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COVID-19: Food that relieves symptoms, dietitian review

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COVID-19: Food that relieves symptoms, dietitian review

More evidence-based diagnoses are emerging about the pathophysiology of COVID-19, and the right protocol for its management.

The recent being intravascular coagulation (thrombosis), diagnosed via autopsies performed on patients who died of COVID-19 in Italy.

Thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot, known as a thrombus, within a blood vessel.

It prevents blood from flowing normally through the circulatory system. A pulmonary embolism (PE) on the other hand is a blood clot that has traveled to the lungs. A piece of the blood clot can break off and be carried to the lungs.

READ ALSO: One in five unwell Lagosians is COVID-19 positive — Prof Akin Abayomi, Health Commissioner

PE can block the flow of blood to the lungs, causing serious damage to the lungs and affecting a person’s ability to breathe. This can lead to serious injury and death. Symptoms and signs of PE include:

*Sudden shortness of breath

*Chest pain

*Coughing

*Rapid or irregular heart rate

This recent diagnosis led to the changed protocol on COVID-19 focused on antibiotics, antivirals, anti-inflammatories and anticoagulants.

This recent diagnosis is the hidden answer on why foods such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, and other natural blood-thinning foods, drinks, and supplements have being testified to relieve symptoms or even cure COVID-19 by infected patients who used them.

Natural blood thinners are substances that reduce the blood’s ability to form clots. @Dietitians explored examples of such foods for a better understanding of how they carry out anti-inflammatories and anticoagulant properties.

TURMERIC

Turmeric is a bright yellow-orange spice commonly used in curries and sauces. It comes from the turmeric root.

The spice has been used for its medicinal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties for thousands of years.

The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin that has anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning or anticoagulant properties.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: Lagos discharges 49 COVID-19 patients

The study of Kim et al. (2012)  on anticoagulant activities of curcumin and its derivative suggests that taking a daily dose of turmeric spice may help people maintain the anticoagulant status of their blood.

Turmeric can be added to soups or mix with hot water to make a comforting tea.

COVID-19: Food that relieves symptoms, dietitian review

GINGER

Another anti-inflammatory spice is ginger which may be used to stop blood clotting. It contains a natural acid called salicylate. Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is a synthetic derivative of salicylate and a potent blood thinner. Ginger can be used fresh or dried in baking, cooking, and juices.

COVID-19: Food that relieves symptoms, dietitian review

GARLIC

Garlic is a plant in the Allium (onion) family. It has natural antibiotic and antimicrobial properties.

The study of Fukao et al. (2007) on antithrombotic effects of odorless garlic powder both in vitro and in vivo reports that odorless garlic powder demonstrates antithrombotic activities. Garlic can be eaten fresh or in cooking soup and broth.

COVID-19: Food that relieves symptoms, dietitian review

VITAMIN  E RICH FOODS

Vitamin E reduces blood clotting in a few different ways. These effects depend on the amount of vitamin E that a person takes.

It is unclear how much vitamin E thins the blood, although it is likely that people would need to take more than 400 International Units (IU) per day.

Taking high doses of vitamin E supplements, for example, above 1,500 IU daily, on a long-term basis, may have negative effects.

It may be safer to get vitamin E from foods rather than a supplement.  Foods that contain vitamin E include: almonds, safflower oil, sunflower oil, sunflower seeds, wheat germ oil and whole grains

COVID-19: Food that relieves symptoms, dietitian review

BROMELAIN FROM PINEAPPLES

Bromelain is an enzyme that people extract from pineapples. Studies suggest that bromelain can thin the blood, break down blood clots, and reduce clot formation. The enzyme also has anti-inflammatory properties.

COVID-19: Food that relieves symptoms, dietitian review

CAYENNE PEPPERS

Cayenne peppers are packed with properties that help in thinning our blood. The active substance in Cayenne pepper is salicylates, which act as powerful blood-thinning agents. Cooking with cayenne peppers daily, could lower blood pressure and increase circulation.

COVID-19: Food that relieves symptoms, dietitian review

CASSIA CINNAMON

Cinnamon contains coumarin, a powerful blood-thinning agent. Warfarin, the most commonly used blood-thinning drug, is derived from coumarin.

Taking coumarin-rich cinnamon on a long-term basis can, however, cause liver damage. It may be best to stick to small amounts of cinnamon in the diet in addition to using other natural blood thinners.

COVID-19: Food that relieves symptoms, dietitian review

It should be noted that the natural anti-inflammatories and anticoagulants listed above can be cooked combined together but you may need to consult a Nutritionist or Dietitian for a proper way of cooking to achieve safe and effective results.

Please do speak with a physician if you are considering the use of anticoagulant drugs. The most commonly prescribed anticoagulant is warfarin.

Newer types of anticoagulants are also available and are becoming increasingly common. These include rivaroxaban (Xarelto) dabigatran (Pradaxa) apixaban (Eliquis)edoxaban (Lixiana).

Warfarin and the newer alternatives are taken as tablets or capsules. There’s also an anticoagulant called heparin that can be given by injection.

Examples of Antiplatelet drugs are low-dose aspirin and clopidogrel.  Although they are used for similar purposes, anticoagulants are different from antiplatelet medicines.

@Dietitian is a registered dietitian working with Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, and a Ph.D. student at the University of Ghana.

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