Diet plan and food dos and don’ts for COVID -19 patients


Nutrition plays a significant role for both, the COVID-19 patients and those who are on the path of recovery. During COVID-19, the body gets weakened and it continues for days even after recovering from the symptoms. Thus, it becomes essential to consume the right kind of diet for a speedy and complete recovery of the body. We spoke to celebrity nutritionist Sandhya Gugnani and she recommended some food and diet tips based on the latest research.

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for Covid patients

Start with meeting 50% of the nutritional requirement of the patient and proceed to 70% by the 3rd day, gradually increasing to 100% by the end of the week.

Covid diet

Calorie requirement / RDA

  • Non-obese -25-30kcal/kg Actual Body Weight
  • Overweight or obese- 25-30kcal/kg IBW or Adjusted BW
  • Underweight -25-35kcal/kg Adjusted BW
  • Protein requirement – 1-1.5gm/kg/ Actual Body Weight
  • Fats requirement – 25-30% of the total calories
  • Multivitamin, minerals & trace elements
  • Vitamin D – 10-1000mcg/day
  • Vitamin A – to be consumed through diet
  • Vitamin E – 134-800mg/day
  • Zinc – 30-220mg
  • Vitamin C – 200mg- 2gm

The above micronutrients increase the T-cells & B-cells(antibody) in your body and will help in COVID recovery.
Oral Nutritional Supplements (ONS) – In case of diarrhoea

  • Around 400-600kcals/day and 30gms of protein should be provided through ONS. This should be continued for at least a month.
  • Assessment should be done every 3rd day for patients.

Nutritional guidelines for COVID patients

  • Leftover food to be treated as medical waste.
  • Regular physical activity and breathing exercise to be advised, as per tolerance.
  • Having a balanced diet with moderate carbs and fats, and High Biological Value proteins.
  • Provide Oral Nutrition Supplements and Antioxidants to meet the demands of the patients.
  • Consumption of Antioxidant Vitamins and Minerals should be encouraged especially Vitamin C and Vitamin D.
Healthy diet

COVID – Diet (Dos and Don’ts)


The main diet focus for COVID patients is to consume foods that would help rebuild muscle, immunity and energy levels. Whole grains like ragi, oats or amaranth are rich sources of complex carbohydrates. Chicken, fish, eggs, paneer, soya, nuts and seeds are some good sources of protein. Healthy fats like walnuts, almonds, olive oil, mustard oil are recommended during these days. To boost one’s immunity, one should take turmeric milk once a day.
Five serving of all coloured fruits and vegetables are a must to get adequate vitamins and minerals when you are COVID positive. You can have small amounts of dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa which can lift your mood, get rid of anxiety and will also boost your immunity.

Most COVID patients experience loss of smell and taste or difficulty in swallowing. It is important to eat soft foods at small intervals and to add amchoor in the food.

Sample Diet Chart

Poha


  • Breakfast: Veg Poha / Chila/ Veg upma/ Namkeen veg seviya/ idli + 2 egg whites/ Golden milk with haldi and ginger powder
Khichdi

  • Lunch: Amaranth / ragi or multi grain flour Chapati/ Rice/ Veg Pulao/ khicadi/ dal , green vegs , Curd Salad ( carrot and cucumber)
Tea

  • Evening: Ginger tea/ veg or chicken or immunity soup/ sprouts chaat
Paneer

  • Dinner: Amaranth/ ragi/ multigrain flour Chapati/ soya beans/ paneer/ chicken or green veggies Salad ( carrot and cucumber)

If the patient is getting diarrhoea/ nausea give Veg Khichdi, ginger tea ( ginger, tulsi/ lemongrass, cinnamon, clove or cardamom)

Common questions to be addressed

Covid fatigue



What to do for Post covid fatigue?

Consume energy-boosting foods like banana, apples, oranges or sweet lime juice to deal with post-COVID fatigue. Add sweet potato in the salad or as a part of your meal. Take warm water with organic honey and lime.

How to manage dry cough?

Drink plenty of fluids, like warm water with tulsi leaves to manage COVID symptoms, like cough and itchy throat. Avoid sugary drinks, alcohol, coffee as it leads to dehydration. Inhale steam with the tongue out at least 2-3 times a day.

Washing veggies

Do fruits and vegetables transmit the virus?

Fruits and vegetables do not transmit the virus directly, but they should be thoroughly washed before cooking or consumption. They should be ideally washed in warm water or you can add soda-bicarb to the water. Soak the vegetables and fruits in this water for some time before using it.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) and COVID 19?

Maintain good fluid balance as ‘Hydration is the key’ to avoid urinary infections. Incorporate good amounts of Vitamin C in the diet, up to 1-2g/day.



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