By: Rachel Scheer, BS Dietetics, CCN
Our immune systems are designed to fight off sicknesses and viruses. But unfortunately, the immune system can get worn down by many things typical of a modern life like stress, toxins, lack of exercise and unhealthy eating. This prevents our bodies from effectively fighting off sickness.
With coronavirus continuing to spread, it’s more important than ever to support the immune system. We can do this by making a few key modifications, starting with adding more immune boosting foods to your diet:
- Beta-Carotene: Many orange vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes as well as leafy green such as kale and spinach are high in beta-carotene. This is a form of vitamin A that is a powerful antioxidant which aids in reducing inflammation and boosting immune function by increasing disease-fighting cells in the body.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3s are a type of essential fatty acid known to reduce inflammation and keep the immune system in check. Foods high in the Omega-3’s are fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, tuna, and trout, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
One of my favorite go-to dinners right now is salmon with sautéed spinach and sweet potatoes. You get double beta-carotene with the spinach and sweet potatoes and some Omega-3 Fatty Acids with the salmon!
- Vitamin C and E: Both of these are essential nutrients that acts as antioxidants to destroy free radicals and support the body’s natural immune response. We often think of oranges as the sole source of vitamin C, but you can also get a good boost with red peppers, strawberries, and broccoli. Foods high in vitamin E include nuts and seeds, spinach, and broccoli.
As a snack, have some sliced red peppers and broccoli, dipped in guacamole. The avocado also contains some healthy fats!
- Zinc: An essential mineral that helps boost white blood cells in the body to defend against viruses. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, you can add them to a salad or just eat them as easy snack
For more foods that may help boost the immune system, try adding garlic, ginger, turmeric, and foods high in probiotics, such as sauerkraut and kombucha.
In addition to diet, also make sure you are getting adequate sleep, move your body daily, and reduce stress through various relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, journaling, or reading a book.
Viral infection will last as long as the virus is able to affect the body. Typically 2 weeks but can be months depending on the strength of the immune system. Our immune system needs specific nutrient support in order to keep it strong as well as the use of natural compounds that fight viral activity such as mushrooms and herbs and vitamin C that increases our natural killer T cells and immune cells.
Here are some suggestions to support the body during cold and flu as well as viral attack.
Some of our more common support formulas may run out of stock due to increased demand so below is a suggestive based on formulas that have a high probability of remaining available during this time.
- UltraFlora BiomePro—Probiotic that supports immune response and upper respiratory health & allergy as well as gut health
- PhytoMulti—Contains all the vitamins, mineral and phytonutrients to keep the body working efficiently
- Vitamin D3 5,000
- Mycotaki—Anti viral mushroom blend for immune systems decreased under stress
- Echinacea Synergy 60 count –Anti viral effects, cold, flu, supports immune balancing and respiratory health
- UltraPotent C 500—Vitamin C raises WBC and Natural Killer T cells
- Andrographis Plus 30 count –supports upper respiratory health
- Nazonol—Sinus and decongestant
My suggestion would be that you take the basics: Vitamin D, UF BiomePro, PhytoMult, and then add in Mycotaki or Echinacea Synergy and Vitamin C.
*If you get sick add in additional support Andrographis, Nazonol as needed.
For ordering with Metagenics go to https://rachelscheer.metagenics.com/ If a new client, select “LOG IN/CREATE AN ACCOUNT” at the top right, select “Patient Account” and enter “RachelScheer” (no spaces) as the practitioner code.
Rachel Scheer is a Certified Nutritionist who received her degree from Baylor University in Nutrition Science and Dietetics. Rachel has her own private nutrition and counseling practice located in McKinney, Texas. Rachel has helped clients with a wide range of nutritional needs enhance their athletic performance, improve their physical and mental health, and make positive lifelong eating and exercise behavior changes.