With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world, more people are looking for “functional foods” to fight illness and stay healthy.

That’s the latest word from Israel-based Tastewise, an AI-powered food intelligence startup.

“1 out of every 3 conversations about food centers on the functionality of food. Consumers want to know what benefits their food will afford them — will it improve gut health? Promote healthier skin? Increase focus? — and make their choices accordingly,” according to the company.

The use of terms including “immunity,” “stress relief” and “medicinal benefits” in relation to food choices is skyrocketing, the analysis reveals.

“Immune system” in food chatter is up 66% month over month, Tastewise reveals. “Usually, as we are getting closer to the end of winter we expect to see less of this function — but Covid-19 changed that.”

Specific examples of trending wellness foods identified by Tastewise are elderberry and pickled veggies for immune system health; rosemary for stress relief; melon for sickness treatment; kombucha for gut health; and chamomile for anti-inflammatory properties.

Analyzing billions of data points from social-media interactions, online recipes and online menus from 274,000 restaurants, Tastewise provides insights on consumer motivations for the food and beverage industry.

Tastewise found that in 2019, 37 percent of consumers were looking for foods and beverages with functional benefits, a 23% increase over the past year.

Click here to see Tastewise’s 2019 Functional Foods trends report.