Nature has a way of providing us with everything we need – including foods and herbs with impressive antiviral properties! These virus-fighting foods can help boost the immune system, fight infection, and decrease inflammation.
The following are 15 foods and herbs that may help give you the antiviral protection you’re seeking.
1. Echinacea – For an immune system boost and antiviral function, echinacea can be incorporated into your health protocol regularly as it helps protect against viruses and bacteria. You can find it at most grocery or health food stores in tincture form.
2. Astragulus Root – This antiviral herb has been traditionally used as Chinese medicine for many years. It has strong antiviral properties and helps improve the function of the immune system. Use can find this root made into slices for tea, in a tincture, or even in capsule form.
3. Licorice Root – Licorice root is known for its ability to boost the immune system as well as scavenge for free radicals that try to bring harm to the body. It’s known for helping prevent and treat influenza and other viruses. Licorice tea is popular and found at most grocery stores.
4. Elderberry – Elderberry is an excellent antiviral agent to keep viruses and bacteria at bay. It also helps decrease the severity of cold and flu symptoms. You can find it in health food stores made into a natural syrup, boil the berries as tea, or sometimes even find them frozen.
5. Oregano – Thymol and carvacrol are the two major ingredients in oregano that have antibacterial properties. It’s known to help stop viral infections, decrease inflammation, and reduce allergies. Oregano can be boiled into a tea or added to your meals!
6. Cat’s Claw – This root and bark herb is known for its powerful antiviral properties as well as supporting the digestive tract.
7. Calendula – Calendula is an herb that’s been used as an antiviral for many centuries. It helps ward off viruses, protects against free radicals, and reduces inflammation.
8. Blueberries – Eating a daily dose of blueberries can help boost the immune system and are also rich in antioxidants known to support overall health and beauty.
9. Garlic – Garlic has strong antiviral properties, primarily due to the ingredient allicin. It also contains antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals and can be easily incorporated into your meals. Try these garlic Sage Brussel Sprouts!
10. Green Tea – Green tea contains antioxidants that have been shown to fight off viruses and boost the immune system while also giving a natural energy boost!
11. Mushrooms – Different mushrooms such as shitake, maitake, reishi, and button mushrooms have immune-boosting and antiviral properties. Try this recipe for Garlic Herb Mushrooms.
12. Cruciferous Vegetables – Adding plenty of cruciferous vegetables to your diet can help improve the function of the immune system, provide antiviral properties and anticancer properties. Cruciferous veggies include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, collard greens, mustard greens, watercress and more.
13. Omega-3 Fatty Acids – These fatty acids have many contributory effects to the body, lowering inflammation, supporting immune health, and fighting off viruses. The best foods to get high amounts from are deep cold-water fish, flaxseeds, and walnut oil. Try this Simple Salmon Piccata or this Sweet & Spicy Orange Salmon.
14. Citrus Fruits and Vegetables – Citrus fruits like lemon, lime or grapefruit along with vegetables such as pumpkin, yellow peppers, and carrots contain high amounts of beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant known to fight off illness and also support vision health.
15. Figs – Figs are a strong source of vitamins A and C, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, and have been demonstrated to kill off bacteria. They can also help to regulate digestion!
And of course, remember in addition to Clean Eating for immune health, wash your hands and do your best to keep stress levels in check through self-care and sleep. We’re in this together!