DIET TO STAY AWAY FROM CORONA

Dr. Hira Tanveer

3 min read

diet-for-corona

While there is no particular food or diet for corona that can prevent the disease, or heal it overnight, there is a way to boost the immune system through eating a healthy diet. A better immune system will help the body recover sooner if the virus is contracted. However, no amount of superfood or vitamins can help prevent or cure this viral illness. 

Amid the pandemonium around coronavirus, a lot of false information and rumors are making their way to the panicked crowds. It is more important now than ever, to pay attention to verifying information and not play a part in spreading misinformation. It is, therefore, best to look at tips that are backed by scientific data.   

What to eat?

People are looking at food and edibles to protect themselves from coronavirus. If you have been exposed to the virus, there is, unfortunately, nothing that can help you stay protected from it. This is why social isolation is the most important tool for prevention. 

There are advertisements all around us for ‘wellness foods’ that can boost immunity against corona, however, beware of such fraudulent claims as there is no particular diet for corona. Experts state that in the midst of this epidemic, eating healthy is important, but no single food or diet for corona has shown promise. 

According to nutritionists and healthcare experts, eating well will help you stay healthy in the long run, and help you recover better from the disease if you fall ill from the virus. Diet for corona can include natural and organic foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meat, which are good common-sense foods to stay healthy. 

These foods will help keep your immune system in good shape and provide sufficient amounts of antioxidants like vitamin C and D and zinc. Keep in mind that there is little evidence to support overloading your system with extraordinary amounts of veggies in order to ‘supercharge’ the immune system. 

Staying hydrated is always important for good health. However, drinking gallons of water in the hope to avoid corona is not right, as will be discussed later. 

Our body also contains its own bacteria, known as the microbiome. These bacteria help to keep disease-causing microorganisms away and maintain our health. In the elderly, and chronic disease sufferers, gut bacteria are less varied, and consequently, such people are more susceptible to disease. 

According to Prof Arne Akbar, professor at University College, London and president of the British Society for Immunology, anything that alters the microbiome in the body can be detrimental for health. Therefore, to feed the gut flora, and form a protective barrier in the gut, from all types of infectious diseases, eating a more varied diet with high fiber content is important. Pulses, fiber, and fermented foods are all good for the gut bacteria. 

What not to eat?

Health experts agree that malnutrition and severe lack of calories can hamper the ability of your body to fight infection. Since corona is a viral illness, it is mainly fought off by the body’s own defense mechanism. Therefore, anything that impairs the immune system can prolong the disease. Eating empty calories, processed food, junk food, lots of refined sugar can all be detrimental for the immune system and put the body under added stress. 

Research shows that if the key vitamins and minerals are lacking in the body, the body is at a higher risk of death from infectious diseases—including coronavirus. 

Apart from food, other things that put the body under stress include tobacco use and alcohol consumption. For people who are chronic smokers, the lungs are already under duress, and a damaged lung is more prone to disease. Alcohol, on the other hand, impairs the immune system and ability of the body to heal itself. 

Misinformation 

A lot of misinformation is spread through forwarding messages about the diet for corona. There are misleading posts, for instance, how oregano oil proves effective against corona that is a completely unfounded claim. Other such claims also include having a lot of vitamin C and avoiding spicy food.   

There are also dangerous suggestions that should be avoided at all costs including, drinking bleach and snorting cocaine to cure infection if someone has contracted it. Some people are also suggesting a modification of diet with avoidance of cold drinks, ice creams, and milkshakes. Such videos and posts have no basis in fact and only manage to confuse people. While many social platforms are working to fact-check and label false information, it remains upon us to not spread and forward information without thought. 

There is no scientific backing to the claim that drinking a lot of water helps the virus to not stick to the respiratory tract. While staying hydrated is good for overall health, yes, it has no role to play in preventing infection. 

According to an infectious disease specialist at South Shore Hospital in Boston, Dr. Simone Wildes, hydration is good as it helps with all the bodily functions. However, the claim that keeps the throat moist will help prevent coronavirus has no scientific credibility. 

Ensure that the information you are receiving about the corona is from a reliable source, and do your best to stay protected and socially isolated. 

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Hira Tanveer Dr. Hira Tanveer is an MBBS doctor and currently serving at CMH Lahore. Writing is her favorite hobby as she loves to share professional advice on trendy healthcare issues, general well-being, a healthy diet, and lifestyle.