Nutritional recommendations for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients and prophylaxis for F1 individuals quarantining at home

If you are F0 or F1 and isolating at home, do not forget that good nutrition is one of the most important factors in helping your body to fight this disease. Nutrition helps to support and improve the body’s protective “barrier”, including immune cells, antibodies, skin, respiratory mucosa and stomach lining.

Malnourished patients with CD4 and CD8 immunodeficiency will be at a great disadvantage if they contract acute respiratory tract infections such as SAR-CoV-2. To stay healthy and better prevent the disease, appropriate nutrition for your age and condition needs to be adopted.

According to Dr Nguyen Viet Quynh Thu (Head of the Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, FV Hospital), a reasonable diet requires five elements:

  • Eat three main meals (with one to three optional snacks)
  • Eat a variety of foods to meet your nutritional needs
  • Drink enough clean water according to the body’s needs (from two to 2.5 litres), consumed slowly in small sips, even when not thirsty. Drink fruit juice with no added sugar and do not drink soft drinks as an alternative to water
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Consult a doctor if you are suffering from chronic diseases (diabetes, high blood pressure, bad cholesterol)

Anyone who wants to limit the likelihood of contracting this disease should supplement their diet to help strengthen their immune system, eat enough foods according to the nutritional pyramid of the Institute of Nutrition, the Ministry of Health, specifically as follows:

NutrientsUsesFood Sources
ProteinThe building blocks of immune cells and antibodies, proteins participate in the body’s immune responsesIt is necessary to eat a combination of foods rich in animal protein (such as fish, chicken, beef, eggs, milk…) and protein plants (from legumes, beans, etc.).
Vitamin A & Beta-caroteneMaintains the integrity of the respiratory and digestive tract mucosa, creates antibodies on the mucosal surface.Animal liver, egg yolk.

Vitamin A in the form of Beta-carotene such as papaya, carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin, orange, mango, broccoli, spinach

Vitamin CBoosts immunity, fights oxidantsFresh fruits, vegetables and fruits such as: oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, guava, papaya, mango, apple, grape, kiwi, tomato, cauliflower, radish, spinach, bell pepper, spinach
Vitamin DSupports the immune, digestive, circulatory and nervous systemsArrange isolation in a well-ventilated area with a separate area or loggia with sunlight or a separate room with windows, so that the patient can be exposed to sunlight for 15-30 minutes a day.

It is advisable to increase foods rich in vitamin D such as fish liver, egg yolks, fish and foods fortified with vitamin D (milks, cereals)

Vitamin EPromotes the development of immune organsSeeds such as sunflower seeds, soybean products, wheat, bean sprouts, sprouts, spinach
SeleniumA powerful antioxidant that helps to strengthen the body’s ability to fight infectionsBrown rice, germinated rice, sprouted rice, fish, shrimp, seaweed
Iron and ZincHelps maintain the normal functioning of the immune systemPoultry (including chicken) and shellfish and seafood such as oysters, crabs, oysters

Animal liver and lean meat are also rich in easily absorbed iron

Omega 3Anti-inflammatory and improves the immune systemFish oil, cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, basa, halibut, herring, tuna, oysters and some types of nuts
FlavonoidsIncrease the body’s antioxidant capacity and enhance immunitySpices such as: basil, perilla, broccoli, broccoli, apple, green tea, ginger, garlic, turmeric, green leafy vegetables
ProbioticsSupport to strengthen the body’s immune systemYoghurt, cheese, fermented soybeans (miso, natto)

Another important issue is ensuring food safety during home isolation. It is necessary to choose a food source of clear origin, far from waste storage areas. It is advisable to calculate the amount of food required used to limit the number of trips to buy food. During preliminary processing, attention must be paid to hand hygiene, protective clothing (masks, gloves) should be used, and cooking and eating utensils should be carefully cleaned.

For patients with COVID-19 whose symptoms include loss of smell and taste, or who have an eating disorder or chronic disease, the issue of nutritional supplements needs special attention. At this time, you should consult a nutritionist to receive specific supplemental instructions, recommendations regarding alternative foods, supplements or receiving nutrients by a suitable method. It is important that patients stay healthy and support their immune system to overcome the disease.

You can book an appointment with doctors from the Department of Nutrition & Dietetics at FV Hospital via phone number (028) 5411 3333, extension 1419, and telemedicine services. Doctors will provide nutritional advice, prescribe nutritional supplements and functional foods, and assist in building a diet suitable for each patient’s condition, for instance when the patient has fatigue or loss of taste. FV will prepare these treatment meals at the request of the nutritionist and deliver them to the patient’s home.

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