How to Prevent COVID with Vegetables and Stay Healthy
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“Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.”
Have you heard this quote before from Hippocrates, the founding father of medicine?
I find healing your body naturally so fascinating, don’t you?
With all the talk of COVID vaccines, sprays, treatments, etc…I’ve been asking myself, “What about vegetables? Can vegetables be a treatment?”
Early on in our fight with COVID, I saw this inspiring video with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn about COVID, vegetables, and how he fully believes you can prevent it by eating the right foods.
It got me thinking…
Can we really help ourselves prevent COVID with vegetables? How would that work?
Let’s find out…
How Covid Works in a Nutshell
Viruses consist of mainly genetic material, DNA or RNA, but cannot replicate on their own. As they access the cells, they then take over the cells’ genetic replicating ability, giving them the ability to duplicate themselves (2.) The COVID 19 virus grabs hold of cells via ACE2 receptors and then pries them open, like a crowbar, to invade the cell (2.)
Endothelial cells are the cells that line the vascular system. They are the barrier between vessels and tissues and also control the substances that come in and out of those tissues (3.).
In a healthy system, the endothelial cells look like smoothed over ice, ready for a hockey game to begin. When there is a disruption in that system, the cells look more like the ice after a hockey game (4.)!
The ACE2 receptors that COVID 19 uses to hijack a cell are found on
You guessed it…
So when those endothelial cells look like a bunch of chopped up hockey ice, it can be hard for blood flow to get through the veins and arteries and to get to other organs that need it causing things like blood clots, shortness of breath, COVID toes, lack of circulation, etc.
What is Nitric Oxide?
Nitric Oxide, NO, is a product of a natural process that occurs in the body and is essential for almost every organ. As you intake dietary nitrate, the nitrate mixes with the saliva in the mouth, breaking it down into nitrites. In the stomach, blood vessels, and other tissues, the nitrites then break down even further into nitric oxide (1).
The biggest role NO plays is as a vasodilator (1). It opens your blood vessels to allow more blood flow, therefore increasing oxygen throughout the body. This, in turn, lessens the amount of work the heart has to do to pump the blood.
It is anti-inflammatory so it helps relax the blood vessels and prevents white blood cells and platelets from attaching to the lining of those vessels, i.e. the endothelial cells (5).
NO also coats the ACE2 receptors that COVID 19 loves to hijack and block them from getting into the cells (6).
I thought Nitrates and Nitrites Cause Cancer?
Nitrites are used as a preservative for cured and processed meats.
But your body naturally turns nitrates into nitrites so it should be able to handle these nitrites right?
Vegetables naturally contain dietary nitrates which are then broken down into nitrites from mixing with the bacteria in the saliva of the mouth (1).
There are two things that vegetables have that man-made processed nitrite does not; phytochemicals and antioxidants! Those two things help regulate and balance the nitrite in the body making it suitable and useful (1).
How to Prevent COVID with Vegetables?
Here’s how it’s all connected…
You eat vegetables that contain dietary nitrates. Then your body, through its processes, turns it into nitric oxide, which helps increase blood flow, smoothes your blood vessels, and blocks COVID 19 from entering your cells through the ACE2 receptors.
Vegetables that have the highest levels of dietary nitrates are leafy greens and root crops.
Things like spinach, lettuce, kale, broccoli, carrots, turnips, radishes, etc. are all high in dietary nitrates. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a well known cardiovascular disease doctor, recommends 6 servings of these types of vegetables a day (7).
That sounds like a lot!
It’s really only about 3 cups so it’s not that bad but the effects of NO take about 3 hours to kick in and last no longer than 24 hours (1). So you have to be constantly feeding your body with these vegetables in order to gain the long term benefits.
Which also means…this is not a fad diet…this is a way of life…eating vegetables forever!
Six Ways to Eat More Vegetables High in Dietary Nitrate
- Salads…that is the easiest way to go
- Greens Powder
- Homemade Pizza…yes! I add a ton of greens to my pizza!!
Vegetables are awesome! To increase your chances of preventing COVID, do as your mother told you, and since I’m a mother too, I’m going to tell you to do the same, “eat your vegetables!” They’re good for you!