What is it about?

Studies estimate that up to 30% of people post-COVID are suffering from persistent Long-COVID symptoms from anywhere up to 6-8 months. Omicron variant can increase this number due to its numerous mutations despite being still in its early stages. Dubbed as ‘long-haulers’ these people are now seeking therapeutic strategies to alleviate and support long-COVID symptoms in a bid to get back to full health as quickly as possible. Proper nutrition in the road to recovery of COVID is essential. A plant-based diet would be advantageous to provide plenty of vitamins, antioxidants and dietary fibres, and mindful eating could wake up hunger and satiation cues. Vitamins and dietary supplements are important for those with long COVID to maintain overall health and prevent nutrient deficiency.

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Why is it important?

We have considered evidence for supporting long-hauler at the intersection where diet, nutrition and eating habits converge on gut health, inflammation, and specific symptoms of long-COVID, such as loss of olfactory senses, fatigue and poor cognition.

Perspectives

Malnutrition can happen to anyone post COVID, regardless of BMI categories or severity. Without proper nutrition our body cannot stay healthy, cannot fight off disease. It weakens our immune system and leave us susceptible to infection and slower recovery. It also causes weight loss and muscle loss that can lead to frailty, falls and broken bones, disability, and loss of independence, and prolonged hospitalisation. Increased mental distress and physical inactivity, and persistently dysfunctional smell and taste among post-viral patients should not be underrated as these clues can provide insight into various forms of malnutrition.

Anh Nguyen
University of Stirling

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Nutrition therapy for long COVID, British Journal of Nursing, November 2021, Mark Allen Group, DOI: 10.12968/bjon.2021.30.21.s28.
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