We’re washing our hands, practicing social distancing, and wearing face masks if we have to go out in public. These are the procedures we have been following for weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and boost our immune systems. But what else can we do to improve immunity and fight viral infection? Try a diet that’s high in antioxidants, or “anti-viral” foods. If you include these foods into your diet regularly, it will support your immune system and help your body fight off sickness.
Garlic is a triple-threat. Not only does it have anti-viral properties, it is also an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. Garlic has shown to fight off influenza A and B, viral pneumonia, and much more. So, if you are sick or are trying to avoid sickness, think about incorporating a generous amount of garlic into your meals.
Oregano has powerful anti-viral properties, especially in higher concentrations. Purchase fresh oregano to use in salads and teas. And if you are a true oregano lover, use a liquid oil oregano supplement to boost its antiviral power. For example, in one study, a high concentration of oregano was able to completely inactivate the activity of murine norovirus within one hour of exposure.
Ginger is known to fight respiratory viruses, and is a great agent to include in food diets. It blocks respiratory virus-induced plaque formation on the airway. For the most impact, try fresh ginger rather than dried ginger.
Green tea contains catechins, which show antiviral effects against many different viruses including influenza, adenovirus, and more. Additionally, it protects against some cancers and heart disease.
Matcha green tea is also a great form of green tea to try, as it offers more virus-fighting benefits.
Coconut and Coconut Oil
Coconut is rich in anti-viral properties. Its components can kill or inactivate harmful viruses inside the body by creating a hostile environment for viruses. Coconut also improves weak immune systems by improving a body’s white blood cell count, which helps the body directly fight viruses.
Cook with unrefined coconut oil or use it in place of butter.
Lemon balm has exhibited antiviral activity against a diverse number of viruses, including influenza. It can be found as a tea or supplement in stores. In addition to lemon balm food options, you can also fins it in the form of an essential oil, which can be used as an air diffuser to keep your home’s air fresh and clean.