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Antiviral Foods to the Rescue

Antiviral FoodsWe all know that a balanced diet, exercise, and getting a good night’s sleep are crucial for maintaining health. If you are looking for additional ways to boost your immunity, your kitchen cupboards and your pantry are a great place to start!

Most of us likely have access to a variety of antiviral foods that can easily be incorporated into everyday snacks and meals—some of them can even be brewed as a tea. These foods not only help fight off existing illness, they also support and protect healthy cells so that your body is better able to defend itself against infections from the get-go.

Let’s see what items you might already have on hand and how they can prepare your body to overpower a viral attack.

 

Coconut Oil (Extra-Virgin, unrefined)Contains medium-chain fatty acids with the ability to destroy microorganisms; helps dissolve the outer lipid (fatty) membranes of a virus
ElderberryStimulates the immune system; hinders ability of a virus to replicate and attack healthy host cells; helps reduce upper respiratory symptoms caused by viral infections
Garlic (raw)Contains powerful antiviral compounds (allicin, diallyl trisulfide, and ajoene) which can destroy microorganisms; stimulates the immune system; hinders growth of viruses such as influenza, herpes, and HIV
Ginger (fresh)Contains gingerols, shogaols, and zinerones, which can prevent viruses from attacking healthy host cells and hinder viral replication; strengthens cells in the respiratory tract and combats respiratory viruses
Green Tea (Matcha)Contains a variety of antioxidants (flavonoids, catechins, and polyphenols) which can help combat viruses such as influenza, herpes, and HIV; boosts the immunity of healthy cells
LemonHinders the growth of harmful bacteria and viruses by affecting their ability to replicate
Mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, reishi) Contains beta-glucans (sugar-like molecules) that strengthen the immune system and hinder ability of a virus to replicate and attack healthy host cells
Oregano (fresh or liquid oil) Contains the antiviral compounds carvacrol and thymol, which can slow down a virus and help eliminate it from the body
SpirulinaContains the protein cyanovirin-N, which hinders ability of a virus to replicate and attack healthy host cells
Turmeric Strengthens healthy cells; hinders ability of a virus to replicate and attack healthy host cells
Yogurt (with live cultures) Floods gut microbiome with “good” bacteria to help combat growth of viral infections; relieves influenza symptoms

Other foods known for their antiviral properties:

  • Basil
  • Black walnuts
  • Blueberries
  • Fennel
  • Olive leaf
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Star Anise

Salads and Smoothies and Stew—Oh my!

The prevalence of antiviral ingredients at home makes it easy to boost your immunity by making simple changes to your daily menu. Many antiviral foods can be used as sandwich or salad toppings, or they can be added to soups, stews, casseroles, and smoothies. If any of the foods listed above are not yet part of your regular cooking repertoire (or supplement regimen), you might enjoy experimenting with some new recipes or jazzing up some old favorites!

Resources:

More suggestions for adding antiviral and immune-boosting foods to your diet

Try this recipe for making your own elderberry syrup

Brew a cup of ginger tea

Spring Cleaning your home naturally

Spring cleaning is a good way to air out your house, but it shouldn’t mean inhaling toxic chemicals or fumes. It is important to clean your home on a regular basis to reduce the presence of common indoor pollutants such as dust, mold, and pet dander. Unfortunately, most common cleaning products contain dangerous or questionable chemicals.

Here’s a few ideas to clean your house naturally:

  1. Air Freshener: Drop one tablespoon of baking soda into a small spray bottle and add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil to scent the air freshener. Fill the rest of the spray bottle with water. Now spring is really in the air!
  2. Windows: Mix one-part white vinegar with four parts water. Add lemon juice for a citrusy smell. Lemon juice will also provide extra grease-cutting power. Spray onto the mirror or window, and scrub off with sponge or rag.
  3. Microwave: Combine 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup of white vinegar to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes. Keep the bowl in your microwave for an additional 1-2 minutes more to allow the steam to really build up. Simply wipe down the inside with a rag.
  4. Refrigerator: Mix a ½ cup of baking soda to some hot water. Dip a rag in the mixture and use it to scrub down your refrigerator.
  5. Oven: Sprinkle a cup or more of baking soda over the bottom of the oven, then cover the baking soda with enough water to make a thick paste. Let the mixture set overnight. The next morning, the grease will be easy to wipe up because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of dish detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven.
  6. Toilet: Mix 1 cup of Borax, 1 cup of Vinegar, 1 cup of hot water, 10 drops lemon essential oil and 10 drops of pine essential oil. Mix into the bowl together and let sit overnight. Brush the bowl in the morning and flush.
  7. Bedding/Mattress: Don’t forget your bedding! Mix 2 cups baking soda with 10 drops of your favorite essential oils and brush into your mattress. Let sit for 30 minutes before vacuuming up.

General cleaners:

  • A 50/50 vinegar/water solution will clean tile, counters, cabinet fronts and soap scum in the shower.
  • A baking soda and water paste will clean stuck on gunk in the shower and tub (use vinegar instead of water for really tough stains)
  • For grout, sprinkle baking soda on the floor and spray with undiluted hydrogen peroxide and scrub with a gentle toothbrush.

In one afternoon, you can start to feel better about the space you live in without using toxic chemicals!