Updated: Jun 2
Eating healthfully may be just the immune-system booster you need to ward off illness. Real foods will allow your immune system to function properly, and incorporating foods with anti-viral compounds can aid in your defense. Try incorporating these into your daily routine:
1. ACV Tea - A Potent Anti-Viral Combination
For a quick and easy tea, heat some water and add the rest after. For a more medicinal tea, steep fresh ginger in the water first or add a bag of ginger tea.
-8 oz of warm water
-1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
-1 tbsp Manuca Honey (should be UMF 20+ or higher) - use raw if you don't have manuca
-Juice of 1/4 lemon (even better, add a piece of lemon zest you have twisted to activate oils in the skin)
-Shake of cinnamon
Apple cider vinegar is rich in acetic and malic acid, giving it anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It also contains high levels of vitamins, mineral salts and amino acids. Be sure to buy raw, unpasteurized ACV as pasteurization kills essential medicinal nutrients.
Manuka honey has been known to New Zealand's indigenous cultures for thousands of years and is known as the healing honey. It is in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native Manuka bush, the same bush that supplies tea tree oil, a strong anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal essential oil. Honey produced from this bush retains some of the same protective properties. The UMF number on the bottle specifies its anti-microbial potency - the higher the number the more medicinal it is. Learn More.
Lemon and other citrus is high in bioflavinoids which are shown to possess anti-viral activity. Bioflavinoids are also synergistic with vitamin C and increase its effectiveness when taken together. The highest concentrations of bioflavinoids are found in the peels of citrus, so I recommend incorporating the zest or using a therapeutic grade citrus essential oil.
Cinnamon warms the body, aids in digestion and is anti-microbial.
Fresh Ginger was shown to protect against human respiratory syncytial virus, a major cause of lower respiratory tract infections, by blocking the virus’ ability to attach to cells and stimulating the release of compounds that help counteract viral infections (1).
2. Green Tea
Green tea contains a compound known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) that possesses antiviral effects against diverse viruses (2). If you are not a fan of drinking green tea, try matcha powder instead in your smoothie or coffee.
3. Flax Seeds contain a bioflavinoid called herbacetin which has been shown to block enzymes critical for the replication of SARS-CoV2 (3).
4. Garlic has been proven to have a multitude of immune modulating effects, including boosting virus fighting T-cells (4). In addition, garlic's high sulfur content helps your body absorb zinc, a critical mineral for immune system function.
5. Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil is high in beneficial compounds such as lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid, monolaurin, myristic acid, monocaprin, monocaprylin, monomyristina, and others. Many viruses (including SARS-CoV2) are enveloped by a protective membrane composed of lipids (fatty-acids), to which the compounds in coconut oil may dissolve (5).
Interested in learning what NOT TO EAT during a viral infection? READ HERE.