The Scientific evidence does not support that any food group protects against covid-19, but yes that some hoaxes and half truths, such as the disproportionate consumption of micronutrients such as vitamin D or iron, can be especially harmful to health.
Neither garlic nor ginger prevent infection; the properties of zinc in many foods do not prevent infection; probiotics – which have shown high efficacy in numerous infections – do not improve the treatment of this disease.
In recent months there have been reports of numerous medical societies and organizations and specialists in nutrition and endocrinology to lay the foundations on the most appropriate diet during the pandemic and try to banish the numerous hoaxes that swarm about it.
María Barado, a specialist in nutrition and dietetics, has emphasized this lack of scientific evidence and has observed that what has been shown is the impact that the microbiota or intestinal flora has on the development of the worsening of the symptoms of the disease and on the importance therefore that it is in the best possible condition.
“When news is given about the supposed protective effect of a food against any pathology, it is not taken into account that it can be harmful for those people who suffer from a basic disease and that said food can make it worse, “María Barado, professor of nutrition at the International University of La Rioja, told EFE.
The Spanish Nutrition Association and the General Council of Official Associations of Dietitians-Nutritionists concluded that the consumption of certain foods or a certain diet “cannot prevent the risk of infection from healthy people, and in sick people the diet could only help in the management of the symptoms of the disease itself, but in no case treat it “.
And those organizations point out that a healthy diet, understood as “sufficient, complete, balanced, satisfactory, safe, adapted to the diner and the environment“is the recommendation that the general population should attend to, and also people affected by covid-19 with mild symptoms or those who are asymptomatic.
María Barado has underlined in this sense that the basic recommendations to benefit from a healthy diet are seven: hydration; five servings of fruits and vegetables a day; increase the consumption of whole grains and legumes; consume low-fat dairy; consume protein of animal origin, especially lean meats, oily fish, eggs or cheeses; increase the consumption of nuts and olive oil; and avoid pre-cooked dishes.
Among the recommendations that have been published in recent months and that in his opinion may be more dangerous to health, he cites the consumption of vitamin D or iron – associated with “lactoferrin” – without being prescribed by a professional, and has It has been observed that the consumption of these micronutrients can cause an accumulation in the body that leads to harmful effects.
Barado recalled that vitamins and minerals are essential to strengthen the immune system and that the main sources to obtain them are fruits and vegetables, has influenced the preference to lean towards those that are “seasonal”, and has also insisted on the importance of milk and its derivatives as sources of protein and calcium.
Unverified information “may cause harm to people’s health since it is possible to act against a pathology that the individual has previously, “the teacher warned, and referred to how the perception that people have of what a” healthy diet “is and how this concept is changed has changed. It has adapted to the new opportunities that come from other markets.
Until trends were imposed on the limitation of the consumption of certain foods, diets that propose the exclusion of some products and even intermittent fasting, the specialist has observed, which has stressed the importance of not attending information “without any scientific rigor” to avoid situations that can endanger people’s health.
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