People love to think food is a miracle cure. COVID-19 is no exception. There have been a few things which have popped up on social media which has caused a few alarm bells to ring. Let’s take a look.
GARLIC – CAN EATING GARLIC HELP PREVENT INFECTION WITH COVID-19?
No. It does have some antimicrobial properties and will be a healthy addition to your diet. However, there is no evidence that eating garlic will protect people from the virus. If you eat enough of it you may stop people wanting to get too close to you, that might help social distance yourself from others!
CAN HIGH DOSES OF VITAMIN C CURE COVID-19?
No. There has been extensive research over many, many years into vitamin C and its impact on the common cold. At best the evidence indicates that vitamin C might have some positive impact on how long your symptoms last. But, and it’s a big one, COVID-19 is a new virus and we have no evidence or studies relating to this. In addition to this high doses of vitamin C aren't necessarily a good thing. An excessive amount causes your body to down regulate its uptake, and high levels of vitamin C can cause nausea, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Instead include vitamin C rich foods as part of a balanced diet which will help support, not boost, your immune system. Which leads me on nicely to...
DO CERTAIN FOODS OR SUPPLEMENTS BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?
No, and you wouldn’t want them to either. Our immune system involves many organs and biological functions which, in order to work efficiently need to be balanced, not boosted. Certain nutrients like vitamins A,& C, zinc and selenium all have an important role to play in the immune system. Eating a balanced diet including plenty of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and meat or plant protein should give you enough of these nutrients to support an healthy immune system.