COVID-19 is not a joke. But although the pandemic has no proven cure, there is plenty of research out there on the anti-viral properties of many different foods. Many of you can be shocked to learn how strong some of these ingredients are indeed. Here are three basic foods you probably already have right in your home kitchen, all of which have clinically proven anti-viral powers to improve your immune system and help keep you safe and secure during this time of trouble.
Back in 2011, Japanese scientists found that schoolchildren who routinely drank green tea had a significantly smaller risk of contracting the flu than those who did not. Since then, many studies have been conducted on the anti-viral properties of green tea compounds called catechins (GTCs), a type of anti-oxidant known to have many different health-promoting properties. For example, the 2017 review published by the National Institute of Health (NIH) states that ‘Studies have shown that GTCs, in particular epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), have antiviral effects on various viruses.’
According to the study, these catechins have been shown to suppress the replication of everything from the HIV virus that causes AIDS to the HPV virus that causes Hepatitis infections. Perhaps more important however, the study includes research demonstrating that green tea catechins can suppress influenza viruses, arboviruses (insect-borne viruses), viruses that kill farm animals, and even the EBOLA virus, which has a wild death rate of nearly 25%.
The anti-viral properties of green tea are now so well known that Korean scientists have recently published a paper proposing that green tea extract (GTE) be considered a method of ‘healthy and environmentally friendly personal hygiene against viral infections.’
Dark blue and purple berries also contain special anti-oxidant compounds that have been found to have potent anti-viral effects in experimental experiments. A 2017 research showed that different berry compounds, such as anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins and phenolic acids, inhibit the replication of the flu virus both actively and indirectly and “can be viewed as an effective medication and prophylaxis (preventive measure) for influenza.” While blackberries, blueberries and even grapes (yes, wine is anti-viral!) all contain these compounds, etc.
A recent study in 2020 found that elderberry extract is both anti- and anti- and showed a “inhibiting effect” against everything from the MRSA superbug (a type of antibiotic-) to the IBV Coronavirus, an enveloped virus that infects poultry and is related to the Covid-19 that is currently plagued the world.
In fact, elderberries are so powerful that back in 2009, an international team of researchers found that elderberry extract was just as effective as the antiviral drug Tamilflu often used to prevent the replication of the H1N1 virus, often known as the Swine Flu.
Only last week, the Internet was alive with the sensational news of a 99-year-old British woman who “beat” the Corona Virus by eating marmalade sandwiches. As crazy as it seems, and it really sounds absurd, typical British marmalade has a special ingredient that has been shown in experimental research to have significant anti-viral effects, suggesting that marmalade may have led to this woman’s miraculous survival. The ingredient is citrus peel.
In 2014, Chinese researchers studying the properties of Asian citrus fruit known as Guangchenpi and its effect on respiratory infections found significant anti-viral activity correlated with a compound called “Tangeretin,” a flavonoid anti-oxidant found concentrated in fruit peel.
A 2018 research reveals that Tangeretin also prevents entry and blocks the merger of many types of areaviruses (enveloped viruses that infect rodents and often humans), including the Lassa virus, which is especially deadly to humans.
Tangeretin is present in most citrus fruit peels, including oranges and grapefruit, but is most abundant in, you know, tangerines.
Note: I am not a doctor, nor is this professional advice. There is no known “cure” for coronavirus, so drinking antiviral food does not in any way mean that you are immune to contracting it. Nevertheless, the work discussed here reflects just a few of the numerous experimental findings that demonstrate that many common foods and ingredients do indeed have wonderful anti-viral and immune-enhancing properties. The next post in this series focuses on spices and common herbs.