Chemical compounds found in green tea, dark chocolate, and muscadine grapes can bind to and block an enzyme in the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This stops the virus cells from replicating, according to a press release from NCSU. Wow! I read the study, and it still sounded like incredibly good news. So I wrote to Dr. Xie to check before sharing the news with you:
Dear Dr. Xie, I would love to recommend eating more dark chocolate and drinking more green tea, but don’t want to extrapolate too far. Would you go so far as to recommend a glass of red wine with the chocolate?
Readers, he said yes! But that’s on a personal level. He noted that he studies phytochemistry to hunt for natural plant chemicals that can help human health but is not a expert on human nutrition. Here’s what he practices personally and recommends to friends:
- Drinking tea and taking chocolate provide health benefits. This is because green tea and dark chocolate have those nutritional flavan-3-ol gallates and dimeric procyanidins.
- Drink a glass of red wine, but be aware that alcohol addiction is harmful to health. (Personally, I eat red grapes before they are fermented.)
- Don’t drink tea, grape juice, or red wine with cow milk or soy milk, which can block the health benefits.
Personally, he drinks at least one cup of green tea a day. During the pandemic, he often drinks two cups a day. Based on the taste, loose tea may contain more helpful compounds than bagged tea.
Remember, these are just good healthy practices that may help minimize your risk if exposed to the virus. Keep wearing your mask, washing your hands, and enjoying the outdoors. Also talk less in shared spaces, as Derek Thompson pointed out in Americans Elites Still Don’t Understand How COVID-19 Works. When you are eligible for a vaccine, please get it! Treat yourself to a glass of wine or some dark chocolate afterwards.
Check out some of my chocolate-rich recipes to get you started!
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