7 Anti-Viral Foods

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7 Anti-Viral Foods

1. Black Tea

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. Better Nutrition

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.

2. Garlic

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. Better Nutrition

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.

3. Shiitake Mushrooms

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. Better Nutrition

Are 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.

4. Ginger

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. Better Nutrition

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.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar 

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. Better Nutrition

Is another traditional antiviral, and a number of modern studies have established the antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against a variety of pathogens. Researchers suggest that apple cider vinegar may work by a variety of mechanisms, including the antiviral properties of apples and the presence of probiotics that occur during the fermentation process.

Try this: Steep dried elderberries and sliced ginger in apple cider vinegar, then strain and add honey for an easy oxymel (herbal tonic); whisk together apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, and olive oil for a sweet, creamy dressing; stir apple cider vinegar and agave into hot water and pour over sliced onions and ginger for quick pickles.

6. Cinnamon

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. Better Nutrition

Has been used in herbal medicine for hundreds of years, and chemical profiling shows that its active compounds have antiviral, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory effects. In one study, cinnamaldehyde, the compound that gives cinnamon its characteristic flavor and smell, inhibited the growth of the influenza virus. Cinnamaldehyde also inhibits Listeria and Escherichia coli in foods, and protects against a variety of yeasts and fungi, including Candida albicans.

Try this: Add cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla extract, and coconut milk to oatmeal for a chai-spiced breakfast; toss sliced apples and pears with cinnamon and honey, sauté in coconut oil, and top with toasted pecans; add cinnamon and cocoa powder to your morning coffee.

7. Yogurt

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. Better Nutrition

Contains probiotics that fight viral infections. In one review, 28 trials showed that probiotics protected against respiratory tract infections. Other studies have found that probiotics can enhance respiratory tract immunity, speed recovery, and lessen the severity of respiratory infections caused by the influenza virus. Probiotics may protect against other viral infections, including some types of Coxsackievirus, HIV-1, and viruses that cause diarrhea.

Try this: Mix Greek yogurt with mashed avocado, minced red onions, and cumin for a creamy sandwich spread; whisk yogurt with apple cider vinegar, dried dill, and minced garlic and chives for a delicious healthy dressing.

Written by Lisa Turner for Better Nutrition and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.


6 comments

  • Scott Clark

    Healing successor Dr Akhigbe !!! I am posting this Really hoping I give some hope to those families that deal with chronic pain such as herpes, diabetes, cancer etc I saw a huge improvement in just a few days and feel like its actually going, So happy to report that I have seen an unbelievable huge improvement on my Herpes after being cured with the use of Natural medication…In just less than two weeks!! More energy, no pain actually and not being on flares. I feel great and amazing, smiling and laughing so much now, less anxiety and less repetitive questions, aches and fatigue complaints which have pretty much been issues in the struggle etc. These Dr Akhigbe Herbal medication are also known by many to work for arthritis, Diabetes, insomnia, anxiety, depression, crohn’s, PTSD, COPD, HPV, ALS,  IBS and lots of conditions They ship worldwide . kindly contact his email: drakhigbeherbalhome5@gmail.com or Whatsapp +2349021374574.  

  • Scott Clark

    Healing successor Dr Akhigbe !!! I am posting this Really hoping I give some hope to those families that deal with chronic pain such as herpes, diabetes, cancer etc I saw a huge improvement in just a few days and feel like its actually going, So happy to report that I have seen an unbelievable huge improvement on my Herpes after being cured with the use of Natural medication…In just less than two weeks!! More energy, no pain actually and not being on flares. I feel great and amazing, smiling and laughing so much now, less anxiety and less repetitive questions, aches and fatigue complaints which have pretty much been issues in the struggle etc. These Dr Akhigbe Herbal medication are also known by many to work for arthritis, Diabetes, insomnia, anxiety, depression, crohn’s, PTSD, COPD, HPV, ALS,  IBS and lots of conditions They ship worldwide . kindly contact his email: drakhigbeherbalhome5@gmail.com or Whatsapp +2349021374574 thank you  

  • Taofeeq Seriki

    I was able to get rid of my herpes with herbal medicine which was prepared and shipped to me by Dr AKHIGBE. He’s a great herbalist and medicine man everyone should know about, he has cures for all types of diseases and viruses in the body. You may need Dr AKHIGBE assistance. His email drakhigbeherbalhome5@gmail.com or WhatsApp him +2349021374574.

  • smithteev

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  • leslie jordan

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    Since I was first diagnosed I have about 2 outbreaks a month. I have been able to cope with this by having supportive family and friends who look out for me,though it wasn’t easy for me, one day i read a post by someone testifying about Dr okosun that she was cured totally using his herbal product, i decided to gave it a try, I contacted him as instructed in the testimony. i made request for the herbal medicine, he actually did send it to me and gave me the instruction on how i will use it,
    The good news is this, i went to the hospital after the medication for test as instructed by Dr okosun, i was tested negative, i was surprised finding out that am now herpes virus negative against my former result which was positive, Am happy to let the whole world know that today am free from this herpes disease,
    no more outbreak, no more cold sores, excruciating pains, i will advice anyone reading this message and needed a cure for herpes as well should please contact this Great Dr okosun on drokosun55@gmail.com or WhatsApp +2348124363791.
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