Long Covid

Long Covid – anti-inflammatory diet as a basis for any therapy

According to scientists and scientific institutes, long covid or post covid are symptoms of illness that persist for twelve weeks or even longer after having been infected with the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen or a mutant thereof. Between 10 and 20 percent of all people are affected worldwide.

What are the long covid symptoms?
The most commonly recurring long-term effects after a SARS-CoV-2 infection include respiratory symptoms, chest pain, loss of smell and taste. Many people affected also complain about constant tiredness and fatigue, which severely impedes or even renders some patients unable to cope with everyday life.

Triggers for long covid symptoms
Scientists around the globe are currently researching the causes to find out what could ultimately trigger long covid. Scientists, for example, have been able to demonstrate that the shape and elasticity of the red blood cells have changed in some people suffering from long covid. As a result, not all cells are supplied with sufficient oxygen and nutrients because the red blood cells cannot cross barriers in the usual way. However, since red blood cells are renewed in the bone marrow at regular intervals (after about 120 days), these mutated blood cells presumably are only a side effect of the long covid symptoms.
Another hypothesis for the long covid disease is that the SARS-CoV-2 virus triggers chronic inflammation and even autoimmune disease. It seems that a Covid infection weakens the body to such an extent that the body cannot manage to eliminate the pathogen completely. Scientists were able to detect virus components in the blood and intestines, which presumably continue to constantly stimulate the immune system, which, in response, permanently releases pro-inflammatory messenger substances – a fact which then contributes to the various complaints.
Furthermore, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is thought to cause cell damage, and above all to destroy the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, or to severely impair their function.

Mitochondria, the energy suppliers of our body
All human cells, with the exception of red blood cells, contain mitochondria. Mitochondria have a wide range of functions: By burning carbohydrates and fats, they are primarily responsible for ensuring that the body has sufficient energy. Depending on the type of cell (heart, muscle, liver, stomach cells, etc.), there are 1,000 to 2,000 mitochondria. However, if more than 50% are damaged, the cell can no longer supply sufficient energy to maintain the necessary bodily functions. So this can be another explanation for the permanent tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue many people suffering from long covid have to deal with.

How nutrition can support people suffering from long covid
From a nutritional therapy perspective, an anti-inflammatory diet plays a key role in long covid, in order to counteract silent inflammation in the body. A predominantly alkaline diet offers the best protection against inflammation. It has a significant amount of vegetables, herbs, legumes, nuts and fruits. And these foods are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidant vital substances, such as vitamins A, C, E and B vitamins. Moreover, they also provide plenty of magnesium, copper, selenium, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. However, it is equally important that protein, fat and carbohydrates are consumed in the right proportions to both provide the immune system and organs with sufficient nutrients and energy, and above all to relieve the mitochondria in order for them to regenerate.

Carbohydrates – what is important?
We all know that carbohydrates are the body’s energy suppliers. Therefore, in case of fatigue, it seems logical to consume more carbohydrates in order to provide the body with plenty of fuel. But this is not a solution in the context of long covid – on the contrary: the cells do not have enough functional mitochondria available for the amount of carbohydrates that are consumed. Consequently, only a small portion of the carbohydrates can actually be converted into energy. The excess carbohydrates are converted into fat and stored in the fat depots, which not only act as energy stores, but are metabolically very active and can severely influence the rest of the body.

When the fat cells grow
As a matter of fact, no one is happy about excessive weight gain – no matter where the body fat accumulates. Abdominal fat even poses a major health risk, since hormones and various other substances can cause inflammation in the body or further fuel already existing inflammation, as is the case with long covid, among others.
Although it has long been known that fat per se is not detrimental to health and is not solely responsible for fat deposits, there still is the erroneous opinion that people live healthier or eat better if they consume “light products”. In fact, dietary fat provides monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids as well as essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids, some of which the body cannot produce itself, but which are vital for many metabolic processes and play a major role in the fight against silent inflammation. Therefore, you should not avoid fat, but consciously prefer foods with natural fat content and use high-quality oils in your diet.

Proteins for a strong immune system
About 2 pounds of protein keep us healthy – that’s about the amount our immune system needs. Our immune cells and other defense substances mainly consist of amino acids. Certain amino acids also serve as “fuel,” meaning that while organ cells use carbohydrates for energy, immune cells need branched amino acids for this purpose. In the event of an infection, we require more protein because the immune cells have to divide, multiply and form antibodies very quickly within a very short period of time. Often our body then helps itself to the muscle protein, since not enough protein is supplied through food. Studies have shown that already during a one-week flu, half of the protein that the immune system needs is broken down. And it probably is the same in case of a SARS-CoV-2 infection, with the consequence that in the course of time more and more muscle mass is lost, which must be rebuilt as quickly as possible with high-quality protein.

Conclusion:
If we injure ourselves, such as a cut in the finger or get a bruise, we support the body as a matter of course with ointment and bandages in order to restore its functionality as quickly as possible. It should be just as natural to offer the body all nutrients and vital substances through food, to optimally “care” for it so that cells, tissues and organs are sufficiently supplied. But often people do not really know what the body needs when concretely. General dietary recommendations and rules, such as watching your weight and eating less fat and sweets, are usually not enough. The Long Covid Rehabilitation (LCR) Program can support every person suffering from long covid. the LCR being a nutritional program specifically designed to regenerate the mitochondria and strengthen the immune system. Here, a tailor-made nutrition plan is created on the basis of your individual blood values, taking into account the respective long covid symptoms. Specific attention is paid to the distribution of macronutrients. At the same time, foods with a high content of vital substances, especially magnesium, zinc, selenium, B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids are chosen for the plan. Thus, with the LCR program, you can regain vitality and life energy step by step.

Zinc

The trace element zinc is strongly involved in metabolism. It supports wound healing, promotes vision in combination with vitamin A, controls hormonal balance, promotes regeneration of skin and hair, supports the pancreas in the production of insulin and finally, zinc strengthens the immune system by performing important functions in the production of defense cells. Zinc deficiency can be prevented by including more often red meat, seafood, dairy products, wheat germ, oatmeal, Brazil nuts, mushrooms and lentils in the diet.

Variety Is a Must

One mistake many people make when preparing a salad is to only use one type of lettuce. It makes much more sense to mix different varieties, because the ingredients and properties differ. Mixing several varieties such as arugula, spinach, and iceberg lettuce for example gives the body more minerals and vitamins in the same serving size. Also, in regards taste, it is a change to mix in spinach, coleslaw or even red cabbage in addition to the classic lettuce.

Weight and Hormones

Did you know that your weight can be dictated by your hormones? Common hormones that can cause weight fluctuations include:

➡️Insulin⁠

➡️Leptin⁠

➡️Cortisol⁠

➡️Estrogen⁠

At Metabolic Balance our focus is to reset and balance your metabolism and hormones using a food plan that is uniquely designed for you.

Our award-winning metabolism reset program is professionally supported to make sure your body gets the nutrients and energy it needs for you to feel your best.

Reset Your Body is more than just a tagline. Are you ready for a nutritional program as unique as you are?

A Healthy Start

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day because it is where we can decide how we will approach or master the day. Breakfast is a very important meal. At night, during sleep, our metabolism is not rest and instead is extremely active, stimulating rest and recovery in the body. Our brain depends on sugar for energy. A healthy breakfast should therefore be rich in valuable nutrients such as complex carbohydrates (e. g. cereal, oatmeal, whole meal flakes or whole meal bread) combined with high-quality protein (yogurt, curd, cheese, eggs) and fresh vegetables or fruit. These provide the necessary building blocks. At the same time, these combinations do not overload the blood sugar level and provide a pleasant and long-lasting satiety.

Personalized Nutrition For You

We firmly believe that eating smart is about eating the right foods for YOU.

You are unique. Your biochemistry is unique to you. Your food needs to be unique to you too.

We use your blood test results to identify the right foods for you and then together with your certified Metabolic Balance coach, you’ll create the lifestyle you need to know for balance, well-being and long-term health.

Start eating intelligently and begin your total body reset today.

To get started connect with one of our many experienced coaches by visiting our website!

Cholesterol

Our diets affect our cholesterol levels and can help lower our risk of developing diseases. It’s important to point out that cholesterol is not always the bad guy though. We all need cholesterol to be healthy as it is the vital building block for our metabolism, cells and hormones. But of course it needs to be balanced. Balance is everything when you are talking about cholesterol!

The Heart Foundation advises following a heart-healthy eating pattern, which involves consuming a mix of fresh, minimally processed meals while reducing highly processed items like takeout meals, baked goods, chocolate, chips, and sugary drinks. Not only can you maintain an interesting and healthy diet, but following that advice will also give your body the nutrients it needs.

A heart-healthy eating pattern includes:

➡️ Plenty of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains

➡️ A variety of healthy protein-rich foods (especially fish and seafood), legumes (such as beans and lentils), nuts and seeds 

➡️ Unsweetened milk, yoghurt, and cheese in the healthy amounts. 

➡️ Healthy fats and oils. Choose nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, and their oils for cooking

➡️ Herbs and spices to flavour foods, rather than adding salt

Pay attention to how much you are eating as well! Portion sizes have grown over the last 50 years, and nowadays many of us eat more than we need – which raises cholesterol and increases the risk of heart disease.

Talk to your local Metabolic Balance coach about how changing your lifestyle can balance your cholesterol.

Oats

Oats are one of the healthiest whole grains on the planet and are mainly grown in North America and Europe.  They are a great source of nutrients, packed full of fiber, protein, manganese, phosphorous, iron, and magnesium. Oats also contain large amounts of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber which has been shown to decrease cholesterol levels and help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.  In addition to being great for your health, oats are very versatile. They are an excellent base for sweet or savory oatmeal and are a great binder for meatballs, soups, and energy bites.

Photo: Unsplash

Acid Base Balance

A good acid-base balance is vital for the most important of metabolic processes. Hyperacidity prevents fat from being broken down and burned off – which means, among other things, that an overly acidic diet slowly but steadily can lead to weight gain. This is because, when fat is broken down, it produces large quantities of acids that have to be removed by basic minerals (magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, selenium and iron). But if these basic minerals are not present in sufficient quantity because of an acidic diet, the breakdown of fat is restricted. 
To lose weight successfully, you need to keep an eye on your acid-base balance, in other words, make sure you eat in such a way that not only do you get all the nutrients you need, but also in balanced proportions. If you do, you’ll keep your fat-burning capacity active.

Protein

Proteins are the building blocks of life. Protein is found in every cell of the human body and in order for your body to repair and make new cells, you need protein in your diet. In their most basic form, proteins consist of chains of amino acids. During digestion, protein is broken down into amino acids and we need a good number of amino acids to maintain proper health. You can find protein in a variety of foods, so it’s crucial that you include enough protein in your diet each day. But remember not all food sources of protein are created equal and the amount you require in your diet depends on your weight, gender, age, and state of health – so a personalized nutrition plan can ensure you’re shaping your diet with healthy protein foods. Talk to a Metabolic Balance practitioner today!