Ms. Deepti Khatuja, Head – Clinical Nutritionist at Fortis Memorial Research Institute Gurgaon
Covid vaccine Booster doses have started and with vaccination, we all have some minor side effects like fever, pain, headache weakness, fatigue and sometimes gastric acidity or discomfort, nausea etc. Normally these symptoms last for 2-3 days.
Hence these are the foods to be included along with some tips to minimize these effects:
Turmeric- Turmeric is a bright orange root with a slightly bitter flavor and often used in Indian cuisine. In India it has been used for medicinal culture due to its curative properties. An active compound called Curcumin is responsible for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal qualities. Turmeric is loaded with antioxidants, that can protect the body from free radicals and strengthen the immune system. It is effective against flu and cold. Can also be taken in the form of turmeric tea and adding lemon juice and honey to your turmeric tea will not just improve the taste but also add essential phytonutrients and vitamin C.
Ginger- Like turmeric, ginger also contains antimicrobial properties that can help to boost your immune system and keep one safe and healthy. Ginger imparts a slightly sweet, slightly spicy flavour to tea blends, and is a popular ingredient in both caffeinated and herbal teas.
Green leafy vegetables- Green leafy vegetables apart from being a good source of fibre, are also rich in vitamin C, E, provitamin A carotenoid, folate, manganese, Antioxidants and most importantly the antagonist vitamin K. they are also rich in phenolic compounds. Vitamin C and vitamin A help to strengthen immunity.
Curd– a natural probiotic, improves gut health by regulating gut bacteria: aids immune function and reduces inflammation.
Citrus Fruits like Oranges, sweet lime, amla etc- are rich in Vitamin C which has antioxidant properties and helps support Immune Cells against oxidative damage by neutralizing free radicals before they can cause harm to cells. It also supports the immune system in its vital roles in white blood cell production and function as well as other immune system cells. Helps in faster wound healing.
Foods with high water content – This helps to maintain the ambient body temperature and mental condition as well. Try including oranges, melons, cucumbers and peaches in your post-vaccination diet.
Multi grains/ millets – Millets are good sources of multiple micronutrients and fiber. Fibre rich content of this food will allow the better absorption of nutrition in your gut and conversion of energy.
Garlic– Garlic works wonders in boosting immunity and feeding great gut microscopic organisms. Garlic is rich in probiotics, which feeds the microscopic organisms in the gut.
Things to avoid-
- Going for the vaccination empty stomach
- Consumption of Heavy/ fried or spicy foods
- Caffeinated beverages
Tips to Minimize the side effects-
- Small and frequent meals.
- Drink plenty of water. Hydration is important.
- Optimize nutritional intake with a special focus on proteins (easily digestible like curd etc).
- Add diet diverse food from each food group.
- At least 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables
- Increase probiotics/ prebiotics and fibre in the diet
- Limit consumption of highly processed food and include more seasonal and whole foods like whole cereals/millets / whole pulses etc.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol which adversely affect immunity and risk and severity of infections.