When considering foods that will contribute to your overall wellness, you’ll need a lesson on their nutritional value. Sometimes the antibacterial properties of a particular herb will be mentioned; however, there are foods, herbs, and spices that are antiviral. With the added risk of coronavirus during cold and flu season, it’s more important than ever to take any and all precautions to boost your immunity. Adding layers of preventative measures — one of them being antiviral foods — will help ensure your continued health.
Check out this list of antiviral foods, herbs, and spices that will get you through the coming cold, flu, and coronavirus season.
It’s common to hear about yogurt, honey, and cranberry juice when discussing antibacterial foods. Antiviral foods, however, are discussed less often but can be just as effective. Try including these antiviral foods on your next shopping list for added protection.
Blueberries boost the immune system and have the added bonus of antioxidants. They are a powerhouse food with antiviral properties, they are versatile — suited for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — and they can be served raw, juiced, in a smoothie, as a compote, or as a topping. With endless opportunities, adding blueberries into your daily intake should be your new kitchen staple.
Arugula, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, radish, turnips, and more, make cruciferous vegetables an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. They also help fight cancer and viruses. Load up on a variety of combinations to ensure the best possible array of immunity-boosting, nutrient-packed sources of better health.
It may be denied on date night, but garlic contains allicin, a potent antiviral. Plus, it’s got plenty of antioxidants to help fight free radicals. With crucial dietary benefits and countless ways to add it to your daily intake, garlic should be a constant kitchen companion.
Ginger is a must-have ingredient in the kitchen. Used as a spice in many tea concoctions and seasoning lists, this antiviral root vegetable is also a value-adding ingredient for stews, soups, or baked medleys. To access the most bioavailable benefits from this rich cleanser, use fresh slices, chunks, or grated forms instead of powdered or dried versions.
There are so many varieties of mushrooms that this is one food you’ll never find tiresome. Raw or cooked, folded into omelets, tossed in a salad, or used as a go-to side dish, mushrooms offer variation and flavor. They are not only an immunity-boosting antiviral, but mushrooms are also packed with antioxidants, and many varieties are brain-boosting adaptogens.
Yellow and Orange Citrus and Veggies
An excellent rule for building a healthful plate is to make sure you’ve got a variety of colorful foods. Color indicates varied sources of essential vitamins and minerals and when it comes to antiviral foods, be sure to reach for the yellows and oranges. Citrus, such as lemon, lime and grapefruit, are all antiviral fruits. Pumpkins, yellow peppers, carrots, and squash are antiviral vegetables on top of being anti-inflammatories and antihistamines.
Antiviral Herbs and Spices
Unlike antiviral foods that may only be seasonally available, most herbs can be kept year-round, turning your spice cabinet into a medicine cabinet. Add some of these favorites to your illness prevention regimen.
- Elderflower and elderberry
- Horseradish Lemon Balm
- Licorice root
- Olive leaf
Michelle Lievense is a veteran copy and content writer in the health and science fields. She has dedicated much of her career to writing and academic research in public health and safety, particularly for underrepresented populations. When she isn’t tapping away at her keyboard, she can be found hiking with her dog in Colorado, gardening, or reading with a cat by her side.