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How to overcome fatigue and loss of appetite after recovering from Covid-19

Building a reasonable diet after Covid-19 treatment is very important, helping to improve body functions, avoiding the risk of malnutrition.

Regardless of whether the clinical manifestations are mild or severe, most Covid-19 patients will appear tired, anorexia, even difficult to eat when fever, infection, respiratory failure. Therefore, after the treatment period, health of the patient is often impaired; respiratory and digestive organs are weakened, there is a risk of malnutrition in different degrees.

Building a nutritional regimen for people after Covid-19 treatment is therefore very important to help improve body functions.

About the meal and how to prepare it:

People after Covid-19 treatment are often tired and lose their appetite, so they need to eat several times a day, about 5 meals a day, to avoid overeating, which can cause breathing difficulties. Process food in soft form, cut into small pieces, stew thoroughly for easy digestion and absorption. Should eat boiled, steamed, cooked dishes instead of fried, fried, grilled foods that will be difficult to digest. Change dishes often, avoid monotony to make meals more delicious.

In addition, increase the intake of milk (2 cups/day) and milk products, because milk has enough nutritional components in a balanced ratio, easy to digest and absorb, suitable for people who have just recovered from the disease. In particular, high-energy milk can help the patient’s body recover quickly.

Normally, when we are hungry, we will want to eat and crave food, but for people with hunger (deficiency) of micronutrients and a weak digestive tract, the opposite is true. They often lose their sense of hunger and appetite.

To support the digestive tract, patients should supplement with probiotics twice a day, and supplement with multivitamin – mineral tablets for adults or multivitamin – mineral syrups/granules for children. feeling of hunger, appetite, eat better, the body recovers faster.

How to overcome fatigue and loss of appetite after recovering from Covid-19
Milk has enough nutrients in a balanced ratio, easy to digest and absorb, suitable for people who have just recovered from the disease – Illustration

About the diet:

Energy in the diet should be provided by foods from 3 groups: foods rich in carbohydrates (such as rice, cereals, potatoes, tubers), and foods rich in protein (such as animal and meat products). poultry, fish, seafood, beans, legumes) and foods rich in fats (such as animal fat, butter, vegetable oil, oily nuts).

The diet needs to provide enough quantity and ensure a reasonable ratio of 3 energy-producing substances: protein from 13-20%, lipids from 20-25% and glucide (or carbohydrates) from 55-65%. . For example, a person with a total energy intake of 2000 kcal/day with a protein:lipid:glucid ratio of 15:20:55 would need to provide 300 kcal from 75g protein, 400 kcal from 45g fat and 1100 kcal from 275g of starch.

Eat a variety of foods, combine 15-20 foods and change foods frequently throughout the day. The diet should have a combination in a balanced ratio between animal and vegetable protein sources (meat, fish, eggs, milk, shrimp, crab, seafood and beans and pulses…).

Newly recovered patients should choose proteins with high biological value and provide essential amino acids. Amino acids have a role in maintaining the body’s functions, participating in the protective barrier, the movement and absorption of nutrients. Do not eat foods high in cholesterol such as animal organs, brains. Should eat at least 3 fish meals / 1 week, 3 eggs / week and drink more milk from 1-2 cups / day.

Regarding fat, it is recommended to eat both vegetable oil and animal fat, the ratio of animal fat / total fat is less than 60%. It is recommended to use fats derived from fish, vegetable oils, limit fats from poultry (chicken, duck…), animal meat such as pork, beef…

Increase vegetables:

F0 after recovering from the disease should eat a lot of vegetables – a source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Vitamins A, C, D, E and minerals such as iron, zinc, etc. have a role in anti-inflammatory, anti-infection, essential for Covid-19 patient after being cured. Vitamins and minerals are also very helpful in improving resistance and immunity. Note, dark green vegetables and red or yellow fruits will contain a lot of vitamins A, C, and E.

In addition, vegetables also help better digestion, limit cholesterol absorption, limit constipation. The amount of green vegetables and fruits that should be eaten per person in a day is from 400 to 600g.

How to overcome fatigue and loss of appetite after recovering from Covid-19
After recovering from the disease, F0 should eat a lot of vegetables – Illustration

Add water:

Covid-19 patients often lose water and some electrolytes such as sodium and potassium due to fever, pneumonia and infection. Therefore, adding water to replace the lost water will help the body recover quickly.

In addition, it is advisable to increase the intake of fruit juices (such as lemon juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice, mango juice, gotu kola, …). Fruit juices not only provide water, but also provide essential vitamins and minerals for the body.

Foods to limit:

Do not eat salty foods and foods with a lot of salt such as sausages, sausages, canned goods, seafood, dry foods, pickled foods… Limit fatty foods, fried foods, fried foods, etc. Bake because it will cause indigestion. Limit sweets, soft drinks, and carbonated drinks. Do not drink water before or during meals.

MSc.BS Nguyen Van Tien

(Nutrition Communication Education Center, National Institute of Nutrition)

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