Nutrition news

Nutrition: why good nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices are essential for healing from the virus


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IF YOU are struggling to recover from a Christmas virus, Covid, or the like, there are many nutritional tools that can help you recover and get back on your feet.

When our immune system is weakened, the body needs extra support to help us recover. While Omicron continues to grab the headlines, little is said about how crucial good nutrition is in the recovery process from Covid and other viruses.

Our immune system is a complex network that includes white blood cells (like T cells), chemicals (like histamine), and organs (including the digestive tract). When we are affected by an infection, our immune system needs extra nutrition to help it function effectively.

White blood cells need extra protein – the body often draws on our muscle stores to meet this extra demand, which can lead to muscle loss and weight loss when we are sick. As we recover, we need to get this protein back into our diet.

The immune system also needs a lot of energy, so our demand for calories increases. However, it is important to choose the right type of calories. Complete carbohydrates like oats, brown rice, and wholegrain pasta, along with a good source of protein like eggs, natural yogurt, fish, or nuts, can help rebuild your energy and promote recovery.

Vitamins and minerals are essential for recovery, so include plenty of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, some dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fish as a starting point. Take inspiration from the fundamentals of the Mediterranean style diet with all of its colorful plant foods, herbs and spices, fish and meat.

Consider reheating foods like casseroles, curries, chili peppers, and soups to help build muscle and get back on your feet.

Essential fats like omega 3, found in oily fish, have anti-inflammatory properties and are important for the proper functioning of the immune system. If you can’t face the idea of ​​oily fish like mackerel and salmon, then a fish oil supplement might be more appealing: just be careful if you are mediating and consult your GP or pharmacist before proceeding. complete.

Here are some other things you can do to speed up your recovery.

GET FRESH AIR IN YOUR LUNGS: If you’re not feeling well, you’ve probably been locked indoors with limited access to fresh air. Even if it’s cold outside, open the windows and freshen the air in your home. Wrap yourself up and venture outside for a while everyday and breathe in some fresh air.

KEEP WELL HYDRATED: Dehydration can cause dizziness, headaches, and fatigue. If you don’t like cold water, try herbal teas with soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, like cinnamon or turmeric.

AVOID ALCOHOL: it will dehydrate you and may make you worse.

AVOID CAFFEINE: especially if you have headaches.

AVOID SUGAR: it can deplete immunity, energy and mood.

EAT PROTEIN: Add protein to each meal to help build immune cells and help your body repair and heal itself. Eggs, lean meat, fish, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils, and plain yogurt are all good sources.

EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: Eat a rainbow of colorful, seasonal fruits and vegetables to help incorporate more antioxidants into your diet.

SLEEP MORE: Go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep.

Keep it simple. If you are recovering, you will probably still feel tired. Give yourself rest to help you recover.

:: WHAT ABOUT SUPPLEMENTS?

Much work has been done on how nutritional supplementation can help support recovery from viruses, including Covid-19. Most studies recommend taking a combination of vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc as a baseline level to support immunity during active infection.

For most adults, it is recommended that you take these supplements for two to three weeks, or until you feel better. Here is what is recommended:

:: Vitamin D3 –3000ui per day.

:: Vitamin C – one orange a day is not enough. Adults can take 1,000 to 2,000 mg of vitamin C three times a day.

:: Zinc – can be very helpful if you have lost your sense of taste or smell. Go for around 15 mg per day.

:: Quercetin – this is particularly important if you suffer from allergies. The recommended dose is at least 500 mg twice a day.

Hope this helps you get well quickly.

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