it is possible to make a balanced meal out of limited supplies.
Patients can choose to seek guidance through DayToDay Health’s Covid home isolation programs that help them set reminders for their diet and connects them with dieticians. Ultimately, consuming food items for quick recovery and better gut health should be the aim.