Struggling with a long covid?  Experts say diet and nutrition can help

Struggling with a long covid? Experts say diet and nutrition can help

Tiredness, brain fog, heart palpitations and difficulty breathing.

These are just some of the common symptoms of “Long Covid” that can affect people long-term after the infection has recovered, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

There is still a lot to learn about Long Covid. While eating the right foods isn’t a long-term cure for Covid, diet and nutrition can play a key role in helping those who struggle with it cope, experts tell CNBC Make It.

According to Dr. Greg Vanishkitchorn, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Covid Activity Rehabilitation Program, symptoms are only “half the picture.”

“The other half is how these symptoms affect a person’s ability to live their life. Unfortunately, long-term COVID symptoms can be very limited.”

Vanichkachorn added that more than a third of Mayo Clinic long covid patients Report problems with some basic activities of life, such as dressing, bathing and eating.

“It’s just such a bad movie that we don’t have the end of it yet,” said Dr. Joan Salg Blake, professor of clinical nutrition at Boston University.

Heart disease, certain types of cancer… You can fight all these diseases with a knife and fork. This is empowerment because you are in control of what is on your plate and what you eat.

Dr. Joan Salg Blake

Clinical Professor, Boston University

Long Covid is basically Post-infection conditions This can last for weeks, months or years – long after a person has tested negative for Covid-19. It can also be referred to as post-Covid or chronic Covid conditions.

Experts who spoke to CNBC Make It said there is still much to learn about Long Covid, but nutrition plays a vital role.

“Heart disease, certain types of cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes… you can fight all these diseases with a knife and fork,” Blake said.

“This is empowering because you are in control of what is on your plate and what you eat.”

For those looking for ways to deal with the symptoms of the long-running COVID-19 disease, CNBC Make It discovers what you should and shouldn’t eat.

1. Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, olive oil, nuts and whole grains.

Cristina Pedrazzini / Science Photo Library | Science Photo Library | Getty Images

Blake added, “Poor protein [intake] It can contribute to fatigue, and that’s the one thing you don’t want because Covid will give you fatigue…it definitely won’t help you if you don’t have enough protein in your diet. ”

Fatty fish, such as tuna and salmon, are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that can improve your health. Cardiovascular health.

But in the end, the focus should be on building an overall “superfood diet,” rather than on “superfoods,” Blake said. Superfoods are those rich in antioxidants, fiber and healthy fatty acids.

“It’s an excellent diet that will help you fight chronic disease. When all the vitamins and minerals work together, this will be your best defense.”

2. Beware of vitamin deficiencies

Ekaterina Goncharova | moment | Getty Images

“Iron deficiency can cause many symptoms, including anemia and fatigue. Deficiency can occur for many reasons, such as low iron intake, but can also be associated with chronic disease,” Vanichkachorn said.

However, caution against using vitamin or mineral supplements without first seeking medical advice.

“If you are concerned about a vitamin or mineral deficiency, the first step is to talk to your medical provider,” he said.

3. Stay hydrated

If plain water is too boring, you can also add a piece of fruit like lemon or lime to help improve the taste.

Dr. Greg Vanishchurn

Director of the Mayo Clinic COVID Activity Rehabilitation Program

Recognizing that patients often need reminders to stay hydrated, Vanichkachorn encouraged those with long Covid-19 to carry a bottle with them.

He added, “If plain water is too boring, you can also add a piece of fruit like lemon or lime to help with taste. These simple changes can make staying very hydrated.”

4. What to stay away from

Because severe Covid can cause “very intense inflammation” in the body, Vanichkachorn said, it would be a good idea to stay away from anything that might aggravate it.

“We have seen some signs of inflammation … rising in this number of patients [suffering from long Covid]. The inflammation is likely secondary to immune system disorders, possibly autoimmune-type possibilities,” he added.

Severe Covid disease can cause significant inflammation in the body, Vanichkachorn said, and it would be a good idea to stay away from sugary drinks and sweets.

Elizabeth Perez Holowaty | moment | Getty Images

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