There are foods with antiviral properties and in this blog, I will share what I have learned. Antiviral properties are present in immune-boosting nutraceuticals, polyphenols, terpenoids, flavonoids, alkaloids, sterols, pigments, unsaturated fatty-acids, micronutrient vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and folate, and trace elements, including zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium, and copper.
In this blog, I want to introduce a few specific foods that can fight viral infections.
Olive oil, especially extra virgin, is full of monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as several polyphenols (esp. Oleuropein and Hydroxytyrosol) which have powerful antioxidative and anti-inflammatory characters. The polyphenol, Oleuropein, specifically has been shown to fight the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Hydroxytyrosol has been shown to have an inhibiting effect on HIV from entering the host cell and binding. Also, this polyphenol can inactivate the effects on influenza A viruses.
Vitamin D-containing foods are antiviral. We have been hearing lots during the pandemic about this vitamin. It is found in dairy and its ability to battle COVID-19 and influenza infections has been uncovered. Vitamin D’s exact mechanism of action is not clear but it definitely helps lung protection against a virus in folks who have low levels of this vitamin.
Yogurt, you know is good for you, especially when you are taking antibiotics! But did you know yogurt has been shown to provide protection against the influenza virus, as well other RNA viruses? We know of its probiotic actions but it also has an impact on virus adsorption and internalization into cells specifically lymphocytic cells.
Garlic is always touted as being good for you, so much so tablets and capsules are in the vitamin section of almost all stores. The compounds in garlic that fight viruses, including allicin, diallyl trisulfide (Allitridin), ajoene, and quercetin. These compounds act by inhibiting the virus from attaching to cells and block the virus from copying itself. Garlic acts against influenza A, herpes simplex virus (HSV), and human cytomegalovirus.
Mushrooms have active anti-viral ingredients, these include polysaccharides and terpenoids. They deter the binding of HIV-1 protease and its ‘reverse transcriptase activity ( the virus’s RNA changes the DNA of the cell). Other viruses that mushrooms protect against include influenza A and cytomegalovirus.
Cyclotide-containing foods have long been used in Chinese plant medicine these bioactive chemicals are from edible wild vegetables, used for reduction of fever, detoxification, anti-inflammation, and pain relief. Think pumpkin, squash, zucchini, legumes,
This is not an exhausted listing so please do take a look at this article for other antiviral foods. The Illustration below is from the article.