Importance of antioxidants for a healthy body post covid-19 recovery

September 02, 2021 3:14 PM

The road to complete recovery from COVID-19 is a long and arduous one, but right nutrition can help your body recover faster and healthier

antioxidantsRegular consumption of antioxidants helps in preventing and managing heart diseases, balancing the pH levels in the body. (Photo source: IE)

By Dr P.Swathi

The path to recovery from COVID-19 is tiring, and it takes the right amount of rest and a balanced diet for the body to get back to its earlier health levels. Nutrition plays an important part in this journey for those suffering from COVID-19, as well as those recovering from the infection. As the virus comes with its complexity, the body usually weakens and takes a long time to get back to full recovery. Even during recovery, one deals with general fatigue and other complications on a day-to-day basis. Patients tend to suffer similar symptoms post-testing negative for COVID-19. They continue feeling weak, leaving them tired with even simple everyday tasks. Often they find it hard to concentrate or focus on their work, even after sufficient sleep.

Around 30% of people recovering from COVID-19 are facing major complications due to various reasons. One of the major reasons is the use of steroids. Since high intake of steroids is needed to fight the virus, it leaves fewer nutrients in the body to rejuvenate it naturally. Another major reason is the deficiency of antioxidants, which affect the body in the long run. As a result, patients of COVID-19 suffer from fatigue, breathlessness, joint pains, hair loss, chest pain, weight gain, increase in sugars levels, heart palpitations, and blood infections, among others. Hence, it becomes important to make sure one consumes an adequate amount of carbohydrates, proteins and antioxidants. Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Selenium, Zinc, Glutathione, and Flavonoids, among others, are the antioxidants that the body generally needs for a healthy recovery.

Regular consumption of antioxidants helps in preventing and managing heart diseases, balancing the pH levels in the body by pumping out the toxins through the kidney, thus contributing to the long life of the liver. Furthermore, antioxidants, also called free radical scavengers, boost one’s immunity by preventing and slowing down the damage to the cells.

Antioxidants for cardiovascular diseases

Flavonoids – Dark chocolates, tea, red cabbage, cauliflower

P Coumaric acid – Orange, grape, papaya, barley, brown rice, cinnamon, peanuts, tomato, garlic, carrot

Glutathione – Fish, chicken, egg, whey protein, nuts, legumes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, veggies

Antioxidants for diabetes mellitus

Vitamin A – Drumstick leaves, spinach, orange, papaya, carrot, betel leaves

Glutathione – Fish, chicken, egg, whey protein, nuts, legumes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, veggies

Antioxidants for Eye

· Vitamin A – Drumstick leaves, spinach, orange, papaya, carrot, betel leaves

· Anthocyanins – Blueberry, eggplant, plums, grapes, beetroot, purple cabbage, purple cauliflower

Antioxidants for anti-inflammation

· P Coumaric acid – Orange, grape, barley, brown rice, cinnamon, peanuts, tomato, garlic, carrot.

· Curcumin – Turmeric

· Caffeic acid – Coffee, natural blood thinner (Cinnamon), dry fruits, nutmeg, sunflower seeds, oats, whole grains, tea

Things to take care of post COVID-19 recovery:

  • Make sure you get proper sleep of at least 8 hours a day
  • Meditation and breathing exercises can help your body calm down and give a healthy start to the day
  • Isolate yourself for at least 2 weeks so that the body is not exposed to unnecessary impurities
  • Make sure you follow a nutritious diet plan with less salt, while including required quantities of calcium, zinc, copper, manganese, soluble fibre, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B1 for reducing joint pains
  • Consume foods like egg yolk, fish (salmon & tuna), orange colour fruits (banana, orange, papaya), mushroom, tofu, low-fat paneer, meal maker, soya milk, green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, etc. to meet vitamin – D requirements of the body
  • Drink plenty of fluids, eat spouts, consume fruits and veggies, nuts, oilseeds, whole egg, whole grains, lentils, etc. to manage your CRP levels
  • Good protein intake, anti-inflammatory foods, soluble fibre, nuts, fruits, antioxidants, iron, Vitamin C, Omega group (n-3, n-6 & n-9), regular steam with hot water by add crystal salt and turmeric will help you manage your breathing problems
  • A diet of low carbohydrate foods, including roots, tubers, whole grains, lentils, whole pulses, a lot of fruits, sprouts, veggies, nuts and oilseeds, will help manage your weight. Avoid foods like refined products sweets, sugars, and jaggery
  • Complex carbohydrates, moderate protein, and food with high fibre and low fats, can help manage sugar levels.

(The author is MS (D.F.S.M), Senior Dietician, Manipal Hospitals Vijayawada. The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult health experts and medical professionals before starting any therapy or medication. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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