The novel coronavirus has been spreading across the globe, with an ever-growing number of people falling ill. Symptoms include a sore throat, cough and runny nose, possibly with a fever and/or headache. It only lasts a few days, but for the elderly and those with a weakened immune system, it can be fatal.
We might be hearing a lot more about it now, but the truth is that coronaviruses are not new. As many as 30 percent of common colds each year can be traced to human coronaviruses, although some outbreaks are more dramatic than others.
When severe coronavirus infections were seen during the SARS and MERS outbreaks in recent years, natural solutions to such viruses became a topic of great interest. And because the SARS-coronavirus and the novel coronavirus we’re seeing in 2019 and 2020 are so closely related and are both marked by the same angiotensin-converting enzyme II mediated infection, it stands to reason that the same substances could target both illnesses.
In fact, the novel coronavirus is considered a cousin of the SARS virus. Some studies have even shown that the current virus is less pathogenic than the SARS one, so some substances that effectively fought the SARS coronavirus could work even better on the current iteration.
Here’s a look at some of the natural substances derived from whole foods that have already been proven to possess coronavirus-inhibiting properties.
The active constituent in licorice root known as glycyrrhizin shows strong inhibitory activity against the replication of SARS coronavirus, and it is particularly effective in the earliest stages of coronavirus replication.
The aqueous extract of Houttuynia cordata, or chameleon plant, has been shown in animal studies to offer significant antiviral activity against SARS coronavirus.
A vital factor in the ability of a coronavirus to propagate in cells is the activity of the virus’s proteases. Flavonoids have been shown to directly inhibit the protease activity in coronavirus and reduce its ability to propagate. These plant chemicals can be found in nearly every fruit and vegetable and are responsible for giving them their colors.
Herbacetin, helichrysetin, isobavachalcone, and quercetin 3-beta-d-glucoside are the flavonoids offering the greatest power to inhibit the virus.
If you want to reduce your chances of getting the virus, experts recommend frequent handwashing for at least 20 seconds with soap and avoiding people who are sick. Don’t touch your eyes, mouth or nose without first washing your hands with soap and water.
However, one of the best things you can do is keep your immune system in top shape. One natural way you can give your immune system a boost and fight off diseases is by eating a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables.
In particular, you should focus on the following:
- Fruits like grapefruit, oranges and tangerines are rich in Vitamin C and raise your production of white blood cells, which are the key to fighting infections.
- Red bell peppers have even more vitamin C than citrus fruits by weight and also offer you with a rich source of beta carotene.
- Ginger can lower inflammation, reducing sore throats and other inflammatory illnesses while keeping nausea at bay.
- Garlic’s high concentration of allicin is behind its immune-boosting properties, and it has long been recognized as a valuable way to fight infections.
In addition, you should exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and do your best to keep stress to a minimum. Keep in mind that preventing coronavirus in the first place is easier than treating it once you have it.
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