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7 Important Anti-Viral Foods

Since ancient times herbs and foods have been used for their anti-viral abilities. Bone broth is known for its ability to remedy many issues. Fermented foods are also celebrated as an important addition to any healthy diet. Go nutrients

Anti-viral foods and tips for consuming them.

Black Tea

Is rich in a group of pathogen-fighting compounds that can protect against a variety of viral infections. Tea leaves contain naturally occurring compounds—including polyphenols, catechins, and alkaloids such as caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline—that defend the plants against invading bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Research shows that black tea can almost completely inhibit the infectivity of influenza virus. And in one study, black tea extract rich in flavanol compounds called theaflavins inhibited herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) infection.

Try this: Purée strong-brewed black tea with grated ginger, frozen mango, and Greek yogurt for a flu-busting breakfast; steep black tea bags in hot water, then use as a broth to cook brown rice, garlic, and onions; finely grind loose black tea (try Earl Grey) and add to lemon or banana muffin batter before cooking.

Garlic

Contains powerful compounds—including allicin, diallyl trisulfide, and ajoene—that fight viruses, including influenza, rhinovirus, cytomegalovirus (a type of herpes virus), herpes simplex, HIV, viral pneumonia, and rotavirus.

In one study, people who took allicin extract over a 12-week period had significantly fewer colds than a placebo group, and those who did get a cold recovered faster.

Try this: Roast whole heads of garlic, skin-on, until cloves are soft, then let cool and peel off skins; finely mince raw garlic and add to a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and minced thyme; press or mash raw garlic cloves and mix with minced rosemary and coconut oil, then refrigerate until firm for a pungent vegan spread.

Shiitake Mushrooms

This well known anti-viral food is loaded with beta-glucans, antiviral compounds that have been shown to inhibit viral replication and enhance immune function. In one study, people who ate shiitake mushrooms for four weeks showed improved markers of immunity, as well as reduced inflammation.

Other studies have shown that shiitake mushrooms have significant antibacterial and antifungal properties, and protected against 85 percent of the yeasts, molds, and other organisms it was tested on.

Try this: Thinly slice shiitake mushroom caps, toss with melted coconut oil and minced garlic, and roast until crispy; sauté whole shiitake mushroom caps and leeks in olive oil, then finish with balsamic glaze; stir-fry shiitakes, slivered carrots, broccoli, sliced red peppers, and minced ginger in sesame oil and tamari, then toss with cooked soba or rice noodles.

Ginger

Has long been used in tradi-tional medicine to treat colds and flu, and modern studies show that it has measurable antiviral benefits. In one study, fresh ginger protected against HRSV (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.

Try this: Cut peeled ginger root into matchsticks, sauté in olive oil until crispy, and use as a topping for soups or salads; simmer ginger slices in milk or coconut milk, strain, then whisk in turmeric and honey for a creamy, soothing beverage; combine finely grated ginger, dates, walnuts, and coconut in a food processor, process to make a paste, then roll into balls for quick energy treats.