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Recovering from mononucleosis

by Jeff
(Alberta, Canada)

Jeff's Question...

I have recently recovered from a serious bout with the Epstein Barr virus that manifested as mononucleosis. My liver and spleen were inflamed, and I was very sick. I am better now, but is there anything I should be doing with my eating to help my body regain its full health. I am not very old, and I need my liver to last for many years yet!

Suzy's Answer...

I am so sorry to hear that you have been so sick, Jeff! As you discovered, if the liver is not functioning properly, you will feel really bad.

Now that you are on the mend and can eat normally again, you should be eating mostly fresh, whole foods, with few, if any, processed foods.

Include lots of fruits and vegetables, along with some whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. Try to find organic produce, since a compromised liver will benefit from fewer pesticides and chemicals to deal with.

I would also avoid foods with High Fructose Corn Syrup, since there is some good evidence that HFCS is hard on the liver.

You should also avoid over-the counter medications and alcoholic beverages, if possible, since these also tax the liver. Drink filtered water--again to avoid overburdening the liver with toxins.

In addition, to help your recovery, remember to get enough sleep and learn to manage stress.

For more information on liver health, click on this link.

There is no reason you cannot enjoy a long and healthy life, at least as far as your liver is concerned, if you concentrate on eating whole foods and drinking lots of pure water. We should all do that anyway, regardless of whether we have been ill, but it is especially important for you.

I’m glad you’re feeling better and I hope you stay well!

Eat and be healthy with my warmest regards,

Suzy Staywell

Nutrition page

General Healthy Eating Suggestions

*Eat a variety of fresh, whole foods, including selections from all five food groups—Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Meat and Legumes and Milk.

*Eat a balanced diet with a ratio of 40-30-30 of good carbs, low-fat protein and good quality fats respectively.

*Include at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, with an emphasis on vegetables.

*Drink 6-8 glasses of filtered water each day, while at the same time avoiding soft drinks and limiting fruit juice.

*Include a serving of a low-fat version of good quality protein with each meal and snack.

*Eat good carbohydrates, such as whole grains most, if not all of the time.

*Choose unsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.

*Include fiber foods with each meal so that you get a total of 25-30 grams of fiber each day.

*Eat colorful foods for their protective phytonutrients.

*Choose low-fat versions of dairy products and leaner meats.

*Stay away from empty calorie foods that provide calories but little nutrition.

*Limit your intake of foods with a lot of added salt and sugar.

*Limit pre-packaged foods and fast foods, which are generally over-processed, full of chemical additives and high in sodium.

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