Long-haul Covid-19 and how to support your body healing

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

It's soon two years, since Chinese authorities alerted the World Health Organisation of pneumonia cases in Wuhan city, in China. Total Covid-19 cases around the world as of Nov. 10, 2021: 251,885,543, with deaths 5,084,686. 40.4% of people are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and 51.7% have received at least 1 dose of the vaccine.



Many people who have had Covid-19, whether mild or severe, have experienced various new or ongoing symptoms still for months. These include:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • fatigue

  • cough

  • brain-fog (difficulties with concentration and thinking)

  • stomach pain

  • chest pain

  • headache

  • pins-and-needles feeling

  • muscle pain

  • joint pain

  • fever

  • dizziness

  • pounding heart

  • etc

As per studies, there is also an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, new neuro or psychiatric diagnosis, and adrenal insufficiency.


I have followed couple of functional medicine doctors to understand whether there is anything people can do themselves to support their body with diet, supplements- to strengthen it so it can fight the virus better if one contracts it, how to support your body when you have Covid-19 and how to support your body healing from long-haul Covid-19. I hereby share the insights, I have learnt.


Eat more vegetables, fruits and fibre rich foods

It has been seen, that Covid-19 has a negative impact on our gut microbiome. One of the great ways to feed the good bacteria in the gut, is to add more vegetables, fruits and legumes to your diet, which not only add more, anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins to your body, but also more fibre to your gut. Some of the vegetables and fruits that are especially important to consume as they contain prebiotics, include artichokes, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, plantain, avocados. I have written a post about prebiotics as well.


Also fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut, kimchi are beneficial to consume on a regular basis as they help your good bacteria to grow in the gut.


Eat more foods with polyphenols

Polyphenols are organic compounds (anti-oxidants) found in plant foods- they include flavonoids, lignans, phenolic acids, and stilbenes. Polyphenols can improve digestion issues and is said to help treating diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases etc. By increasing polyphenol rich foods in your diet, you are supporting your body's ability to fight the virus as well as recovering from the virus. Here is a list of top polyphenol rich foods and drinks:

  • Cloves

  • Dried peppermint

  • Star anise

  • Cocoa powder and dark chocolate

  • Berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries)

  • Black currants

  • Plums

  • Sweet cherries

  • Apples

  • Pomegranate

  • Beans (black beans, white beans)

  • Nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans)

  • Vegetables (artichokes, chicory, red onions, spinach)

  • Soy (tempeh, soy flour)

  • Green tea and black tea

  • Red wine (in moderation)


Vitamin D

Though it's possible to get Vitamin D from food (oily fish (salmon, sardine, mackerel, herring), liver, egg yolks etc), many people are deficient off this vitamin. It's recommended to supplement with vitamin D during the autumn and winter months, when there is less sun. It's best to test your vitamin D levels with a blood test in the lab to understand where your levels are- you should have more than 80 ng/ml.


Curcumin

Curcumin is also a polyphenol, a compound found in turmeric, with anti-inflammatory properties. When you cook with turmeric, it's important to add fat and black pepper as then you increase the absorption of curcumin in your body. You can also take curcumin supplements, it's suggested to take 1,000mg a day.


Quercetin

It's a flavonoid, naturally found in onions, red wine, berries, green tea. Quercetin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that might help reduce swelling, blood clotting and is recommended in the early stages and prevention of Covid-19.


Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

It's an anti-oxidant that our bodies produce naturally to energise our cells. As we age, the levels of CoQ10 decrease in our bodies. Also, people who have heart disease, brain disorders, diabetes or who are using cholesterol lowering drugs, their levels of CoQ10 are reported to be lower. Also a migraine is mitochondrial disorder.


Covid-19 virus is said to deplete the energy in your cells. And though it's possible to get CoQ10 from foods, one struggling with Covid-19 or with long-haul Covid-19, would benefit from supplementing. 400mg a day is a dose that has been recommended by functional medicine doctors. But of course it helps to mindfully eat more CoQ10 containing foods:

  • Organ meats (liver, heart, kidney)

  • Chicken, beef, pork

  • Fatty fish (sardines, herring, salmon, mackerel)

  • Vegetables (broccoli, spinach, cauliflower)

  • Fruit (strawberries, oranges)

  • Nuts and seeds (sesame seeds, pistachios)

  • Lentils, soybeans

  • etc.


B3 (niacin)

Niacin is needed for more than 400 biochemical reactions in your body- mainly related to obtaining energy from the food you eat. It plays a role in cell signalling and making and repairing DNA, in addition to acting as an antioxidant. As it's water-soluble, your body does not store it and excretes the excess what's not needed. Though deficiency is rare, I would still want to highlight some foods containing niacin so you can make sure you consume them on a regular basis:

  • Chicken

  • Turkey

  • Beef

  • Pork

  • Liver

  • Brown rice

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Legumes (beans, lentils)

  • Bananas

  • etc.

NAC (N-acetyl cysteine)

It's an amino-acid that increases glutathione (master anti-oxidant in the body) levels. Glutathione supports your respiratory health and detoxification in the liver and kidney. Cysteine is naturally found in protein rich foods, such as chicken, turkey, as well as in onions, walnuts, oats, legumes etc.


EPA and DHA

These long chain omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties on the body- promoting healthy mood, improving attention and behaviour, great for the heart, circulation and for immunity. Both EPA and DHA support many organs and body systems including the liver (by preventing triglyceride buildup), eyes (essential for retinal function), the joints (promoting joint comfort), and muscles (protecting against mobility loss as we age). They are abundant in fish, shellfish, algae and help with cardiovascular function, immune function, cognitive function. As per data you need a fairly high dose for example for cognitive enhancement, roughly 2400 milligrams of per day taken with a meal.


I hope by adding more of the above into your diet and daily regime, you are able to combat the virus better if it were to hit you and hopefully your recovery will be quicker and better as a result.

35 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All