Anti-viral Foods for Infections
This information has been carefully researched and will be invaluable to those with chronic viral hepatitis who wish to optimize their chances of good health. Nutritional medicine can help to reduce the ability of these hepatitis viruses from damaging your liver and can reduce the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Let us begin!
All plants contain antiviral compounds but few foods have been thoroughly tested to confirm how many of these compounds exist in each plant and which viruses they kill. At this time we do not know how the viruses get blocked or killed but in general, we have laboratory study evidence, as well as immune enhancing effects in humans. These foods are also rich in essential nutrients needed for a strong immune system and a healthy liver.
Historical usage also counts; for instance, lemon has long been a cold and flu remedy, and citrus fruits contain 15 different antiviral compounds; lemon leaf having the highest known concentration of antiviral compounds of any plant.
More than 350 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis B virus, which kills more than a million people each year due to acute and chronic hepatitis, and liver cancer. The hepatitis B virus, which attacks the liver, is spread through infected blood transfusions, needle sharing by intravenous drug abusers and sexual contact. Hepatitis B is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world.
Examples of food that contain known antiviral compounds
Concentration of antiviral activity in parts per million
1,375,300 (4 compounds)
752,000 (2 compounds)
739,884 (4 compounds)
Common tea leaves
714,946 (18 compounds)
Source: Dr Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases
Given the very different nature of the foods in the table this suggests that a diet rich in varied types of plant foods is basically an antiviral diet.
All these foods have been identified as containing antiviral activity and many have been shown to improve immune and liver function.
Some of my recommended foods, notably medicinal mushrooms and sea vegetables, are an acquired taste and I hope you will gradually get to enjoy them!
I am convinced that eating a wide range of plant foods and herbs, in as natural a state as possible, will help to reduce the severity of chronic infections with the hepatitis B and C viruses.
I am not recommending that eating only one antiviral food each day will help treat viral hepatitis, so don’t eat enormous quantities of any one food.
Anti-viral Foods List
- Medicinal Mushrooms
- Sea vegetables (sea weeds)
- Citrus fruits but especially lemons
- Cabbage family
- Carrot family
- Onion family – onions, garlic, leeks, shallots
- Coconut flesh, milk and virgin cold pressed coconut oil
- Blackcurrants and their juice
- Flavonoid rich foods such as citrus fruits, buckwheat
- Lignan rich foods such as whole ground flaxseeds
- Highly coloured fruits and vegetables which are high-antioxidant foods – they are much more powerful if they are fresh and in season and have been ripened naturally
Anti-viral Mushroom Soup Recipe
- 8 whole dried shitake or reishi mushrooms
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup rice
- 2 carrots, sliced into pieces
- 3 teaspoons miso
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- Soak the mushrooms in one cup water.
- Bring the rice to the boil in 5 cups water, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Cut each mushroom into three or more slices, and add to the rice, together with the soaking water; simmer for further 20 minutes.
- Add the carrots, and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, and stir in the miso, parsley and coriander
If you like ginger, add in about 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh grated.
Serve with finely cut fresh parsley and/or chives.
Nori strips with salmon and rice
- 1 fillet Atlantic salmon (other fish could be used)
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce*
- 4 sheets nori cut into segments about 5cm (2 inches) x 20cm (8 inches)
- 1 cup hot or cold cooked rice
- 1 large handful fresh herbs – chopped
- Place the salmon in a small baking dish, sprinkle with the lemon juice and soy sauce.
- Cover the salmon with fresh herbs; then cover with foil or a lid.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 180oC.
- Carefully remove all the bones, flake the fish with a fork into a small serving bowl.
- Each person makes their own sushi by placing about 2-3 teaspoons of the mix at one end of a nori strip and rolling it up with the fingers.
Serves two as an entrée
Lemon and other citrus fruits contain at least 15 different antiviral compounds and should be consumed daily by those serious about avoiding liver damage from hepatitis viruses. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is the best source of anti-viral substances and vitamin C. I drink lemon juice everyday to control sinusitis and strengthen my immune system.
Other ways of getting antiviral properties from citrus:
- Add some grated lemon peel to salads, soups, casseroles, and to baked goods such as cakes and muffins.
- Eat or juice four different citrus fruits (lemon, orange, lime, mandarin or grapefruit) daily as a preventive.
- Have one glass citrus juice, three times daily if you have the flu – use a combination of oranges, limes and lemons. If you pass the fruit through a juice extracting machine you can leave a lot of the white pith attached so that this is juiced along with the flesh; this makes its healing properties stronger.
Changing your diet and lifestyle can be stressful but if at the very least you can –
- Add in one healthy food or recipe a week
- Make or buy a raw juice several times a week
- Drink the juice of 2 limes or 2 lemons every day – you will not only strengthen your immune system, you will also slow down the aging process !
Selenium is the most important mineral for the immune system to function at its optimal level; indeed without adequate selenium in your body, your immune system will remain vulnerable to attack. It’s amazing to think that despite the profound importance of selenium to a strong immune system, many people remain deficient in this life enhancing mineral.
Research has proven that selenium is vital for healthy immune system function. A selenium deficiency suppresses your immune system and makes you more prone to infections, especially viral infections. Viruses replicate more easily in selenium deficient people. For this reason selenium is sometimes called the “viral birth control pill”. Selenium enhances the function of your white blood cells. Selenium is found in Brazil nuts and some seafood. If you don’t get adequate selenium in your diet, Selenomune Designer Energy capsules can help.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.