As new information comes in, I am adding to my list of recommendations for staying healthy. Because COVID-19 is so new, there has been no research done on nutrients that may be beneficial to prevent or improve symptoms. However, healthy foods have research to prove their use in many other types of diseases. So, no harm in “letting food be your medicine, and your medicine be food” to paraphrase Hippocrates.
The latest evidence is mounting that blood clotting is an issue behind the severe effects of COVID-19 syndrome. A recent article in Science Daily stated that, “Imaging and pathological investigations confirmed the COVID-19 syndrome is a thrombo-inflammatory process that initially affects lung perfusion, but consecutively affects all organs of the body.”
Clots form when small disk-shaped cell fragments called platelets stick to the blood vessel walls and each other. This plug is enhanced by long strands of fibrin. In COVID-19, these plugs prevent the lungs from oxygenating the blood.
There are a few foods you can add to your diet that help keep the blood “thin”, but won’t affect normal blood clotting which is needed when you cut yourself. Caution is given to people who are already on prescription blood thinners to not increase these foods beyond their usual intake without talking to their health practitioner. As stated before, these foods have been researched for other conditions, but not COVID-19.
Fortunately with social distancing garlic breath should not be an issue.
Per Dr. Michael Greget “the protective mechanisms of garlic against cardiovascular diseases are multiple, and include a combination of anti-clotting, clot-busting, antioxidant, and blood pressure- and cholesterol-lowering effects. Dr. Greget recommends to eat garlic raw or crush the garlic and wait ten minutes before cooking to preserve the active ingredient, allin. Dosages generally recommended in the literature for adults are 4 g (one to two cloves) of raw garlic per day – crush the garlic and wait 10 minutes to get the highest allin content. Otherwise, one 300-mg dried garlic powder tablet (standardized to 1.3 percent alliin or 0.6 percent allicin yield) two to three times per day, or 7.2 g of aged garlic extract per day can provide benefit.
Turmeric is a spice used in curry that reduces inflammation and is a natural anticoagulant and anti-platelet aggregator. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric that inhibits the development of blood clots. Turmeric has relatively no known side effects, unless taken in extremely large amounts. Per the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Food Additives, an acceptable dietary intake is considered to be 1.4 mg per pound of body weight per day. So, if you weigh 150 lbs. that would equal 210 mg per day.
Vitamin E Foods
Vitamin E is an anticoagulant that is helpful against stroke, an issue caused by blood clots. Vitamin E-rich foods include almonds, hazelnuts, avocado, butternut squash, mango, sunflower seeds, broccoli, spinach, kiwi, and tomato and 2-3 of these should be eaten daily. A supplement would ideally be listed as d-alpha-tocopherol plus mixed tocopherols to get the active natural form (instead of the synthetic form “dl-alpha-tocopherol). An average dose for an adult is 400 iu daily.
Fish and fish oils are frequently recommended for preventing heart disease and though the cholesterol clots (placque) are a bit of a different issue, the anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting effects have been well researched. Omega-3 fatty acids can help keep platelets from clumping together. Food sources with the highest amount of omega-3 fats are mackerel, salmon, cod liver oil, herring oysters, sardines, and anchovies.
I continue to offer a 25% discount on supplements during COVID-19 at wellevate.me/abby-wilson-kurth