Dietary Management of Covid Fever

With scores of people around the world dealing with the pandemic, the need of the hour is to ensure a safe and healthy recovery.

We at the Center for Soft Power have put forward a diet plan based on Ayurvedic principles for COVID infected patients. The protocol covers the diet that one can follow right from pre-covid to post covid. The diet protocol is developed in collaboration with Dr Somit Kumar, Director of Arya Vaidya Pharmacy Research Foundation, Coimbatore and Dr Deepa Prakash, Food and Nutrition Scientist at Kadamba.

INTRODUCTION

SARS-COVID 19, like any other viral fever takes a severe toll on one’s body and mind. With proper medicine, mental calm and positive mindset, specific therapeutic nutrition is essential. The ingredients in this document are those of daily use in our kitchens and those that can be sourced locally.

Fever from the perspective of Ayurveda falls into two phases: (i) AMA JWARA and (ii) SANIPATIKA JWARA. The former happens in the first week and the latter in the second week. AMA JWARA is the acute phase of the virus and the SANIPATIKA JWARA is the chronic phase.

AMA JWARA PHASE

In the first week, the fever is acute and the physiological distress is sudden. Conditions of elevated temperature, exhaustion and lack of appetite is observed.

SANIPATIKA JWARA PHASE

In the second week, the body responds to the condition with increase in inflammation. Elevated temperature, challenges in respiration, exhaustion and lack of appetite is observed.\

ESSENTIAL NOTES

It is essential to note that the nutrition needs of the patient post two weeks remains in the therapeutic scale for about two months after to ensure there is no relapse of the condition.

  • It is essential to note that milk, cream, and heavy curd is not recommended in the treatment of the fever. However, buttermilk can be used in abundance.
  • Ghee is the medium of fat accepted in both weeks, with its abundance of short chain fatty acids. However, from week two, Medium Chain Fats from Virgin Coconut Oil is of value. The diet is by and large is low in fat, minimal fat is used for seasoning and cooking.
  • The foods to be avoided are essentially fried foods, refined carbohydrates, sprouts, black gram, sesame paste, sugar, pungent spices, excessive fluids, melons, fish, alcohol.
  • Foods to be consumed in abundance are gourd vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts and dried fruit.
  • The spices and herbs used as part of the therapeutic diet have two forms viz. water extract and fat extract.
  • Turmeric, Pepper, Ginger, Mango Ginger, Whole Spices, Curry Leaves, Coriander Leaves and Lemon are essential ingredients for each meal.
  • Note that turmeric should always be used in cooking but adding it to hot oil, followed by pepper. The curcumin in turmeric is more bioavailable with a little fat in the diet. Pepper has a molecule that increase the bioavailability of curcumin about 20 times. Ergo, the combination is essential.
  • Shadanga Paniyam is a water extract of choice for drinking over the day and upon awakening. This is a preparation with the following ingredients in equal proportion viz. Dried Ginger Powder (Chukku in Tamil), Coriander Seeds, Nut Grass (Muthanga in Malayalam, Tunga Musthalu in Telugu), Khus(Vettiver in Tamil), Red Sandalwood (Rakta Chandanam in Tamil), Mexican Mint (Karpooravalli in Tamil). An admixture of these ingredients are to be prepared and 10 gram (approximately 2 teaspoons) has to be added to about 650 ml water and simmered.
  • Although nutrition support is similar to both phases of the fever, specific ingredients are use in each phase to address the said conditions.Download the Dietary Plan for Management of Covid here:  Dietary Management of Covid-19 Fever (3)