The COVID Diet

Nutrition plays a significant role for COVID-19 patients as well as those on the path of recovery. During COVID-19, the body gets weakened and it continues for days even after recovering from the symptoms. Hence its important to consume the right kind of diet for a speedy and complete recovery of the body.

Nutritionists have recommended food and diet tips, based on the latest research.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Covid patients

The diet plan starts by meeting 50% of the nutritional requirement of the patient and proceeds to 70% by the 3rd day, gradually increasing to 100% by the end of the week.

Calorie requirement / RDA

  • Non-obese -25-30 kcal/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
  • 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 the body and 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; to 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, as per tolerance.
  • Balanced diet with moderate carbs and fats, and High Biological Value proteins.
  • 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.

COVID – Diet (Dos and Don’ts)

COVID patients should consume foods that help rebuild muscle, immunity and energy levels. Whole grains are rich sources of complex carbohydrates. Chicken, fish, eggs, are good sources of protein. Healthy fats like walnuts, almonds, olive oil, are recommended during these days.  

Five serving of all coloured fruits and vegetables are a must to get adequate vitamins and minerals when you are COVID positive. Small amounts of dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa can lift your mood, get rid of anxiety and also boost your immunity.

Since most COVID patients experience loss of smell and taste or difficulty in swallowing it is important to eat soft foods at small intervals.  In case of diarrhoea/ nausea, ginger tea (ginger, lemongrass, cinnamon, clove or cardamom) is suggested.

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.

Managing 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.

Fruits and vegetables  

  • Fruits and vegetables do not transmit the virus directly.
  • They should be thoroughly washed in warm water or adding soda-bicarb to the water.  
  • Soak vegetables/ fruits in the above mentioned water for some time before using it.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

  • 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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