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COVID-19 WATCH

Saluyot touted as anti-Covid food

Roy Pelovello

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Dinengdeng, an Ilocano dish made of saluyot leaves, other vegetables and fried fish. Saluyot reportedly contains anti-coronavirus properties.

The common saluyot (corchorus), an edible leafy vegetable, is being touted as one of the super food that help boost resistance against COVID-19 infection.

At the onset of the coronavirus epidemic, information that banana can prevent the infection went viral on social media but the Department of Health subsequently debunked the claim.

An article in Arab Times has quoted Dr. Fahd Al-Najjar, consultant for Internal Medicine and the Digestive System at the Thunyan Al-Ghanem Center at the Amiri Hospital, as saying saluyot contains a substance that can combat coronavirus infection.

Called “molokhia” in Kuwait, Najjar said saluyot contains flavonoid that helps zinc enter into virus-infected cells and prevents the virus from reproducing.

He said research showed flavoniids from saluyot produces anti-viral effects shown by antimalarial drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, which are also being studied as possible treatment for COVID-19 infection.

In the Philippines, former Department of Health secretary and herbal medicine advocate Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan is promoting, among others, a salad dish composed of kamote tops, kangkong, malunggay (moringa), saluyot, and sili (capsicum) as a way to boost immune system and resist viral infection.

Saluyot is one of the key ingredients in the favorite Ilocano dish dinengdeng, a bagoong (fermented fish)-based soup made primarily of vegetables top with grilled or fried fish.

Former senator Juan Ponce Enrile, four years shy of being a centenarian, attests to the health benefits of saluyot.

Honce claimed it is his secret to longevity, apart of course from regular sleep and exercise.

“My secret in fighting ageing is saluyot. I always eat dinengdeng. Every Sunday, that is what I’m eating,” Enrile said.

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