While many foods are important for a healthy diet, are some also good for preventing Covid-19 infections?
Ingesting certain foods on a regular basis will help prevent Covid-19 infections.
Fact or Fiction?
What You Need to Know:
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, there have been many outlets that have purported to have a diet-based cure.
While many foods have been touted for their immune system boosting or antimicrobial properties, there is currently no evidence that any food is effective in preventing coronavirus infections.
One miracle-food claim began to circulate in March, advocating pepper soup as a cure for those afflicted with Covid-19. First published in a letter from a Nigerian “spiritual activist,” the extent of the cure was supposedly to “give a patient suffering from coronavirus hot meals rich in pepper and in less than 24 hours he or she will be fine.”
The claim quickly circulated around social media, with many believing it and resharing via Twitter.
Speaking with the England-based publication Mirror Online, Dr. Babak Ashrafi quickly dismissed the hot pepper soup claims, saying “there is no evidence that dietary changes can cure the infection, but fresh peppers are certainly good for you: they’re rich in vitamins C and A, which can help to maintain a healthy immune system.”
Another food that has been rumoured to help combat the spread of Covid-19 has been garlic.
According to the World Health Organization, garlic “is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.”
This has not stopped many from believing otherwise, like a woman in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang who ingested around 1.5kg of raw garlic over two weeks, as reported by the South China Morning Post. The woman was hospitalized after her throat became so inflamed that she was unable to speak.
Others take a different approach on which dietary choices will help protect against Covid-19. Published in regional media, statements by citizens from the Serbian region of Sumadija included, “Maybe the doctors say it doesn’t help, but garlic, hot brandy, and bacon have always been our body armour.”
Alcohol has seen a steady increase of usage as of late for many around the world, both due to shelter-in-home orders and the misinformation that it will kill the coronavirus. Unlike garlic, however, drinking alcohol has little to no antimicrobial properties, with the alcohol concentrations being too low to have any significant effect.
This has not stopped some people from trying to protect themselves by drinking alcohol, with disastrous results.
In a late-April article by Aljazeera, it was reported that over 700 people in Iran had died between February and April from ingesting methanol, mistakenly believing the toxic substance would prevent coronavirus infections. Over 5,000 additional people were poisoned by the substance, with about 90 suffering some form of eye damage or blindness.
Experts continue to advise that people should maintain a normal healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables to boost their immune system and their body’s natural defenses against infections.
This post is also available in: KH