Diets that keep infectious diseases at bay Zayed Shahnewaz
Even the doctors, whose medical education is highly focused on medicine, despicably depended upon the diets during a surprise international health crisis like coronavirus and ended up being a staunch believer in age-old proverb ‘diet cures more than the doctor’.
The coronavirus crippled the planet exposing that the humanity is unprepared with suitable medicine or vaccine to keep the deadly disease at bay and doctors were found to have been vulnerable victims to the virus. Dieticians and nutritionists sprang up to extensively prescribe for diets, dealing a blow to hell-bent medicine-focused treatment protocol.
An overview of diseases
We can say any harmful deviation from the normal structural or functional state of an organism, generally associated with certain signs and symptoms and differing in nature from physical injury is a disease.A disease can be caused due to a variety of reasons and every disease has its characteristic symptoms.There are four main types of diseases: infectious diseases, deficiency diseases, hereditary diseases and physiological diseases. Diseasescan also be classified in other ways, such as communicable versus non-communicable diseases. Any single disease may fall within several of these classifications. Diseases can also be classified as an acute disease which lasts for a short time, and chronic diseases which last for months or years. In this article, we are going to talk the whole about infectious diseases and the diets that cure or help to recuperate from the diseases.
So, what are infectious diseases? Simply infectious diseases can be defined as those diseases which are caused by microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites and can spread between individuals.Zoonotic diseases are infectious diseases of animals that can cause disease when transmitted to humans.An infection occurs when a microorganism enters a person’s body and causes harm. The microorganism uses that person’s body to sustain itself, reproduce and colonize.These infectious microscopic organisms are known as pathogens, and they can multiply quickly. They can spread in several ways such as,
l Skin contact
l The transfer of bodily fluids
l Contact with feces
l Ingesting contaminated food or water
l Inhaling airborne particles or droplets
l Touching an object that a person carrying the pathogen has also touched and etc.
The immune system is an effective barrier against infectious agents. However, pathogens may sometimes overwhelm the immune system’s ability to fight them off. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites are different types of pathogens. They vary in several ways. For example, viruses are smaller than bacteria. They enter a host and take over cells, whereas bacteria can survive without a host.
Viruses are very small infectious agents. They consist of genetic material called RNA or DNA, surrounded by a coat of protein, lipid (fat), or glycoprotein. Viruses cannot replicate without a host, so they are classified as parasitic. Not all viral diseases are contagious. This means they aren’t always spread from person to person. But many of them are.Other types of viral diseases spread through other means, such as the bite of an infected insect.Some of the viral diseases which can be deadly to human are given below,
l The common cold and different types of flu
l Measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, and shingles
l Herpes and cold sores
l Ebola and Hanta fever
l HIV, the virus that causes AIDS
l Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS & SARS-2 or COVID-19)
l Dengue fever, Chikungunia, Zika, and Epstein-Barr.
To prevent viral attack there are two ways.Natural way which are mainly antiviral organic foods and the other way is medicinal.Several antiviral drugs that are used to treat viral infections have been developed over the past decades. Eighty percent of the people always refer natural way to prevent diseases because of less side effects.Studies show that higher intakes of antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, and other foods are associated with a lower risk of oxidative stress-related diseases. If the immune system is weakened, neutralizing antioxidants rush to repair and defend it from further damage. This is why it’s important to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods that provide good sources of antioxidants to help immune system of body. Some of them given below:
Spices and herbs:Spices like clove, peppermint, allspice, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, saffron, and tarragon are richin antioxidant.Among them clove has have the highest levels of antioxidants.These will boost your immunity.
Seafood: Some types of seafood offer immune-boosting omega-3 fatty acids.DHA, a type of omega-3, may enhance the activity of white blood cells, which further strengthens immunity.
Meat:It is a good source of protein and minerals.It contains zinc, a mineral abundant in meats like oysters, poultry, seafood, beef, and lamb which strengthens the immune system. In fact, certain types of immune cells, including white blood cells,can’t function without zinc.
Chocolate: Dark chocolate’s magnesium may strengthen antibodies to fend off disease. It contains magnesium which plays an important role by improving protein types function.
Citrus fruits: Vitamin C may help protect the body against oxidative stress, and that helps support immune functions. As a type of antioxidant, vitamin C is a free radical scavenger and enhances immunity by supporting cellular function, among other benefits.Foods that are loaded with this vitamin C include oranges, lemons, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, broccoli, leafy greens like kale, and bell peppers. To help retain vitamin C in your food, enjoy it raw when possible. Vitamin C is heat sensitive, so cooking can reduce the amount of this nutrient that your body can take in.
Garlic & onions: Garlic offers protective benefits to your health and immune response. That’s because when garlic is crushed or chopped, it produces allicin which is antiviral and antibacterial material. Onions have a substance called quercetin, which may help regulate histamine response and contains antiviral properties.
Bacteria are small organisms that can invade the body, causing illness. These infections usually trigger a protective immune response. Bacterial infections can be highly contagious and affect the throat, the lungs, the skin, the bowel and many others parts of the body. Many are mild, some are severe. Millions of bacteria normally live on the skin, in the intestines, and on the genitalia. The vast majority of bacteria do not cause disease, and many bacteria are actually helpful and even necessary for good health. These bacteria are sometimes referred to as “good bacteria” or “healthy bacteria”. Harmful bacteria that cause bacterial infections and disease are called pathogenic bacteria. Bacterial diseases occur when pathogenic bacteria get into the body and begin to reproduce and crowd out healthy bacteria, or to grow in tissues that are normally sterile. Harmful bacteria may also emit toxins that damage the body. Common pathogenic bacteria and the types of bacterial diseases they cause include:
l Escherichia coli and Salmonella cause food poisoning.
l Helicobacter pylori cause gastritis and ulcers.
l Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea.
l Neisseria meningitidis causes meningitis.
l Staphylococcus aureus causes a variety of infections in the body, including boils, cellulitis, abscesses, wound infections, toxic shock syndrome, pneumonia, and food poisoning.
l Streptococcal bacteria cause a variety of infections in the body, including pneumonia, meningitis, ear infections, and strep throat.
To prevent and cure bacterial diseases,normally antibiotics are prescribed by doctors in severe cases.Antibiotics are a group of medicines that are used to treat infections caused by some germs (bacteria and certain parasites). They do not work against infections that are caused by viruses.But while taking antibiotics some procedures need to be followed. There are hundreds of different types of antibiotics, but most of them can be classified into 6 groups.These are Penicillins, Cephalosporins, Aminoglycosides, Tetracyclines, Macrolides and Fluoroquinolones. But natural antibiotics are way more helpful. Natural antibiotics are nothing but spices and herbs that are directly available from the nature that has properties which can reduce the function and spread of unwanted microbes. In some cases, certain natural antibiotics also have the ability to wipe out the presence of unwanted microbes completely. The importance of natural antibiotics lies in the fact that they can perform without causing many side effects to your body compared to normal antibiotic medications. Some of them are:
Garlic: Allicin is the most prominent compound found in garlic and has excellent antimicrobial functions. This compound can easily eradicate bacteria by resisting the production or blocking the enzymes that are directly responsible for several vital functions of the bacteria such as energy production and cell structure formation.
Onions: Onions are closely related to garlic and have similar health benefits, reducing pain and inflammation as well as illnesses like colds and flus.
Red Pepper: Capsaicin is the compound which gives pepper the spice, it also helps in lowering the pH of the stomach and thereby prevents harmful bacterias from growing. Other compounds present in peppers such as quercetin, kaempferol and caffeic acid has an innate ability to stiffen the outer layer of the bacterias and thereby puts a block to any and all absorption of energy thereby killing it.
Ginger: Ginger is filled with compounds such as gingerdiol, gingerol, terpenoids, shogaol, zerumbone and zingerone along with flavonoids which gives it excellent antimicrobial properties with the ability to act against the formation of biofilms.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is rich in cinnamaldehyde along with compounds such as eugenol which are highly effective in treating conditions that are caused due to bacteria and virus.
Turmeric: Curcumin is the most active component in turmeric which is very effective in treating UTI (Urinary Tract Infections) as it has some very effective capabilities in reducing the activity of the microbes causing the infection.
Clove: Cloves are rich in Eugenol which gives it excellent antibacterial properties which can help in making you safe from unwanted bacterial infections.
Fungal infections are often caused by microscopic fungi that are common in the environment. There are millions of different species of fungi on Earth, but only about 300 of those are known to make people sick. Probably the most common thing fungi do to the body is itchy skin problems which are highly contagious.Most of the skin diseases are related to fungal infection.Some common fungal diseases are given below;
l Coccidioidomycosis(Valley Fever).
l Pneumocystis pneumonia.
l Athlet’s foot.
l Neil fungus.
Antifungal medicines are used to treat fungal infections, which most commonly affect skin, hair and nails. There are several types of medicines which come as creams, sprays, solutions, tablets designed to go into the shampoos, oral medicines, and injections. Most work by damaging the cell wall of the fungus, which causes the fungal cell to die.While fungal infections can be treated by medication but there are few natural treatments also which can be very effective.For natural treatment of fungal infection,these foods and spices can be used;
Garlic: Garlic is often used to treat fungal infections like ringworm. Make a paste of garlic cloves and add little coconut oil in it. Mix well to make a paste. Apply its thin layer on the affected area. Cover with a gauze. Leave for two hours and then rinse. Repeat twice a day. If garlic paste causes some redness, swelling or stinging, rinse off immediately and do not repeat. Garlic cloves can also be consumed orally every day to kill the fungus from inside. Eating garlic gives the treatment more potency internally and applying it externally can help you get rid of fungal allergy visible outside.
Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera contains a wide range of enzymes, amino acids and trace elements which provide astringent, antiseptic and antifungal properties. It is an all-natural treatment with no known side effects. Apply aloe vera gel of a healthy aloe plant on the allergy. It will inhibit the fungi’s ability to spread.
Ginger: Ginger contains gingerol and shogaols which are antifungal in nature. It relieves yeast infection and inhibits the growth of C albicans. This root can treat Candida and many other fungal conditions. Drink ginger tea twice or thrice a day to prevent and cure fungal allergy.
Onion: Onion contains allicin, a nutrient that slows down the growth of Candida and kills off bad bacteria found in the body. Onions are also rich in vitamin C and other phytochemicals that support the immune system. Consuming onions helps body to flush out excess fluids since many Candida sufferers experience extreme water retention. Consuming this vegetable regularly can prevent and cure fungal infections.
Turmeric: Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful antifungal agent that inhibits fungal growth and protects against yeast infections. Mix fresh-ground turmeric powder in water. Apply on the skin and leave until dry. Wipe off with a wet cloth once it is dry. Repeat it twice a day. You can also drink raw turmeric tea twice or thrice a day for better results.
Coconut: Coconut is an antimicrobial food. The fatty acids present in the edible part of the fruit act as fungicides. The oil extracted from coconut flesh can be applied topically onto the affected area to destroy the fungal infection. n