Functional Flavonoids, in the light of COVID-19

You’ve heard us harp on about the FACT that food is information. Well, without surprise, we see emerging research on food’s promising anti-corona activity is well on its way! It’s time to stay tuned and dig into the ‘edible’ medicine cabinet daily. 

Respect for the power of flavonoids (a.k.a a group of health promoting natural compounds found in plant foods) is growing amongst scientists. As a result, some of these compounds are already in clinical trials! Let’s take a look at some of the budding science of plant compounds – we’re here to share some insights with you:

An apple a day as well as an orange a day may just keep the doctor away in the COVID-19 world. Compounds in citrus foods – especially in the peel of oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit – exhibit strong inhibitory activities to viral infections. Citrus flavonoids, hesperidin and naringin, could help restrain the pro-inflammatory overreaction of the immune system in response to the COVID-19 virus.

Your cuppa a day is providing you with immune-protecting compounds! Green tea definitely comes out top, with having the highest concentrations of flavonoid compounds; however, white, yellow, oolong, black and fermented teas are up there too. Keep brewing!

The bright yellow of turmeric could just revitalize your immunity. Curcumin and curcumin-derived products have a place in your immune-enhancing diet. Get cooking those curry’s!

Quercetin has become a popstar polyphenol amongst the immune-boosting compounds. Get in apples, red onions, capers, fennel leaves, kale, broccoli and green tea to maximise your quercetin intake.

Thyme, oregano, rosemary, peppermint, spearmint and sage are herbs to keep at the top of your grocery list. Luteolin and rosmarinic acid are key to take in!

Additional potentially protective herbals include Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) and andrographis (Andrographis paniculate).

Remember, none of these are proven to be protective against COVID-19 yet. Nothing is at this point. Even if these compounds eventually prove insufficient against COVID-19, intake thereof will still be beneficial to you for other health outcomes – this we know!

Access our March 2020 newsletter to see Lemon and Ginger Tea recipe – here you’ll learn how to maximize health benefits of the lemon peel!

Link to March 2020 newsletter:

Written by Stephanie Rouillard, RD




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