As we head into the winter and cases of covid-19 rise in the United States, we are all doing our best to stay safe and healthy for our own households and for our extended family, friends, and neighbors.
One thing we can do in the quiet of our own homes is to make meals that are immune-boosting, to keep our bodies strong and help brace them to fight off infection. Both curcumin and quercetin are broad-spectrum anti-viral compounds found in food that have been recently discovered to be effective in fighting covid-19.
Curcumin is the main ingredient in turmeric, and is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It absorbs in the body much better when taken with black pepper. You are probably familiar with powdered turmeric, which you can easily add to soups, stews, and rice. But you can also buy fresh turmeric and store it in your freezer so it will last longer. I add frozen turmeric to my morning smoothie every day. You can either grate it frozen or simply chop off bits and add it to your smoothie–skins and all!
Quercetin scavenges free radicals and prevents a variety of diseases with its wide ranging biological actions (anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral.) Great sources of quercetin include:
- red grapes
- citrus fruits (esp. grapefruit)
- green leafy vegetables
- red wine
- black tea
- Beans and lentils
- dark cherries
If you live in the DC Metro area and are intrigued by the idea of a curcurmin or quercetin-heavy menu, we are offering Immune-Boosting Meal Delivery for the week of December 6-12. You can learn more here! Today is the LAST DAY to order! Orders close at midnight.
And HERE is a divine and easy recipe that fits the bill that you can try at home. This entree salad recipe includes a lot of anti-viral and antioxidant nutrients, but also loads of curcumin and quercetin. It’s a great one to make in advance and keep in your fridge for those pangs of hunger moments!
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. Turmeric
¼ tsp. Freshly ground pepper
½ tsp. Sea salt
½ tsp. Runny honey
1 clove garlic, minced
Combine in a glass jar and shake well. Keeps in fridge for up to a week.
Fruity, Crunchy Lentil Rocket Salad
2 cups black lentils
1/2 hothouse cucumber, diced
1 red bell pepper diced
2 green onions, diced
1/2 cup almonds, raw chopped and toasted
1 cup red grapes, halved
2 celery stalks, diced
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped small
2 cups arugula (rocket), for serving
1 Tbsp. capers, for serving
- Cook lentils, by covering them by 2 inches with water in a large pan. Bring to a boil and cook for about 22 minutes on a simmer
- Meanwhile, dice and chop all vegetables, grapes & almonds (except arugula)
- Pour veggies and grapes in a large bowl, and add salt and pepper to taste
- Add in lentils once cooked & drained, and add the Immune Boosting dressing and mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Enjoy at room temperature or cold over a bed of rocket, with capers sprinkled on top.