WHAT TO EAT AFTER YOUR COVID-19 VACCINE
Do you know how the vaccines work? Very briefly, they trigger an inflammatory immune response, producing proteins known as cytokines. That’s what lead to known side effects such as fever, body ache, fatigue, and headaches. Post-vaccination, the sensible thing to do would be avoid causing further inflammation. At the same time, nourish the gut as the microbiome found there makes up a large part of your immune system. Avoid processed junk, refined sugars (including artificial sweeteners), dairy, refined grains, vegetable oils, dairy, alcohol and fried foods. Instead, fill up on these 8 foods that are known to help the body fight inflammation.
Bone BrothIncreasingly popular as a health tonic, supplement, or soup base, bone broth takes hours to make but the benefits are well worth the time spent. Basically, a broth made by simmering animal bones and connective tissues (you can also add vegetables such as carrots and celery) with vinegar, it not only packs flavours but is also rich in collagen, which helps repair or strengthen the gut lining. It also contains amino acids that help fight inflammation. Here’s a recipe if you’d like to try making it yourself.
Cruciferous GreensIt’s generally a good idea to fill your plates with vegetables as they provide myriad nutrients that are essential to our health. Remember to rotate the variety of greens often because as healthy as they are, some vegetables also contain anti-nutrients that can work against the body’s immune system if you consume too much. In the days following your Covid-19 vaccine, it’s a good idea to load up on cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, bok choy and brussel sprouts. They contain high levels of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation.
Garlic and OnionsSome people can’t cook without them, others shy away as they could leave you with a strong breath. If you belong to the former group, you would be glad to know that garlic and onions are natural prebiotics that feeds the good bacteria in the gut. Both alliums are also packed with selenium and Vitamin C that can give your immune system a lift.
Green TeaMore than just an accompaniment to your favourite sushi meal, green tea is quite the superfood as it has a powerful antioxidant, a plant compound known as EGCG or epigallocatechin-3-gallate, that protects your cells from the damage brought on by inflammation. It also works on an emotional level, like a balm for the soul as you nurse that post-vaccination sore arm and any of the potential side effects.
Fatty FishNot all fats or fish are created equal. Specifically, you want to eat fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids as they contain compounds that can bring down inflammation. These fish (wild-caught, not farmed) are among the best source of this type of fat: Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies.
TomatoesKnown as a nutritional powerhouse, tomatoes are chock-full of vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene. The latter is an antioxidant with excellent anti-inflammatory properties and is better absorbed by the body when consumed with a source of good fat such as olive oil.
TurmericThey will stain your skin and clothes if you’re not careful but it’s a small price to pay for what it can do in fighting inflammation. The bright orange root has an active ingredient called curcumin that does the job very well, besides enhancing brain functions by shielding the hippocampus – the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory – from the effects of stress. Just add a pinch of turmeric to any dish or beverage. Try a cup of golden milk, a traditional Indian drink of non-dairy milk with turmeric and other spices like cinnamon and ginger.
MushroomsThey come in different shapes and sizes but generally, they all provide selenium, copper, and all of the B vitamins. Mushrooms are also rich in phenols and antioxidants that create anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Lion’s mane mushrooms, popularly used in Asian vegetarian cuisine, is also believed to help reduce obesity-related inflammation.
These 8 are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to inflammation-fighting foods. Vaccine side effects aside, chronic inflammation is associated with many diseases including cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart problems, and Alzheimer’s. The truth is, now is not the only time to be thinking about reducing inflammation in the body but it is a good time to review your current diet and see how you can make improvements to it.
Note: This blog offers health, fitness and nutritional information for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult a physician before starting any exercise programmes or changing your diet.