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Combatting Viruses with Your Diet

Combatting Viruses with Your Diet

At the Organic Grocer, we pride ourselves in knowing and understanding how everyday foods can give us the vitamins and nutrients we need for our bodies to fight off viruses and stay healthy. In a lot of cases when people get sick, all they need is a better-balanced diet so their body can operate at its full potential naturally.

So how do you get started? Our Owner and Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN), Kristina Cavallari has curated a list that includes some essential nutrients and vitamins that your body requires, and the everyday foods that you can find them in.

Additionally, if you are still unsure of which direction to go when it comes to your diet, Kristina offers free 10-minute health consultations! To schedule, click here.

Magnesium

  • Low magnesium induces pro-inflammatory, pro-thrombotic phenotype in endothelial cells and promotes platelet aggregation (all events that favour the development of thromboembolism or blood clots)
  • May exacerbate anti-inflammatory cytokine storm which can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Acts as a key signaling element and metabolite in cell physiology including bone formation, vitamin D activation, DNA stability, potential innate and adaptive immune systems
  • Foods: dark chocolate, avocado, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, lentils, beans, chickpeas, tofu, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, oats, salmon, halibut, spinach

Quercetin

  • An antioxidant, bioflavonoid (helps our cells fight toxins)
  • Anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic
  • Down regulates or suppresses inflammatory pathways and functions
  • Strong effects on immunity and inflammation caused by intercellular signals
  • Reduces expression of inflammatory genes such as IL-6 (directly correlated when you have higher levels and severity of virus)
  • Foods: leafy greens, tomatoes, berries, broccoli, sage, St. John’s wort, ginkgo bilboa

Vitamin C

  • Shortens infections caused by viruses
  • High dose and long duration yield both reduction in duration and severity
  • May improve the immune response to viral infections through the stimulation of the proliferation and functions of t-lymphocytes and nk-lymphocytes (cells of the immune system that are an essential part of the adaptive immune system) and the production of interferon (a protein released by animal cells, usually in response to the entry of the virus, which has the property of inhibiting virus replication)
  • Foods: oranges, grapefruits, green peppers, red peppers, strawberries, broccoli, kiwi, brussels sprouts, cabbage, tomatoes, cauliflower, cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, potatoes

Zinc

  • Important for development and function of the immune system
  • Altered zinc homeostasis can lead to loss of smell and taste (common side effects of COVID)
  • Prevents viral entry, suppresses the virus’s replication and supports the anti-viral response of host cells
  • Positive effect on lung integrity
  • Improved ciliary clearance (mucociliary clearance is the primary clearance to remove inhaled soluble particles in the host such as a virus)
  • Foods: avocado, chicken, almonds, lamb, pumpkin seeds, grass-fed beef, chickpeas, lentils, cacao powder, cashews, kefir, mushrooms, spinach

NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine)

  • Immune modulation agent
  • Suppresses viral replication
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Inhibits nf-kb (increases cytokine production and linked to cancer, inflammation, diseases, viral infection, and improper immune development)
  • Precursor to glutathione (master antioxidant throughout our body)
  • Foods: cabbage, kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, onions, scallions, garlic

Pine Needles

  • Contains anti-infective compounds that have inhibitory effects against compounds of coagulation (clotting)
  • Anti-viral
  • Contains shikimic acid which is used in TCM to treat plagues and respiratory illness (also used in fennel, star anise, dandelion)
  • Foods: pine needle tea, pine needle extract

Milk Thistle

  • Protects cells via process that suppresses cellular metabolism (series of processes that take place in living organisms to sustain those organisms)
  • Activate stress pathways
  • Down regulates inflammatory signaling
  • Induces endoplasmic reticulum stress (mitigates the damage caused by stress)
  • Foods: milk thistle herb

Curcumin

  • Polyphenolic compounds (plant compounds that boost digestion, brain health, protect the heart and against certain cancers)
  • Modulation and protective effect on cytokine storm related disorders
  • Potential inhibitory agent blocking the host-viral interaction (viral spike protein and ace2 receptor) at entry site in humans
  • Boosts natural immunity and protective defense against infections
  • Foods: turmeric

Resveratrol

  • Inhibits viral replication
  • Inhibits elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6
  • Natural antibiotic-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic properties
  • Modulates vascular hemostasis (when this delicate balance is disturbed, can appear hyper-coagulable)
  • Foods: grapes, blueberries, cranberries

Andrographis

  • Contains andrographolide which significantly inhibits the production of infectious virions (complete virus particle)
  • Foods: Andrographis powder

Prunella Vulgeris (Self Heal)

  • Inhibits “COVID” cell entry
  • Potent inhibitory effects on spike protein
  • Foods: self heal herb
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