Glandular fever is the common term used to describe an acute viral infection called infectious mononucleosis. The virus that causes glandular fever is known as Epstein-Barr virus. A chronic form of glandular fever is one of the suggested causes of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Diet can play a big part in managing Glandular Fever and determining how you feel. Most importantly you need to boost your immune system to fight the infection and prevent further illness.
How do you do that?
Make sure each meal includes good quality protein foods such as chicken, fish, lean red meat, fish, eggs and protein powder. If you’re vegetarian, go for alternatives like legumes and tempeh. Protein is essential for cell health and repair and for forming a healthy immune system.
Every meal should also contain a variety of fresh vegetables or fruit. Fresh vegetables and fruit are very alkalizing and will help cleanse toxins from your system. You can also make up healthy vegetable soups or juices which are easy to get down if you still get a sore throat or poor appetite. Adding some anti-inflammatory foods like ginger, turmeric, cayenne and fresh pineapple or pawpaw, will make your diet even more effective.
Make an effort to add some essential fats like those found in nuts, seeds, avocados and natural, cold-pressed oils into your diet. These will help boost your immunity and keep your cell membranes functioning well.
Sugary and processed foods will trigger inflammation in the body, worsening symptoms such as a sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue and liver inflammation. High carbohydrate foods (sugar and processed wheat) can also cause your blood sugar to fluctuate, leaving you tired, grumpy and craving sugar. Sugars are particularly bad as they have been shown to suppress your white blood cell activity. These are the exact cells we need to help rid the Epstein Barr virus from your body.
Ideally, the diet should consist of foods that will enrich the blood. Blood serves as a supply line in your body, delivering nutrients and oxygen to your cells and transporting waste products away from them. It also plays a role in maintaining body temperature and is important to the immune system. Iron is a vital component of hemoglobin, a molecule found in red blood cells. Two kinds of iron are available in food. Heme iron is found only in food from animal flesh, such as meat, poultry and fish. Non-heme iron is found in foods from plant sources, as well as in eggs and dairy products. Good sources of non-heme iron are beans, whole grains, oatmeal and spinach. Because vitamin C helps the body absorb non-heme iron, eat a food containing vitamin C – for example, strawberries, citrus fruit or tomatoes – with your vegetables, legumes and grains to help your body absorb the iron found in the plants.
On top of eating a healthy diet you may also need to supplement with a few vitamins and minerals to kick start your immune system. Suggestions include:
– Folic acid – Low levels of this nutrient have been found in significant numbers of people with Glandular Fever.
– Vitamin C and zinc help to boost the body’s immune system
– Vitamin A is a useful vitamin in cases, such as Glandular Fever, where the immune system may need support.
– Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia) is a herb with properties which help to enhance the immune function of the body, with particular benefit in cases of viral infection.
– Herbs such as Garlic, Ginger and liquorice root contain potent antioxidant compounds that show an antiviral activity and provide significant protection against infection.
Eat well, rest your body and avoid any processed, sugary foods and you should start to feel better each day. For more information contact Kasey (Nutritionist) on 5504 7000.