Functional Foods Beyond Nutrition: Therapeutic Interventions to Combat COVID-19 and Other Viral Diseases
SARS-COV2 has emerged as the second biggest threat to humanity of all times, after the Spanish Flu massacre. Due to its brisk rate of mutation, especially that of the host receptor docking Spike protein, a safe immunization is still questioned by some, and protection or recovery has been dependent largely on immune system competence and overall bio-constitutional strength. In order to ensure optimal performance of the body’s immune cells, proper nutrition fortified with functional food ingredients is indispensable. Especially in a scenario where targeted therapeutics against life threatening pandemics like SARS-CoV2 are yet to be invented, formulation of dietary supplements rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals is the need of the hour to promote greater immuno-competence and a heightened immune response; decrease the overall metabolic burden; and restore homeostasis in an infected individual. This review highlights our current understanding and advances made in the regimen of functional foods designed to combat viral diseases together with the shortcomings involved therein.