How Nutrition can help to fight against COVID-19 Pandemic
Over the Christmas holidays, it hit me. I had a positive result from a Covid-19 antigen test.
Instead of an adventure vacation in Sri Lanka, I am now in home quarantine in Upper Austria, taking care of my body and getting healthy again. In this podcast episode I tell you more about the background: Podcast episode "What do you eat when you have covid disease." (Only German is spoken in the podcast)
But what nutrients does the body need to get better during a cold, and is there a superfood you can use to push your immune system? Find out more at this article.
Annoying as the disease may be, thankfully my course of illness was relatively mild. I felt weak and listless, slightly sickly. However, my sense of smell and taste were hardly impaired. Researchers found that people who tested positive for omicron experienced increased loss of appetite. That was not the case either. Slightly groggy, I've asked myself the question, what should I eat?!
What am I hungry for?
Many people are not hungry when they are sick. When it really comes down to it, your own body's appetite cues probably give you the best answer as to what/if you should eat when you're sick.
I usually advocate eating, at least a little something, when you're already not hungry at all. The body needs a LOT (!) of energy during an illness to maintain the immune system.
When it comes to the question of what you feel appetite for, you can imagine a huge market. In true Corona fashion, are you alone there and allowed to wish for anything you want? Make a shopping list of 5 food items.
In the picture you can see what came to my mind: papaya, pak choi, horseradish, bananas and pickled vegetables.
If your appetite signals do not give you any precise clues, then let's move on to the next question: What does my body need when it is weakened by the flu?
It is not entirely clear which food promises relief for which symptoms. However, a few principles can be agreed upon. A heavy diet should be avoided, because your body needs the energy for the immune system - not for digestion. To strengthen your cells, a diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants is recommended. Proteins, minerals and electrolytes also promise a lot of good, which is why so many swear by grandma's chicken soup when they are sick.
A diet rich in vitamins is useful. Proteins and minerals help the body with the immune defense.
Here are my top 5 foods for covid disease:
Papaya. Papaya is known to have super high potassium. Great for balancing electrolyte levels when you sweat a lot or have diarrhea! Here's my superfood-salad with Avocado & Papaya.
Pak Choi. The vegetable has a high content of mustard oils, also known as "plant antibiotics". These stimulate the immune system and thus prevent infectious diseases. Super yummy soup with Pak Choi and coconut flavour. By the way, papaya and pak choi have a high content of Vitamin C. A vitamin and antioxidant that cleanses the organism from toxins, viruses and bacteria.
Horseradish. Spicy foods are effective for a stuffy nose. Foods such as horseradish, turmeric or ginger decongest the mucous membranes and help with a cold or cough. Suitable recipe for this? Here my hearty spread with spicy horseradish and sweet apple.
Bananas. The fruit is considered easily tolerated and is often recommended for stomach flu. Here again the appeal to a gentle diet for the stomach. Bananas make delicious and fluffy protein pancakes - without any sugar or flour.
Pickled vegetables. Especially with diarrhea, intestinal bacteria are lost and probiotic foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, kombucha, etc. promise a remedy. Probiotics are also said to bring relief to children with flu symptoms such as fever, cough and cold. Here is my sauerkraut salad with apple and feta.
My conclusion: In addition to diet, make sure you drink enough fluids, get plenty of rest and enough sleep. It is important to listen to your body during a cold. I would like to point out that my information is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.