By Doc Willie Ong (Internist and Cardiologist)
Majority of people with Covid, around 88%, can manage their illness and recover at home.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath; these symptoms are usually accompanied by fatigue and loss of appetite.
You need to eat and drink properly to recover faster.
Remember, food is medicine when you are ill.
With an infection, the body must work hard to mount an immune response. High fever is the immune system’s way of fighting the virus. However, fever can lead to dehydration and increased nutritional requirements.
Even though you may not be thirsty or hungry, it is important that you continue to eat and drink fluids to support your body and beat the virus.
Be hydrated. Drink 10 to 12 glasses of water or fluids every day.
Make soups, juices and other drinks a part of your daily diet. At a minimum, you should drink 2 to 4 ounces of fluid every 30 minutes. Drink water, fruit juices, oral rehydration solution or sports drinks.
Eating large portions may be difficult during the initial phases of recovery from COVID-19 infection, so take smaller but more frequent meals.
Eat something every 3 hours, even if you are not hungry.
Eat a high calorie, high protein diet.
You need calorie-dense foods to get your energy levels back up. Include rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, whole grains and cereals in your diet. Avoid foods with empty calories – like all types of junk food.
Eat more protein.
You can’t start feeling better without these building blocks of life. Try to eat 75-100 grams of protein per day which is 10-14 ounces of a protein source. Good protein sources are fish, chicken, meat, eggs, peanut butter, milk, eggs, yogurt and cheese.
Try using liquid nutritional supplements, available in grocery stores and drug stores, between meals to increase your nutrition intake.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are great sources of dietary fiber, folate, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Include everything from apples and bananas, and green leafy vegetables in your diet.
- Many patients experience difficulties swallowing during their recovery period, so experiment with soft, mashed or liquids to begin with.
- Aside from diet, you need proper sleep and exercise, so get enough rest. When you feel a bit better, start with smaller physical activities to get back in shape.
Consult your doctor for other medicines and supplements needed. Take care.