Mononucleosis, mono, the kissing disease, a viral disease with flu-like symptoms and extreme fatigue. Every college student’s worst nightmare, but a very possible fate. Sharing drinks, kissing and strained immune systems are things most college kids are all too familiar with, putting them at high risk for receiving the dreaded diagnosis.
So, you have mono. What should you be eating?
Luckily for us, even when we’re sick, we have to eat. And with mono, besides sleeping, it’s pretty much all that you can do. There are certain foods that will help strengthen your immune system and improve your symptoms when you have mono. So, even though you’re feeling like a complete zombie, you shouldn’t be eating that way. Here are your best food friends for the dark mono days:
Fluids, fluids, fluids
Water, soup and juices will be your go-to items throughout this illness. Dehydration is common with fevers, and of course, fevers happen to be a prime symptom of mono. To make up for this drought, you’ll need your body to be consistently filled up with fluids. Liquids will be your right hand men in defeating the menacing mono. Plus, tea with lemon and honey is also key for soothing your inevitable sore throat.
All the Protein
You’re going to want to be sure to get your protein intake up during mono. Protein-filled foods are perfect for boosting your immune system because they keep your cells healthy and repair your weak body. It’s also important to break up your protein consumption throughout the day, so that your blood sugar levels stay stable and provide you with energy all day. The options for protein heavy foods are endless and include things like: chicken, fish, eggs, hummus and tofu.
It’s important to eliminate trans fats from your diet when recovering from mono, and instead, get your healthy fats going. Nuts, seeds, fish and avocado all contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation. This means avocado toast on the reg. Adding these foods to your diet will also improve your immunity and keep your cell membranes functioning well, which is what we’re going for.
Fruits & Veggies for Days
Eating clean, healthy foods is the central aspect of the mono diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be eaten in abundance and make up most of your meals. Fruits and veggies will help cleanse toxins from your system, and they are immune-boosting, so they should help to energize you. We want to steer clear of processed foods, and eating fresh fruit and vegetables is the perfect solution.
Carbs and Sugar are the Enemy
This is the hardest part, but you have to say goodbye to high-carb foods because they promote inflammation, which can make your already inflamed insides even worse. Your sore throat, achey muscles and fatigue will all intensify if you’re eating white bread, pasta or rice. Sugar, which includes things like cookies, cereal and candy, is also off limits. It suppresses white blood cell activity, and they’re the main fighters against the mono that’s infesting your body.
Mono sucks, and there’s really no sugar coating it. Haha. Get it? Don’t eat sugar. Your body is overcome with relentless fatigue, and there’s nothing you can do about it. But, what you can do is put goodness into your body in an attempt to speed up the lengthy recovery, and these foods will help you do just that.