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Can Eating Bananas Prevent COVID-19 Infection? - Health - Nairaland

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Can Eating Bananas Prevent COVID-19 Infection? by Andromache: 3:22am On Jun 21, 2021
A video has been circulating on multiple WhatsApp groups in Nigeria, claiming that eating “a banana a day keeps the coronavirus away.” The video has been found to be doctored with false claims.
The video, which was produced in the form of a news broadcast clip, recommended that eating a banana a day could help prevent humans from being infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
For over 15 months, the video has been in circulation on various social media platforms, including TikTok, YouTube, Facebook and until recently Twitter and WhatsApp platforms in Nigeria.
The video, which has been forwarded several times on WhatsApp between March 2021 and June 2021, was traced to a March 15, 2020 post on Facebook here using Google Reverse Image Search. It has been viewed over 2,700 times on the Facebook page and now circulates widely on WhatsApp.
It is one of the several videos spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed over 3.8million deaths with about 176million confirmed cases globally as of June 15, 2021, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). These numbers continue to rise daily.
Since the outbreak of the disease in December 2019, many social media platforms, especially WhatsApp chat groups and Facebook, have become vehicles for spreading misinformation, disinformation and conspiracy theories about the COVID-19.
Users are often asked to forward such messages to as many people as possible.
Some of such viral WhatsApp videos or texts include those claiming that drinking palm oil or hot water, tea several times daily can cure COVID-19, or that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines can reduce lifespan, or that the Nigerian government is giving out COVID-19 survival funds. These, among others, have been debunked by the ICIR’s FactCheckHub.
THE BANANA CLAIM
The claim reads: “Bananas are one of the most popular fruits worldwide. such as Vitamin C. All of these support health. people who follow a high fibre diet have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Bananas contain water and fibre, both of which promote regularity and encourage digestive health.
“Research made by scientists from the University of Queensland in Australia have proven that bananas improve your immune system due to the super source of Vitamins B-6 and helps prevent coronavirus. Having a banana a day keeps the coronavirus away.”
Same video, same claim but many edited versions
The 58-second video, which shows a news report by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC), with the same banana claim, has been edited severally especially by a TikTok user, @dil_ka_raja2020 and YouTuber to include these texts inscriptions: “Bananas can beat this virus, Must Watch”; “Banana a day keeps the Coronavirus away.” He has over 12,000 followers with over 167,000 likes on his TikTok page.
Also, an edited 27-second version of the video posted from Pakistan on YouTube on 14th March, 2020 has also been viewed 318 times.
The Associated Press (AP) had earlier reached out via email to a University of Queensland spokesperson who confirmed that “the video is fake and said they strongly recommend people do not share it.”
Similarly, a Queensland University scientist Keith Chappell, who discussed the university’s efforts to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus in the ABC News video, had also told the AFP that the banana claim video “is definitely NOT true.”
In addition, video footage from the eight- to ten-second of the misleading WhatsApp video was seen on the Shutterstock videos website, using Reverse Image Search – another OSINT tool.
Further findings showed that the footages from the 12- to 23-second of the viral video were extracted from a YouTube clip made by Herbs Cures titled: “Health Benefits of Banana” and uploaded online on March 1, 2020.
Also, the ‘Herbs cures’ logo could be seen in the viral video. The ‘Herbs Cures’ video only listed the benefits of bananas and did not claim that bananas could prevent COVID-19 in the four -minute, thirty-eight second video.
Additional analysis also showed that the footages from the 24- to 31-second of the viral video were extracted from a news video published by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in February 2020 titled: “How Scientists Are Trying to Develop a Coronavirus Vaccine.”
The four-minute, seven-second WSJ video did not claim that bananas could beat or prevent COVID-19.
Can any food or fruit prevent one from being infected with COVID-19?
According to WHO, “there is no single food that will prevent you from catching COVID-19,” but bananas have nutritional values.
Although the global health body has a nutrition fact-sheet for healthy diets that protect against malnutrition and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer, it said there was none that could protect anyone against COVID-19.
Scientists also advised that maintaining good nutritional status could help boost one’s immune system against COVID-19, adding that there was no evidence that any food or supplement would prevent infection or spread of the disease.
“Bananas are a fine fruit and garlic is a fine vegetable. But no. There are no clinical trials to suggest they have anti-coronavirus activity. Vitamin-C Is not even a fruit or a vegetable,” says an infectious diseases expert from the University of Maryland in the United States, Faheem Younus.
However, here are WHO-recommended steps to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
CONCLUSION
The claim is FALSE! There is no credible evidence that eating bananas can beat or prevent COVID-19 infection.
The viral WhatsApp video was doctored from two news reports by the ABC News and WSJ respectively, as well as other video footages, to include references to bananas.

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