Easy Immune Boosting Foods to Make While at Home [incl. supplements list + recipes]
While we’re hunkering down at home, some of us are thinking about how to best strengthen our immune systems. Whether you’re ordering from various sites online, or going to your local farmer, or local market, why not do some experimenting. Here are some of our favorites and top recommendations to boost those immune defense mechanisms.
Building Immunity to Ward off Viruses
Multiple studies show that strengthening the immune system can significantly improve one’s chances of attracting viruses, and even keeping certain viruses dormant.
Additionally, given that antibiotics don’t kill viruses, Donna made it her mission 20+ years ago to figure out alternate means when it came to being prepared for and preventing a virus. She created an immune-boosting antiviral diet protocol, and has been teaching it successfully for years.
Toxins also build up in the body over time, suppressing the immune system. Once our current state of affairs subsides a bit, Donna recommends that people get genetic testing to reveal what would work best for them in regards to food and lifestyle choices so the wrong genes don’t get expressed, causing what could be a virus or particular disease.
In addition to the antiviral diet protocol, we also have some basic nutrition and supplement guidance when it comes to building immunity. Like we’ve said when we first started discussing COVID-19, we want to give you bite sized nuggets of information that are easily digestible. You then build what feels right and what seems to work best for you. And also, please consult with your functional medicine doctor, osteopath or medical practitioner before making any changes to your regimen – we don’t know your health background like they do!
Ideal Foods to Help When Treating or Preventing the Viral Infection (Recipes in links!)
If you would like to stock up on food so you have it and would feel more comfortable staying in, here are some immune boosting foods so you can do just that. (Please remember if you have symptoms, suspect you are contagious, or even have the virus, do not go out to a local market) And for more detail, you can also refer to Donna’s Antiviral Protocol.
Miso soup: This soup is mineral-rich and easy to digest. You can buy or order miso paste, wakame and kombu to include. Kombu is for the stock. Dried mushrooms are excellent to add to make the stock also.
Fermented vegetables + drinks: These are survival foods! It’s simple to make your own cultured vegetables, which will give you the absolute best probiotics to fill your digestive tract, especially fermented beets. They’re high in nitric oxide, which can eradicate certain pathogens.1
If you don’t have access to fresh vegetables however, then we would recommend seeing if you can find a locally made fermented vegetable like cabbage that delivers.
Kefir: Buy an organic A2 milk and freeze it, and then use kefir starter to make kefir. For those who are dairy-free, we have Cocobiotic. And for parents looking to make something fun with the kids, try our kefir popsicles!
Proteins: Proteins like lentils, beans and basically all animal protein should not be eaten if you’ve been exposed to or have contracted the virus (see the antiviral protocol for this). The protein that is safe is yogurt kefir and miso soup.
When you’d rather have something already made for you, or are even on the go, probiotic drinks and easy-to-digest probiotic protein are so helpful, providing you with an important boost to your microbiome.
Supplements for Immune Boosting
In addition to the antiviral protocol, Donna believes an ideal flu (or antiviral) supplementation formula ideally would include all of the following. However, as everyone is different, and depending on what works best for you and what you’re already taking, some or all of the following may help. Please make sure you check in with your doctor before making any changes to your health plan.
Vitamin A and D: Vitamin D has long been known as a vital vitamin that plays a major role in regulating the immune system.2 Studies also show Vitamin A also plays a huge role in immunity, and reducing morbidity and mortality in various infectious diseases.3 Vitamins A and D should always be taken together too. Glutathione and Vitamin A together are also vital for the lungs (something required for a virus like COVID-19 as a respiratory infection).
A good brand to look at is Thorne. If you’re thinking of buying supplements like this from Amazon, we don’t know how long they’ve been sitting on the shelves or what their exposure has been, so we would recommend ordering through Wellevate.me, (your practitioner needs to set up an account for you) or order from a natural health food store near you.
Vitamin K2: Vitamin K2 is needed for D to absorb! Sun is the best source for Vitamin D, so try to get outside for at least 30 minutes per day.
Ancient Earth Minerals: Take 2 at each meal or up to 6/day for keeping viruses from taking over. The zinc in the minerals is an essential nutrient that is also needed for vitamin A to absorb!
Glutathione: The master antioxidant of the body, glutathione, has gained much attention as having a multitude of health benefits including blocking certain viruses.4 For some, not all, liposomal glutathione has the best bio-availability if it’s not given intravenously.
Nitric oxide: Nitric oxide and glutathione combine together to create a new substance that is essential for healthy lungs (good for these types of respiratory viruses). Fermented beets are a good form of NO as well as spirulina and arugula.1
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is already being used in the treatment of many with COVID-19.5 The best bioavailability if you have access is to utilize intravenous Vitamin C through a skilled practitioner. There are also many types of Liposomal Vitamin C which may be good for some people. Pure Synergy also makes a pure Vitamin C powder that you can mix in with a drink or smoothie. Use as recommended. You can even increase the dosage to help boost immunity, however, it’s really up to how your bowels tolerate it. So go slow with this!
Garlic: the allicin found in fresh, raw garlic can be a powerful anti-inflammatory, antiviral tool.6 We like the brand Kyolic since it’s also fermented. You get 2-in-1!
Echinacea: Viral infections like COVID-19 can create respiratory infections, and echinacea may prevent these types of complications.7 Super Echinacea by Herb Pharm is a good tincture to try – use as directed.
Vitality Super Green: Fermented for the best possible digestion, Vitality Super Green contains some of the most powerful probiotics for your digestive tract to keep your microbiome balanced. Use 1 scoop a day between meals in a green smoothie or probiotic drink. (it could also be divided throughout the day if it’s too much at once for a person).
Lysine and B6: Protect your body from susceptibility to viruses by lowering your intake of arginine (in nuts and seeds) and increasing your intake of another basic amino acid, lysine. Lysine boosts your body’s immunity and could protect you from future outbreaks. It has potent antiviral properties and actually prevents bacteria and viruses from spreading in your body.
B6 is the co-factor for lysine.
Viragraphis by Xymogen: Viragraphis features three herbs – andrographis, licorice root, and indigowoad – that have been used traditionally for immune support and stimulation.8 This formula may help support cytokine balance as well as respiratory function. You can get this through your doctor if they have an account with Wholescripts.com or through our account. Please note to check with your doctor first before ordering.
Patients may access the https://wholescripts.com and click on the link at the top of the page labeled “register”. Enter our referral code and last name and you will then be prompted to enter your information to establish an account with Xymogen. Patients may also contact Customer Service at 1-800-647-6100 to establish their account and register for online ordering. No referral code is required when registering by phone. The referral code is: HEALTHYGUT (all caps) last name: GATES.
Essential oils: We recommend essential oils for internal use only when there is a viral infection. In our opinion, these are a good option.
- Vallance, Charles P. Nitric oxide as an antimicrobial agent: does NO always mean NO? Gut 1998;42:313-314.
- Beard JA, Bearden A, Striker R. Vitamin D and the anti-viral state. J Clin Virol. 2011;50(3):194–200. doi:10.1016/j.jcv.2010.12.006 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3308600/
- Semba RD. Vitamin A and immunity to viral, bacterial and protozoan infections. Proc Nutr Soc. 1999 Aug;58(3):719-27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10604208
- Allen D.Smith, Harry Dawson. Glutathione is required for efficient production of infectious picornavirus virions. Virology. Volume 353, Issue 2, 30 September 2006, Pages 258-267. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0042682206004077\
- Saul, Andrew. Three Intravenous Vitamin C Research Studies Approved for Treating COVID-19. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, Orthomolecular.org. Published February 21, 2020. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n12.shtml
- Zhou W., Liu AL., Du GH. (2018) Allicin. In: Natural Small Molecule Drugs from Plants. Springer, Singapore. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-10-8022-7_93
- Selvarani Vimalanathan, Roland Schoop, Andy Suter, James Hudson.Prevention of influenza virus induced bacterial superinfection by standardized Echinacea purpurea, via regulation of surface receptor expression in human bronchial epithelial cells. Virus Research on Science Direct. Volume 233, 2 April 2017, Pages 51-59. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0168170216307833
- Viragraphis Doctor’s Reference Sheet