As a nutritionist I had been inundated with emails describing protocols to help enhance the immune system from many different sources. I do believe we can all boost our natural abilities to fight infection with diet, supplements and lifestyle measures. Below, I have compiled some of my previous posts and recommendations that I thought would be most useful.
Back in November of 2019, I posted a recipe for my winter Fire Cider, our “go to” for cold and flu season. I know the recipe may not be appetizing to most, but now is not the time to be squeamish! The base ingredients of garlic, onion, ginger, turmeric and horseradish are a powerful anti-microbial combination. If you don’t like one of the ingredients, just leave it out! Grin and bear a tablespoon each day.
Back in nutrition school, we learned the acronym ZACES for boosting the immune system. These vitamins and minerals form the foundation for overall good immune health. ZACES stands for Zinc, Vitamin A, C and E and Selenium. This combination plays an essential role to help boost the immune system along with other best practices.
Vitamins A, C and E help to maintain the lining of the respiratory and digestive tract that acts as a barrier against infection. Selenium is essential for the efficient and effective operation of many aspects of the immune system. Zinc interacts with a process that is vital to fight against infection and by doing so helps balance the immune response. In addition, Vitamin D3 combined with K2 turn on key peptides in your immune system that trigger a strong anti-microbial response.
You Are What You Eat
While you have more time on your hands, now is the time to focus on good diet and nutrition. Soups, salads, responsibly sourced dairy and proteins, fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs will do wonders to boost the immune system. While eating good sources of proteins, a variety fruits and a ton of vegetables doused with an assortment with herbs and spices is the best way to stay healthy, it’s very helpful to supplement with a variety of vitamins and minerals these days.
Check out the community blogs from my old alma mater, Bauman College for ways to improve your eating habits.
Known to many as the sleep hormone, melatonin also supports anti-viral immunity and also helps to control the inflammation produced by corona virus infection. Researchers are looking at why younger individuals do not seem to suffer the severe symptoms contracted by older adults. Children make much more melatonin than adults, which is one reason why they may be resistant to illness from COVID-19.
Melatonin has the ability to inhibits NLRP3 inflammasomes, which induce the pro-inflammatory cytokine storms that cause the severe symptom of this virus. This means that if a patient, regardless of age, has adequate melatonin, the infectiousness of COVID-19 will be greatly reduced, and the chances of developing ARDS/ALI significantly diminished.
No, not the kind that were recently decriminalized in Denver, Colorado! Medicinal mushrooms, which have been used for hundreds of years are full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Their immune enhancing function comes from its high concentration of polysaccharides. These compounds activate cells that can stimulate innate anti-viral immunity.
Boulder Hemp CBD/Mushroom Blend contains an organic blend of Agarikon, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Chaga and Turkey Tail traditionally used to boost the immune system. Manufactuers such as Host Defense and Om Organic Mushroom Nutrition also make a number of mushroom blends for immune support.
Like the name implies, adaptogens a class of botanicals that help the body adapt to stress. They stimulate the immune system indirectly by building the body’s resistance to stress. They also work as immune stimulants by boosting resistance to pathogens, viruses and bacteria.
We carry the full line of adaptogenic elixirs from Sun Horse Energy. Their newest formula- Lung Support contains adaptogens plus a respiratory herbal blend consisting of osha root, cordyceps, mikania guaco, black ant and Licorice root. Their adaptogenic formulas are also available in a nanoemulsified format from Quicksilver Scientific.
Prebiotic and Probiotics
I don’t normally take probiotics daily, but these are not normal times. I like to get my probitocs from fermented foods like sauerkraut and Kim chi, but I decided now is a good to supplement as the gut is the epicenter of the immune system. I have been taking mine before bed to give the happy bugs enough time to do their magic.
As you are improving your cooking skills, now is a good time to add more prebiotics to your diet. One of my favorite recipes is to roast up a bunch of root veggies with rosemary and have them either with a fried egg for breakfast or as a delicious side dish.
Immune Support Protocols
Many manufacturers including our partners at Quicksilver Scientific have their own unique immune support protocols. Their kit includes: Microb-Manager, Liopsomal Vitamin C and Nanoemulsified D3K2. Biocidin Liposomal LSF can be used in place Microb-Manager if it becomes unavailable. Bio-botanicals also make a full line of broad-spectrum botanical products designed to support the entire immune system.
CBD Hemp Oil
CB2 receptors found mostly in the immune system help to modulate the function of a variety of immune cells. Cannabinoids also help to support a healthy inflammatory response and maintain a healthy gut microflora. They also reduce the impact of stress, which can weaken your immune system.
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