With the current coronavirus outbreak, it is even more important to make sure that we are all doing everything we can to boost our natural immune systems. Fortunately, the most potent antivirals are found in nature and many of them may already be in your kitchen!
Using these will not only make you a better cook - because your food will taste amazing, they will help you be healthier. Food is medicine and this is the way to incorporate some of the most important antiviral foods and herbs in your diet.
Using more of these foods/herbs will help you fight off viruses and other things that cause infection.
Here is my top 10 list and how to use them:
1. Lemon - Lemon is the easiest one to incorporate into your diet. You can squeeze fresh lemon in water and, you can also add it to hot tea or other drinks. Lemon can be easily incorporated into many dishes. My favorite is using it on fish/seafood and on fresh greens in a salad.
2. Thyme - This herb is best used as seasoning for meat and vegetable dishes. You can get fresh thyme or the dried version and use it as a rub for meat and fish dishes. It is also a great idea to boil the tiny leaves and drink it as a tea!
3. Garlic - Like lemon, garlic is really easy to use. You can add it to any savory dish. Consider adding chopped cloves to sauces and soups! I boil most of my garlic and make a delicious tea. If you haven't tried my immune support tea yet - There is no time like the present. Download the recipe here: https://www.drparkes.com/immunetea
4. Sage - This medicinal herb has many uses. One of those uses is acting as an antiviral. It makes food delicious and can be used very much the same way you use thyme. You can even purchase sage tea bags or loose leaf tea.
5. St. John's Wort - This herb is famous for its effect on mood in particular when it comes to depression. However, old time doctors relied heavily on St. John's Wort for its antiviral activity. It is one of the most potent antivirals available in nature. The most common way to take this herb is in tea form, many mood or relaxing tea combinations include St. John's wort. It should be a staple in your tea cupboard! Warning: St. John's Wort does interact negatively with some drugs, so this herb is not for everybody. If you are taking SSRI's for depression, Birth Control Pills, Chemotherapy or Blood Thinners you should avoid taking St. John's Wort. 6. Oregano - This herb is generally used as a spice. It is absolutely delicious. It is also very powerful when it comes to fighting off pathogens and giving the immune system a boost. You can pick up oregano at any grocery store and don't be shy about using generous amounts!
7. Ginger - This is my favorite because it makes everything taste good. Fresh ginger root can be chopped up and blended into smoothies. You can put it into soups and sauces and use it in meat dishes or for baking. It is really versatile and it is one of the ingredients in my famous immune tea! In case you missed it above - Download the recipe here: https://www.drparkes.com/immunetea
8. Apple Cider Vinegar - This is possibly the closest thing to a cure-all that we have (or should have) in our kitchens. This mighty little drink is fermented which means it is good for the bacteria in the intestines. It is also perfectly acidic and improves digestion. While apple cider vinegar isn't directly antiviral, it does have a low enough pH to stop viruses and bacteria from growing and potentially causing infection. It is a good idea to use it as a drink...like we do in my 14 day detox program. It is also a good idea to use it diluted as a fruit and vegetable wash and to clean surfaces around the home.
9. Mushrooms - Love them or not, there is no denying the powerful immune boosting action of mushrooms. You can have them raw on a salad or cooked in a soup/sauce or grilled on an open flame. No matter how you slice them, mushrooms significantly increase the power of your immune system. If you don't have these in your grocery cart regularly, you are missing out. There are may different types so experiment until you find your favorite if you don't already have one.
10. Echinacea - No immunity list is complete without good old Echinacea! This old school immune remedy has stood the test of time when it comes to helping the body fight off infection. The most common way to use Echinacea in the kitchen is in tea form. You can pick up tea bags from any major grocery store or health food store. Honestly, it should always be in your pantry because it is amazing in protecting tour overall health and wellness.
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