Nutrition and hydration are key to COVID-19 recovery

All specialists agreed on the consumption of water to ensure good hydration during recovery.

To date, 267 thousand patients have recovered from coronavirus disease. It is likely that moderate-level cases were given oxygen for lung damage, and the most severe cases were on artificial respirators. Pulmonary failures that the progress of the disease brings leave sequelae in the body such as sore throat, shortness of breath, change of voice, decay and lack of appetite.

protein foods

Nutritionist Giulianna Saldarriaga recommends eating a diet rich in protein such as chicken, fish, turkey, guinea pig, and eggs. As well as preferring food preparations such as steamed, in the oven or stews, to make it easier to chew and digest. The national dean of the College of Nutritionists of Peru, Antonio Castillo Carrera, included in this recommendation offal, due to their high amounts of iron and vitamin B12. Likewise, vegetables and at least two servings of fruit should be included in lunch and dinner.

On this topic, nutritionist Verena Haro, for a successful radio interview, recommended in particular foods rich in zinc and selenium since it helps to participate in the generation of olfactory cells or taste buds, given that one of the COVID-19 symptoms is loss of taste or smell. These can be found in red meats, stews such as lentils, split peas. In the case of selenium, this essential mineral can be found in garlic, eggs, fish.

woman drinking water
Photo: REUTERS/Steve Dipaola


All specialists agreed that hydration is the most important thing in the recovery stage, ideally 2 liters of water a day. Dehydration makes it difficult to remove mucus from the lungs. In fact, it is considered a risk factor for respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic bronchitis; COVID-19 is a respiratory disease.

Regarding the consumption of infusions, nutritionist Haro indicated that greater care should be taken in their consumption time since if taken with meals, whether it is lunch or dinner, the absorption of nutrients from the food is put at risk. As an example, drinking black tea along with lunch lentils is counterproductive since the tannins in black tea prevent the absorption of iron from lentils in our bodies.

Soups are not recommended as the first food item because the main course is the one that usually has more nutrients for the patient’s recovery. Especially in patients who are older adults, it is better to eat the main course first before the soup because gastric capacity may be diminished and it is better to take advantage of the nutrients of the main course of the meal of the day. What is recommended is to consume the infusion in a time that has nothing to do with lunch or dinner. Thus, if you eat lunch at 1 pm, you could take an infusion at 3 pm.

Finally, all these recommendations must go hand in hand with the medications recommended by the specialist doctor for recovery from infection with SARS-CoV-2.

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