Did you know that you probably already have strong antiviral foods in your kitchen? Learn about the best foods to help you fight viral infections year-round.
There are over 219 strains of the virus that can infect humans, and more are discovered every year. In fact, researchers say that more than two-thirds of the new human pathogens are viruses and not bacteria or other fungi.
Fortunately, not only is our body equipped with a robust immune system to fight off viruses (when properly nourished), nature has provided us with powerful tools in the form of antiviral foods and herbs to help them out. help stop them in their tracks.
Let’s take a look at the 10 best antiviral foods to keep fueling up not just during cold and flu seasons, but all year round to help your body fight viruses naturally.
We have also added some recipes at the end of the article to help you add these foods to your daily diet.
1. Shiitake Mushrooms
The shiitake has a lot of antiviral tricks in its delicious hat. Studies show that not only does it help regulate your immune system and help immune cells that kill natural pathogens work more efficiently, but it also contains compounds that help inhibit viruses and even tough viruses. how to treat HIV.
In particular, studies have shown that a compound called LEM inhibits HIV infection in human T cells (immune cells).
Shiitake mushrooms are easy to add to stir-fry dishes or even to a hearty soup or broth.
Garlic is another culinary favorite that has powerful antiviral properties. Studies show that garlic extract and its compounds diallyl trisulfide, allicin, and ajoene are effective against colds, influenza A and B, herpes simplex, viral pneumonia, and rotavirus.
In particular, one study included 146 participants for 12 weeks. Half took a daily garlic supplement and half took a placebo. The placebo group had 65 cases of cold, while those who took garlic had only 24. Overall, those who took garlic had fewer sick days than the placebo group.
You can add sauteed garlic to all kinds of dishes, from soups and stews to casseroles and snacks.
3. Star Anise
Star anise is a spice made from the fruits of the Chinese evergreen tree and is aptly named for its star shape. It contains many health-promoting compounds, but one called shikimic acid is just as effective as an antiviral because it’s one of the main active ingredients in Tamiflu, a popular flu medicine.
Star anise goes well with white meats like chicken and is also a great ingredient for marinades and stews. Add it generously.
4. Coconut Oil
If you feel like coconut oil can’t do anything, you’re right. Coconut oil contains monolaurin and lauric acid, which studies have shown to break down the outer membrane of pathogens while impairing their ability to collect and multiply in your body.
Most of us know the ways coconut oil can be used in cooking. You can use it in place of oil, as well as in baked goods and sweets.
While ginger is commonly used medicinally for digestion, it also contains powerful antiviral properties. Studies show that it has the ability to increase antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase and glutathione, which can help alleviate inflammatory responses caused by viral infections. Plus, ginger contains flu-specific compounds so it can be one of your favorites during the flu season.
Ginger can be cooked as a spice, dried, or taken fresh, or as a tea or capsule.
6. Holy Basil
Holy basil, sometimes known as tulsi, is an herb native to India that has been known as the “elixir of life” due to its many therapeutic properties. Modern studies show that its antimicrobial properties could make it effective as a hand sanitizer, mouthwash, and water purifier. It also works with your body to fight viral infections by improving the immune response to invaders.
Holy basil can be taken as a tea or as a supplement.
Peppermint is another herb known to improve digestion, but it is also rich in antiviral compounds. Two of them, menthol and rosmarinic acid, are found in the leaves and in the essential oil.
One study found that peppermint extract had potent antiviral activity against the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) while helping to reduce inflammation.
Peppermint can be inhaled as a tea, as a capsule, or even with a diffuser.
The idea of licorice may be reminiscent of the red threads of candy, but it turns out that licorice root has been used in ancient medical systems for thousands of years. It contains many antiviral substances including, but not limited to, glycyrrhizin, liquiritigenin, and glabridin.
Licorice is traditionally considered a tea. Don’t hesitate to combine it with other teas or a pinch of lemon if you aren’t particularly interested in the taste. You can also take it as a supplement.
Oregano not only tastes delicious Mediterranean dishes. Studies show that oregano oil and its isolated compound carvacrol can decrease the activity of MNV (murine norovirus) within 15 minutes. It has also shown antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus type 1 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Generously add oregano to dishes as a condiment (it’s delicious in chicken and seafood dishes) and try oregano oil at your health food store or online if you feel like it. a cold is coming.
10. Olive Oil
Research claims that one of the main compounds in olive oil, oleuropein, has potent antiviral activities. Researchers believe this is due to its ability to disrupt virus replication and infection in cells. Oleuropein has been shown to be effective against Hepatitis Virus, Rotavirus, Herpes Mononucleosis, Canine Parvovirus, Bovine Rhinovirus, and Feline Leukemia Virus.
Olive oil is ideal for frying vegetables and roast salads as well as for frying.