SARS COVID- Ayurvedic Diet

Diet in the Covid era

Cases of coronavirus infection are still on the rise despite all the preventive measures including vaccination. The severity of the disease can be lessened by the vaccine but an effective medicine to kill the virus has not yet been available. Covid19 and its variants had just put a pause to the human life on earth for the last two years. It’s been an era of lockdown, social distancing, isolation, panic and many situations including financial. As the incidence of infection and virus spread is being increased, it is important to find ways to lessen the viral load, improve general health & immunity and thereby reduce complications.

We know that we get energy from the food we eat. Our digestive system cuts down food particles into smaller molecules and energy is released as a result of chemical reactions. We need this energy to carry out all functions. Apart from this, food supplies the building blocks of our body in the name of proteins, fat etc. These are needed for growth and development especially it is needed in high quantity in children. Content, quantity and quality of the food essentials are different in various people and conditions. It is decided considering age, sex, body weight, physical activity levels etc. In this way, a common diet plan is not possible for everyone in daily life.

Role of diet in an Ayurvedic way

               Ancient Indian scholars portrayed a person as a physical and mental transformation of what he eats. It portrays yourself as what you eat. It is even written that Annamayam hi mana: (Your mind is what you eat). Ayurveda considered health as primary and food and sleep are very important components that contribute to it. Quality of food is mainly divided into 6 or 3 pairs like snigdha(moist) and rooksha(dry), ushna(hot) and seta(cold) & guru(heavy) and laghu(light). These qualities are assessed by the observation of their action in the body. For example, a food item is considered heavy when it takes more time to get digested when compared to laghu or easy to digest foods. Ayurvedic texts describe food intake in detail like what, how, when, how much to take. It has also described the quality and action in the body of each set of foods like different cereals, meats, pulses, vegetables and whatnot. Ayurveda has elaborated the benefits of a green gram while it explains Bengal gram as causing vitiation of Vaatadosha. Ayurveda is not against fish, meat or alcohol. Taste and action on the body of prawn are written in the text. Can you believe it? Also, it is explained, how to take food, like the custom method for food intake, like take food in a calm place, without any distraction, with added moist and hot content, according to season and time etc. By following such guidelines, we can be sure not to hamper Agni (digestive fire) and thereby keep the three doshas in a balanced state. It is very much essential for health.

Diet in the covid times

In Covid, the virus attacks almost all systems and organs if not controlled from the beginning. It catches hold of the immunity system, digestive system and hinders Agni and the digestion & absorption becomes altered. It is very important to provide right nutrition but it is also important not to cause indigestion. As the virus causes cellular destruction, the body gets weak temporarily. It is important to give needed nourishment, yet not to burden the already weak digestive system. Ayurveda suggests a similar scenario, as Peyaadikrama or samsarjana krama after Panchakarma procedures. It is a summary of the chart containing schedule time and contents of diet for almost one week, in a specific order from light to a heavy diet that properly rekindles the Agni. Diet during covid times can be viewed in three aspects.

  1. For covid patients

Though, the virus affecting is of a single species, the disease shows a difference in clinical presentation from person to person. As the body cells are facing a destructive phase, proper nutrition should be there without giving extra burden to the organs in the digestive system. Blood and other circulation systems may be concentrating on respiration and other cardinal functions to fight the virus. It is important not to cause indigestion even in a small manner. A common diet protocol can be followed for easy recovery and to avoid complications. It should be done after individual examination and assessment of Agni(digestion). Eat only according to appetite. Eating a lot of food will alter the digestive system and may lead to complications in the covid patient.


Fresh and warm food always. Avoid old and refrigerated foods.

Always keep it very light and simple. Eat only when you are hungry. Do not eat snacks every two or three hours that may alter the digestion and cause the mixing up of half-digested and undigested food inside the stomach. This can lead to toxic metabolic wastes in the body that can cause complications.

Avoid fruits and raw vegetables in the covid affected persons as they can reduce digestive fire. Steamed vegetables with rock salt and pepper can be taken.

Drinking water can be boiled with ginger, cardamom or basil. Avoid drinking old water.

Rice gruel, green gram and dry paste with coconut, curry leaves, ginger, salt, pepper, green chilli, shallots and gooseberry.

Various kinds of soups like chicken soup, dal soup, veg soup etc seasoned with rock salt and black pepper.

Dry roti and moong dal curry without much spices or red chilli


It is better to avoid fats like oils, butter, cheese etc. Baked or grilled vegetables can be taken. Soups with vegetables or meat stalks are also good. It is advisable to use small fishes only in curry form or grilled form. Avoid all fried items.

Some recipes that are suggested for covid patients with good appetite are:

Coriander oats soup, Broccoli corn soup, Carrot-tomato soup

Grilled wholewheat brown bread vegetable sandwich

Grilled vegetable capachio

Mushroom and herb-filled tomatoes

Red meat in very small quantity if the appetite is good, only baked or grilled.

Baked eggs, sardines and other fishes if appetite is good

Salads like carrot-orange salad, Peach salad, tomato-cucumber salad etc. topped with lemon, black pepper and salt

  • Post covid persons

Once you get the test negative, it is a time for celebration, yes. But there is a risk of Post covid syndrome as it is called for the after strikes of Covid seen in patients after the stage of covid infection. Unfortunately, it becomes more severe than the actual covid positive stage in many people. Extreme tiredness, fatigue, body ache, headache and digestive disorders are some of the issues faced by postcovid people. Ayurveda suggests implementing the Jwarapathya in such conditions. It includes food items that help improve digestion and absorption while supplementing & nourishing the body tissues. It is to be kept in mind not to overeat. Half part of the stomach is the maximum for solid food. A one-quarter portion should be filled with liquid food and the rest part should be kept empty for the free flow of air to regulate the digestive fire appropriately. Diet after covid infection can be as follows:


Any rice preparations like fried rice, tomato rice, tamarind rice, lemon rice etc should be avoided due to excess oil and spices in them. But homemade jeera rice and lemon rice with very little oil can be taken in moderate quantity if the person has a good appetite.

Rotis can be taken with cow’s ghee or sesame oil with less spicy curry

Avoid milk products other than buttermilk boiled with ginger, turmeric, black pepper and curry leaves. Avoid boiled buttermilk if constipated. It is beneficial in diarrhoea cases.

Better to avoid fried non-veg items and snacks. Meat preparations other than red meat soups are not advised. Small fish can be taken as curry if the appetite is good.

Any steamed dish like steam cake, idiyappam, rice balls etc is good to eat as breakfast with chutneys or dal curries or stew.

Fruits can be taken in moderate quantity if no respiratory problems. It is advised to take pomegranate, guava, gooseberry etc. If you are eating a banana, better to eat it cooked or steamed.


Baked vegetables like spinach and corn,

Soups like spinach-oats soup, broccoli soup,

Banana pancake, beetroot pancake

Beetroot hummus

Mixed vegetable stew

Paneer stuffed bread sandwich

Creamy pear feta salad

Grilled multigrain sandwich

Oatmeal in soymilk

Oats dates pomegranate smoothie (not with ice)

Grilled tofu spinach sandwich

Red meat in very small quantity if the appetite is good, only baked or grilled.

Baked eggs, sardines and other fishes if appetite is good

  • Preventive aspect

All medical systems unite at one point and that is prevention is better than cure. Though covid prevention is strictly based on social distancing, wearing a mask and using soap, the severity & complications when affected can be lessened by following a good diet and lifestyle. To prevent covid, it is most important not to cause the vitiation of Kapha. It is also important to keep the digestive and respiratory health in good condition to fight off the virus. This can be achieved by the following tips:

  1. Assess your appetite and body constitution well and eat accordingly. Having milk can be a blessing for a Vaata person if he has good Agni but the same milk can act as a poison for a Kapha person if Agni is weak.
  2. Take fresh and warm food only. Do not eat old, packed, tinned or refrigerated food items.
  3. Eat wholesome food with all the six tastes included in it. If you are obese or diabetic, avoid the sweet taste.

Preventive aspects with diet in Covid can be applied in both Indian continental food as follows:


Eat ginger in all possible ways daily. Have a small piece of ginger added with jaggery twice a day to protect digestive organs. Taking ginger with a pinch of rock salt can help improve appetite.

Soups of mung dal, vegetables, or chicken

Khichdi of rice and mung dal

Rotis made with sesame oil or cows’ ghee

Vegetables like bottle gourd, bitter gourd, cucumber, carrots, beetroot, Indian yam, plantain etc daily. Green leafy vegetables and potatoes can be taken twice a week if Agni is good.

Spices like jeera, black pepper, garlic, coriander, ginger, Ajwain should be used in daily cooking

Golden milk or one glass of milk added with half tsp of turmeric can be taken once a day. Avoid in conditions of excess Kapha and respiratory disorders. It should not be taken if there is indigestion.


Eat more vegetables and protein if you are a person with a good appetite. Avoid fried items and excess oil. Baked and grilled dishes are healthier than others. Steamed dishes are easily digestible too. Smoothies with fruits rich in Vitamin C will do good. Milk and milk products should be taken in moderate quantity only if you have a good appetite to digest them.

Some of the healthy recipes are:

Soups like corn-cauliflower soup, chickpea soup

Salads like chicken cheese salad. Corn &cabbage salad,

Paneer steak with tomatoes and sesame seeds

Baked broccoli, mushrooms and spinach with cheese

Chicken garlic wings baked

Pancakes of various flavours

The Food and Drug Administration, United States has not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your GP before the intake.

Please consult Dr. Rajesh Nair here-


Dr. Rajesh Nair Consultant, Ayurveda Medicine, India

Dr. Rajesh Nair, the co-founder and chief consultant of Ayurvedaforall.Com, is a graduate of prestigious Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda College (affiliated with the University of Calicut), Kerala, India. Additionally, he holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Yoga Therapy from Annamalai University.

Dr. Nair offers consultation at two busy clinics in and around Haripad, Alleppey, Kerala, the southern state famous worldwide for authentic ayurvedic treatment and physicians. While offering consultation on all aspects of ayurvedic treatments Dr. Nair has a special interest in Panchkarma, Yoga, and Massage.

Through Ayurvedaforall, Dr. Nair offers online consultation to patients worldwide and has served hundreds of patients over the last 20 years. In addition to his Ayurvedic practice, he is the chief editor of, the online portal of Ayurveda Medical Association of India, and the Secretary of the Kerala State Committee of Ayurveda Medical Association of India.

Dr. Nair is a regular speaker at Ayurveda-related conferences and has visited Germany to propagate Ayurveda. You can write directly to

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