How To Take Care Of Yourself Post COVID-19
The world has plunged into a dreadful situation since the beginning of 2020. Till now millions of deaths and more than 213 million people are affected by COVID-19. It seems that the whole management of the pandemic is not effective but there is a lack of guidance to the population. Especially, if you have a history of COVID-19 already, you need to be a little careful about your present diet.
After recovering from COVID-19 and out of quarantine our body needs strengthening and quick healing. Ask anybody who has undergone covid-19 for the last 18 months, the common complaints after their post-recovery is fatigue, weakness, loss of energy, appetite, strength, muscle mass and weight. The complete recovery from covid-19 besides sleep and rest is eating healthy food is an essential aid in healing.
After covid-19, you may have reduced appetite. This is normal after an illness. When your appetite is reduced you must take food that is high in protein-energy, also called a nourishing diet. It helps to prevent weight loss. This is not the best time to lose overweight better stay in the same weight until you are fully recovered. When you are fully recovered then go for a weight loss and a balanced diet.
Protein is very important after illness because it improves muscle strength and function. It also repairs injuries such as wounds and broken bones and it improves our immune system to fight infections. A daily intake of protein from regular meals and snacks is a healthy food habit. Eating too little protein for a long time may lead to muscle weakness and slow recovery from illness and injury. Food high in protein should be included 2 or 3 meals a day. If the appetite is low, eating 3 smaller meals along with snakes and milky products in between may be easier to manage. Protein food includes meat, fish, eggs and dairy foods such as milk, yoghurt and cheese. Plant-based sources include soya and tofu, beans, peas, lentils.
The carbohydrates in our breakfast and lunch constitute up to 25% and one should nourish the body for at least six months of post covid treatment. For energy and fibre, we should have starchy carbohydrate foods that include potatoes, bread, breakfast cereals, rice and pasta.
If you are underweight you have to go to the dietician and he may give advice about your situation. You should follow the nourishment diet.
You may need oral nutrition supplements for the short term. These have energy and protein to supplement the diet. Continue to follow if you have been advised by the dietician during illness. If you have been prescribed oral supplements drinks in a hospital or at home, keep taking them as recommended. Seek advice from the dietician if you are finding it difficult to take.
These oral supplements can be stopped when you have recovered, your weight is stable and your appetite has been returned to normal.
Some people experience a change in taste and smell when recovering from covid-19.
People experienced a change in different ways that include complete loss of taste and smell for a number of weeks, a bland taste from foods, salty and metallic taste from foods.
Tips to manage taste changes
· Eating a variety of hot or cold foods of different textures may bring some sensor enjoyment even when taste is reduced.
· Adding additional salt, butter or cream may make food tastier if flavour is lacking.
· If the food is prepared for someone who is ill, it is important to be as appetising as possible.
Food is as important as medicine. Even if the food does not taste the same, you should eat enough nourishing food to help your recovery.
Fatigue after covid-19
When you are recovering from any illness you may be tired. Fatigue is feeling tired all the time and it is not relieved by rest or sleep.
When recovering from covid-19 you feel you need more sleep or feel exhausted after a raking a short walk.
While you are ill, your muscles may not have to do work for a while, they need time to build strength again.
To reduce fatigue and tiredness
You can reduce fatigue and tiredness by:
· Developing a healthy sleep routine.
· Having a nap when you can, if you need to
· To be hydrated drink plenty of water.
· Eating nutritional food.
Clearing lungs after covid-19
After discharge from the hospital, you may find that you are still coughing up phlegm or mucus. This is common after a respiratory infection like covid-19. Do some exercises to clear the phlegm from your lungs. This may improve your lung condition.
To expand your lungs do some exercises like
· Increasing the amount of air inside your lungs.
· Improving the strength of the muscle that you use to breathe.
· Helping to clear mucus and phlegm from lungs.
· Prevent collapse at the base of the lungs.
Covid recovery is a long process. But even after that, you need to maintain body immunity levels to keep other health issues away. One of the best ways to do this is through a good diet and nutrition plan.
As per Ayurveda, a diet rich in nutritious food and simple ingredients that is not oily, spicy or extremely sweet can help.
What to keep in mind
- · Eat only home-cooked foods, fresh and warm foods.
- · Don’t eat raw foods as they are difficult to digest. Always wash the vegetables properly after bringing them from the market.
- · Avoid sweet fruits. Try to have some sour over sweet fruits. Try your best to have fruits in the evening so that you can digest them before dinner.
- · Take herbal teas between meals.
- · Favour light and also nourishing foods like khichdi with spices.
- · Drink enough water. If you are not sure about the cleanliness of the water, at least for the days after your COVID-19 infection, try to have mineral bottled water.
- · Try to recover, not only physically but also mentally by starting to walk slowly, doing mild stretches and continue with breathwork. Pranayamas are best to practice during and after covid. It helps to improve your immunity level and maintain oxygen levels optimum.
- · Be grateful. And count your blessings. This gives you confidence and increase your patience and reduces stress.
- · Don’t let the fear of post covid complications get onto your head. Stay informed and be logical.
Hope you have gained some insights about how to take care of yourself after your COVID-19 infection.