Diet to overcome 'postcovid-19' complexities

Many people recover fully after suffering from coronavirus, but various health complications appear later. This is called ‘postcovid-19 syndrome’.

These complications include occasional headache, excessive physical weakness, and body aches, shortness of breath, dizziness, hair loss, and skin rashes. Other than this, some gain excessive weight while others lose weight abnormally.

Patients need a balanced diet, moderate exercise and adequate sleep to return to the normal life in the recovery period. In some cases, they need to consult a specialist.

If you take have a regular balanced diet, it is possible to overcome these health complexities in the recovery period.

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How much to consume

According to the recommendations of the United Nations World Food Programme and also the Dietary Guidelines of Bangladesh, an adult needs to consume 100 grams of spinach, 200 grams of other vegetables and 100 grams of fruits daily.

Fruits and vegetables are essential in the daily diet for an active and healthy life as they contain a lot of water, essential vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, phyto-nutrients and certain amount of sugar.

Vitamins and minerals derived from the vegetables increase the body’s immunity. Apart from this, if an adult consumes fruits and vegetables regularly in moderate amounts, then his or her healthy days increase yearly.

Potassium regulates blood pressure in the human body. Fiber helps the body to get rid of the cholesterol and other contaminants and regulates glucose levels in blood.

As a result, the body makes red blood cells (hemoglobin). Vitamins are essential for the eyes and the skin. Vitamin E prevents aging while Vitamin C helps to prevent bleeding along with absorbing iron in the body with healthy gums.

Nutritional value of readily available food

Panta bhat (traditional leftover rice soaked in water) is a cheap and readily available but highly nutritious food. With a lot of iron, calcium, potassium and essential sugar, panta bhat is the reservoir of Vitamin B, especially for vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12.

According to research, 100 grams of panta bhat contains a total of 55.83 per cent more iron and 492 per cent more calcium than ordinary rice.

Besides,you will get other essential nutrients including essential fats, fiber, folate, zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin A and B-2 from using oils, eggs and onions in bharta.

Necessary protein can also be found in lentils. Expensive foods are not essential. Simple food will help you to recover faster. Fruits and vegetables should be eaten without peeling.

Various fruits and vegetables such as apples, bananas, cucumbers, eggplants, gourds, pumpkins, and potatoes are highly nutritious foods.

Apple peel contains an antioxidant called quercetin, which is very useful for the heart, lungs and brain while gourd peel contains a lot of zinc—beneficial for smooth skin.

Eggplant peel contains an antioxidant called nasunin, which helps in anti-aging. Besides, eggplant peel helps to brighten the skin by keeping it fresh. With vitamins B, C and plenty of antioxidants, potato peel contains a lot of iron and potassium.

Postcovid-19 problems vary from person to person. So people should consume foods carefully. If necessary, you can consult a physician and then make your own food list and get used to it.

Ishrat Jahan is a nutritionist.

This report appeared in the print and online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten for the English edition by NH Sajjad

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