The key to fighting Covid-19 may be right there in your kitchen
Professor De-Yu Xie, a Plant Biologist and a team of scientists at North Carolina State University may have found the solution to kill Covid-19 naturally, with everyday foods.
These 3 foods could kill COVID-19 naturally
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate
- Black grapes
Green tea, dark chocolate and black grapes all contain Flavonoids, historically known to enhance health. On hunch, Professor Xie and his team at NCSU decided to test the flavonoids found in these foods against SARS-COVID-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
It has long been known that plants make diverse organic compounds, and they make great nutrients but, in some cases, they also have the power against viruses. Plants contain phytochemicals like flavonoids and Organoids and many of them have antiviral activities.
Behind the scenes
In the lab at North Carolina State University, the plant compounds are extracted and saved for research. Professor De-Yu Xie and his team identified the flavonoids in green tea, dark chocolate and black grapes which interacted with a spike protein produced by COVID-19. It is this protein the virus needs for its survival in human cell.
Understanding Covid-19 a bit better
- Covid-19 is a virus
- It produces a spike protein, called Protease
- It needs this spike protein for its survival in human cell
- If we can find a compound which interferes with Protease, the virus may not survive
- A computer model run at NCSU has identified the compounds that interact with the virus protein.
The Chemical that kills Covid-19
The compounds found in green tea, dark chocolate and cocoa powder have been shown to weaken the power of Protease, the spike protein of SARS-COVID-2 which infects and spreads the virus in the human body.
Dr Sheikh says, pay attention!
Of all the 12 helpful compounds found in green tea, muscadine, the black grape native to North America (any dark grape will do) and dark chocolate, a compound called catechin is the most promising chemical against protease, a particular enzyme of Covid to which catechin binds and weakens.
Tips for maximizing the benefits of these superfoods
- It is the bitterness of the strong green tea, dark chocolate, cocoa powder and dark grapes which contains the compounds protective against Covid-19.
- Do not add sugar, honey, milk or any sweeteners to green tea or cacao drink.
- Milk, including soy milk, can deactivate the power of the compounds found in green tea, chocolate and cocoa powder.
- Drink your green tea strong.
- Although the NCSU research used muscadine (a black grape native to North America), all dark grapes contain the compounds that inhibit SARS-CoV-2 protease).
Green tea recommendation
- Add 2 to 3 spoonsful of green tea leaves to a litre of mineral or filtered water in a pan. Exact measures are not necessary
- Bring it the boil
- Cover and leave for 10 minutes so that the compounds are properly infused
- Transfer the contents of the pan to a glass jar (leave the tea leaves in). Don’t use plastic.
- Leave the glass jar indoors at room temperature
- Drink 3 to 4 times a day. It is perfectly safe to drink 3 to 4 cups on a daily basis.
Dark Chocolate (bars) recommendations
- The higher the chocolate content the better. If it contains more than 70% cacao (or ‘chocolate’), it is considered dark. The other 30% may come from sugar, salt and such flavours a vanilla. It should not contain any milk. 85% dark chocolate is available in most supermarkets in the west.
- Sometimes the non-cacao percentage can contain harmful substances to improve its appearance, so do read the label carefully. Try to find organic chocolate, close to 85% cacao.
- Since chocolate is made from the fruit of cacao trees, making a drink with cacao powder may be more practical. Simply mix 1 or 2 spoons of cacao powder to near-boiling water. Stir and drink.
- Because milk interferes with the beneficial compounds, so, sorry, no milk and white chocolate.
- It is the bittersweet taste that you are after as it contains the compounds which bind with and weaken Protease, the Covid-19 enzyme responsible for the infection.
- To avoid weight gain, Dr Sheikh recommends eating no more than 1 ounce (approximately 30g) of dark chocolate per day. We are looking at 1 to 2 squares.
- Sugar is often added to dark chocolate. A rule of thumb is to choose a brand that does not have sugar listed as the first ingredient. Better yet, choose the brand that lists sugar last.
Black grapes recommendations
- Chew the grapes well, until they taste bitter
- Do not eat the seedless variety
- Eat the whole grape, including the seed
- Try to find organic grapes, which are free of toxins, hence better
- Grapes contain powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols, resveratrol being one of them. Resveratrol is found in the skin of red and black grapes and carries the compounds which offer the most protection against Covid-19 and other viral and bacterial infections.
Additional benefits of grapes
- Laboratory studies have suggested that resveratrol may be able to slow or prevent the growth of tumors (tumours) in lymph, liver, stomach, breast, colon, skin cancer, and leukemia(leukaemia).
- Another natural anti-inflammatory compound that occurs in grapes is the flavonoid quercetin. Studies have suggestedthat this, too, may help prevent or slow cancer growth.
Summary on portions and frequency
- It would be sufficient to take any two or three of the recommended foods per day
- Be creative and feel free to mix and match the foods to enjoy variety
- Limit dark chocolate to 2 times a week. 1 to 2 squares, about 1 oz or 30 grams
- Also limit the black grapes to 1 cup twice a week
- You may freely consume 3 to 4 cups of green tea on a regular basis. It’s quite safe to do so.
- Remember, the everyday black tea contains all the benefits of green tea. It’s just not been promoted enough, probably because the commercially produced black tea can be laden with herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers, but the organic black tea would be perfectly fine.
- No particular food is essential on a consistent basis, as long as you go through most or all of them.
The secret revealed
True, the NCSU’s research has popularised the antiviral, antibacterial and antioxidant powers of the compounds found in green tea, dark chocolate and black grapes.
In total, there are 12 compounds identified in green tea and dark chocolate that contain the protective chemicals against COVID-19. Catechins and epicatechins, two of the 12 helpful compounds are particularly effective.
In addition to catechins and epicatechins, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epigallocatechin gallate found in high concentrations in both black and green tea are also beneficial. The point to note is that it’s not just the green tea that is beneficial in the fight against Covid, it is the black tea too, observes Dr Sheikh.
But catechins and epicatechins are also found in abundance in other common foods, says Anil Dev, a senior nutritionist working for Dr Sheikh. Not only are these foods inexpensive but they are also more easily available in most parts of the world:
- Broad beans (concentrations of catechin)
- Apricots (concentrations of catechin)
- Strawberries (concentrations of catechin)
- Dark chocolate (concentrations of catechin)
- Red wine (concentrations of catechin) - consider excluding red wine due to the harmful effects of alcohol
- Apples (concentrations of epicatechin)
- Blackberries (concentrations of epicatechin)
- Broad beans (concentrations of epicatechin)
- Cherries (concentrations of epicatechin)
- Black grapes (concentrations of epicatechin)
- Pears (concentrations of epicatechin)
- Raspberries (concentrations of epicatechin)
- Cocoa powder (concentrations of epicatechin)
- Dark Chocolate (concentrations of epicatechin)
- Green tea (epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epigallocatechin gallate)
- Black tea (epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epigallocatechin gallate)
Ref: Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis. August 2016.
- Just like the science of nutrition, these tools are scientifically proven to save lives. As we have observed above, it’s not just the green tea, dark grapes and chocolate that carry enormous protective benefits against Covid.
- There are so many other foods that contain in high concentrations the same healthful compounds against Coronavirus as the more publicised green tea, dark chocolate and black grapes.
- The broad range of these helpful common foods makes them more easily available at a reasonable cost and you don’t have to binge on green tea, sugar-laden chocolate and dark grapes, especially if you are watching your weight.
“These natural compounds are strong, and if I can protect the public against the ravages of Covid-19, my career will be meaningful”. Dr Farrukh M Sheikh.
Any information provided by Dr Sheikh and his associates is for informational purposes only. Consult your doctor for medical advice. Follow the prevailing guidance and precautions against Covid or any other threat.