Ever since we’ve forayed into 2021, the world can’t stop talking about the covid-19 vaccine, and for good reason! Getting a jab is the only way you can stay protected from the virus (apart from staying home, and wearing masks when you step out), and even if you contract the infection, the vaccine ensures the severity is reduced.
There, however, certain steps you can take in order to ensure the efficacy of the vaccine says celebrity nutritionist Pooja Makhija. In her recent Instagram post, she writes, “To improve the efficacy of the covid vaccine, follow these basic but must-do essentials. Of course, eating healthy, home-cooked, balanced meals and avoiding processed, junk and ready-to-eat foods as well as completely refraining from stringent starvation diets is the most important pillar to good immune function always.”
Makhija says it is important to focus on the intake of fluids like water, coconut water, soups, vegetable juices, and high-water fruits like melons, pre and post-vaccination. Keeping your fluid intake high is extremely important because dehydration may cause soreness at the site of the injection.
It is equally important to consume a well-balanced diet even post-vaccination, suggests Dr Divya Malik, senior nutritionist, Apollo Spectra — Nehru Enclave, New Delhi.
“Eat anti-inflammatory foods like strawberries, cherries, oranges, mackerel, salmon, tuna, green vegetables, tomatoes, and nuts, as suggested by experts. Load up on vitamin C and D sources like kiwis, pineapple, amla, orange, berries, and lemon. A healthy diet will help you boost your immunity and there will be less inflammation in the body. Opt for turmeric which is anti-inflammatory in nature. Make sure that your diet is packed with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Add lots of fresh veggies to your big meals of the day. Don’t forget to have whole grains, soups, bananas, melon, coconut water, and potatoes after getting the jab. You may feel nauseated after vaccination. So, try to eat food in smaller quantities,” she says, adding that everyone must avoid trans fat and sodium-rich food, as well as sugary desserts, post-vaccination.
Makhija also advises people to steer clear from alcohol a day before and after the vaccination. That’s because alcohol suppresses the immune function, and also causes dehydration. Most experts say that after taking a jab, it can take several weeks for the body to generate antibodies against coronavirus. In that case, alcohol can interfere with the immune response and aggravate problems.
Some studies also reveal that heavy alcohol consumption doesn’t just lower immunity, but also makes you more prone to viruses and bacterial infections.
A good night’s sleep is essential before your vaccination, says Makhija. One bad night can lower your immune function by 70 per cent which is not a good sign. This has been validated by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine that suggests good quality and quantity of sleep, before and after the vaccine, to boost immune response. Seven or more hours of sleep is required for optimal health.
So, ladies, make sure you remember these 3 points by heart before you get yourself inoculated!