5 COVID-19 Coronavirus Food and Nutrition Myths
Updated: Apr 27
In January 30th 2020, The WHO declared the outbreak as "A Global Health Emergency" and on March 11th 2020, it was declared a Pandemic.
No matter where you are from, I am positive you have already heard some crazy rumors about how to prevent and "cure" this disease. Unfortunately, many of the remedies and cures you hear are in fact myths, and today I am here to bust some important myths - when it comes to food and nutrition.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease, and my main intentions to post on this subject matter is to shed light on the rumors that eating a certain food will either prevent your risk of exposure, or totally cure you, if you have been exposed to the Covid-19 Corona Virus.
The only absolute tried and true preventive tips are the ones listed below - which you already know - as mentioned by the WHO:
1. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
2. Do not touch your face (eyes, nose, mouth), which your hands have not been washed
3. Practice social distancing, of at least 6 feet between others. You never know who is exposed and it takes days before an exposed individual MAY show any signs and symptoms.
4. Use a hand sanitizer of more than 70% ethanol
5. Disinfect surfaces with bleach and chlorine-based solutions
The following food and nutrition preventative tips are MYTHS:
1. "Eating garlic can cure you"
According to WHO, although garlic has great antimicrobial properties (and is delicious), there is no evidence that it is protective against the new Corona virus.
2. Drinking water every 15 minutes
There is a rumor going around that claims by swallowing the virus every 15 minutes, you are essentially preventing infection, because as the virus enters your stomach, it will be destroyed by the acids produced by stomach.
Not only this is absurd, it is unbelievable when you realize that a Japanese Dr has actually proposed this theory!
According to WHO, drinking water does not prevent against Corona virus infection. It does however keep you hydrated!
3. Drinking alcohol helps you disinfect and protect yourself against the Corona virus
Drinking alcohol may intoxicate you, but it certainly will not protect you against the Corona virus infection. Unfortunately drinking alcohol in large amounts (thinking you may be protecting yourself) can actually lower your immunity and make you more susceptible to infections and other diseases.
In one study in 2015, it was found that "Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with adverse immune-related health effects such as susceptibility to pneumonia".
4. Eating Chines food will expose you to COVID-19 This is just plain absurd! Not eating Chinese food because you associate the virus with China (where it first began), may just make you racist - but expose you to Corona Virus? NOPE!
5. Eating and applying sesame oil can help with prevention
This is not true either. There is no evidence than either orally consuming sesame oil or applying it on your skin, will protect you or disinfect your body against the Covid-19 Corona virus. Please do not buy into these rumors.
When it comes to protecting yourself against most viral pathogens such as Covid-19 Corona virus, the only tips I mentioned earlier have been scientifically proven. Stay safe and share this with your friends.
Andishe Farahmand, MPH RDN