Cover A carefully considered diet will counterbalance some side effects of getting vaccinated (Photo by Chesley McCarty/Unsplash)

Going on a grocery run this week? Have this checklist at the ready for getting the right grub leading up to your Covid-19 vaccination

Additional reporting by Dudi Aureus.

Ever since the vaccination program in Singapore began on December 30, 2020, the country has made continued progress in inoculating 3.4 million citizens and long-term residents as of May 17. The schedule is organised based on age range, and currently, jabs are given to children (aged 12 and above) and adults (aged 40 to 44). If you're still waiting for your turn, the best thing to do is read up on useful tips on eating and drinking well before and after the big day.

The following information was compiled by Tatler Malaysia with the aid of Dr Leong Moh Ying, medical director of B&Co Clinic Malaysia.

Related: Covid-19 Vaccine in Singapore: What You Should Know

1. DO: Eat more anti-inflammatory foods

Feeling yucky after getting vaccinated is perfectly normal and even shows that your immune system is putting up a good fight. "One sign of the body doing its work is experiencing acute inflammation, which always carries some degree of discomfort, whether through pain or a fever," explains Dr Leong Moh Ying.

Acute inflammation is part of the natural healing process.

That being said, it is possible to alleviate unpleasant side effects by increasing one's intake of anti-inflammatory foods. These contain antioxidants which, according to the doctor, help our body neutralise free radicals. In normal speak, it helps with the healing process.

Olive oil, fatty fish, chia seeds, flax seeds, nuts, berries, leafy greens, and spices and herbs such as ginger, rosemary and turmeric are rich with omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.

2. DO NOT: Binge on alcohol

Hoping to celebrate getting vaccinated with a bottle of bubbly? Hold that thought for now.

"Small amounts of alcohol will not affect the effectiveness of vaccine," says Leong slowly. "However, heavy alcohol consumption doesn't just cause dehydration, but also suppresses our immune system and interferes with our vaccine response."

Consider celebrating with one of these alcohol-free beverages instead.

3. DO: Fill up on fluids and juices

Make the swap: because sugary beverages can cause blood sugar levels to spike, seek out H20 and natural juices instead.

Fluids are vital for jogging up your circulatory system and spreading the vaccine's antibodies.

4. DO NOT: Undereat or overeat

Do not, of all times, go on a drastic detox or stuff yourself silly just before or after getting vaccinated. The sudden change can cause a shock to your body, which is the last thing it needs when weakened.

"If you have to choose between smaller, frequent meals or larger, spaced out meals, go for the former," advices Dr Leong.

5. DO: Drink nourishing soups

Some patients have complained of having little to no appetite after being vaccinated. What should you do if you feel likewise?

"Besides eating smaller meals as mentioned before, vaccinated patients without much of an appetite can simply drink soup or broth," says Dr Leong. "As for those with nausea, try sipping drinks containing ginger."

Related: From Balmy Singapore to Italy's Verdant Farmlands, Nothing Comforts and Delights Like Chicken Soup

6. DO: Eat Fibre Rich Foods

It is important to boost your health before and after your Covid-19 vaccination, so it is recommended to include more fibre-rich foods in your diet. Raffles Health Insurance recommends about 20 to 30g to improve gut health, so stock up on whole grains such as barley, brown rice and oatmeal.

Tatler Asia
Above Dr Leong Moh Yiing (Photo: Courtesy of the doctor)

About Dr Leong Moh Yiing

The medical director of B&Co Clinic obtained her Bachelor of Medicine-Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from Melaka-Manipal Medical College in 2009, and has accumulated more than 10 years of experience in medical and aesthetic practices ever since.

Leong's primary goal is to empower her patients by helping them to look and feel their best. She specialises in treating various skin conditions, from scars to fine lines, with the latest medically-backed technology.

The doctor obtained her Diploma in Aesthetic Medicine from the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine (AAAM), and is now a member of the Malaysia Society of Aesthetic Medicine, the Malaysia Medical Council, the Malaysia Medical Association, as well as the Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia. She also holds a License of Credential Practising (LCP) in aesthetic practices, which was awarded by the Malaysia Ministry of Health.

Prior to Covid-19, Leong was an active participant in conferences, seminars and workshops touching on wellness and beauty. She was also a speaker at the Future Of Aesthetics in Malaysia Conference (FOAM) 2019.

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