COVID-19 is a novel (new) virus that scientists don’t fully yet understand and haven’t been able to find a cure or prophylactic (preventative vaccine) treatment for yet.
At present, if you contract COVID-19, all you have is your immune system to fight it off. It makes total sense that a strong immune system will fight the invading virus off quickly and a weak immune system will struggle a little more.
From healing from COVID-19 with my whole family, I have learned quite a bit about the negative effects that certain foods and toxins have on our immune systems and conversely, what we can use and do to strengthen it.
In this post, I want to focus on the foods and things to avoid right now in order to give our immune systems the best chance to fight off this virus should we contract it. And explain my understanding of why each is an issue.
This is a controversial one because a few people say that dairy isn’t an issue for them but the fact is that dairy promotes mucus production and I know that when I am sick (as well as everyone else in my family), consuming dairy makes us feel congested in direct proportion to the amount that we consume. To me, that’s pretty conclusive. Dairy products include milk, yoghurt, ice-cream, cheese (which we ate too much of in Switzerland), chocolate, cream etc.
I’ll do a separate post on why mucus is the COVID-19 virus’s friend creates a nice, comfy breeding ground for the virus so you understand why to avoid it.
Almond milk and milk alternatives are dairy-free and are a good substitute for cow’s milk when you’re sick
Banana’s & red-meat are also mucus forming foods, which we avoided while sick
Pineapples are apparently good to reduce mucus production and I can attest to that
We can’t lie and say that Jules & I didn’t tuck into the Toblerones that we brought back from Switzerland that were supposed to be gifts to our friends (well, Jules did as she wasn’t feeling sick). Oops - sorry friends!! But the truth is that sugar is not our immune system’s friend and really should be avoided when you are sick or trying to boost your immune system to prevent yourself from getting sick.
During the week that my Dad & brother were at their worst, they both couldn’t handle the smell or taste of anything sweet. I don’t think this is a specific Corona symptom. I think this is an intuitive sick body safe-guarding itself from substances it knows that it does not need!
Refined sugars ie: cakes, sweets, alcohol etc are made with unnaturally occurring sugars and are considered toxins for the body, which it then has to fight off but natural sugars such as those found in fruit (not fruit juices) are fine as they are also packed with nutrients. For example, honey is healthier than white table sugar because it’s naturally occurring and also contains other nutrients and anti-oxidants while sugar has none of these.
I’m not going to lie, as a family, we enjoy a glass of wine or bubbles. When we were sick, our bodies rejected the idea of alcohol and when we started healing, I remember one evening having a glass of bubbles and waking up the next day with that extreme fatigue back in full force.
Is seems obvious that alcohol isn’t a good idea if you are sick but it’s also our enemy in either healing or preparing our immune system for a virus invasion.
Summary: Alcohol is a toxin. By drinking alcohol, you are giving your body and immune system additional “work” to do to process these toxins and thereby distracting it from building up health and resilience. It makes sense that my fatigue came back just from drinking one glass of alcohol!
4. JUNK FOOD:
I’m very grateful for my super-Mom on this one is that she brought us up to like healthy food. We don’t love junk food and we almost never eat fast-food but junk food also extends to other not-so-obvious foods like microwave meals, processed meats (supermarket bought sausage, ham etc) and any item of food that is low-nutrient and doesn’t occur naturally. I think this topic deserves a post on its own but for now I will just say that in order to give your immune system the best fighting chance, you want to avoid any food items that are unnatural, processed and low in nutrient value.
Junk food is also a “toxin” for the body and the body reacts to these foods in the same way it would if it were a real toxin or virus entering by trying to fight it off. So by eating junk food, your immune system is always working and not getting a chance to rest and so if and when a real virus comes along, it’s already tired and not in a strong and ready position to fight it off and your chances of getting sick (or a higher degree of sick) are higher.
None of us smoke cigarettes or ever have so we’re lucky in this regards but cigarettes are toxins so (read paragraph above) and combined with the fact that COVID-19 is a virus that attacks the respiratory tract, it seems obvious that smoking will do nothing to help prepare your nose and throat to defend itself against an attack from COVID-19.
Side note: the dangerous side of COVID-19 is when the virus attacks the lungs. In order to get to the lungs, the infection needs to get past the nose & throat, which is has a greater chance of doing if the nose and throat environments are compromised.
To end on a positive note, the best things you can be doing for your body during this time is:
Connect with friends & family
Thanks for reading!! If you found this info useful or interesting, please let us know!