Diet & Lifestyle Tips to Strengthen Your Immune System

One of the most important things you can do is to take steps to strengthen and boost your immune system to minimize the ability of a virus to cause infection, whether it is COVID 19, influenza, or the common cold. The following lifestyle recommendations are a good starting point:

  • Get plenty of sleep: 7-8 hours per night to restore your immune system. If you struggle with quality sleep try these guided meditations and sleep music: or
  • Strengthen, Protect & Repair Barrier Systems: such as Lungs and Sinuses by avoiding smoking, toxic air fresheners, avoid fragrances: clean up personal care products, laundry, and cleaning products.
  • Keep sinuses flushed with a saline solution.
  • Stay Hydrated: add fresh citrus to your water, especially lemon.
  • Exercise in moderation: especially outdoors in Green spaces, maintain exercise unless you feel sick.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Whole 30 or a Plant Based Diet. Reduce or eliminate alcohol and sugars; eat lots of fresh fruits, colorful vegetables, legumes; use healthy oils (e.g. olive oil); avoid deep fried and fast foods; emphasize plant based protein sources. A list of specific foods and spices that can be helpful is included at the end of the newsletter.
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements can help support and strengthen your immune system. Please see the list at the end of the newsletter.
  • Stress Management: staying calm and coping with stress is very important. Whether the stress is from fear of the virus or other events in our lives, it can weaken our immune response and impair our ability to function effectively. Take time for yourself and family, be a role model to your children on how to calmly handle a crisis.
  • Relax & Rejuvenate: Do things together that will have a positive impact on your nervous system such as: taking walks in Green spaces, yoga, tai chi, Qi Gong, meditation, prayer, belly breathing, laughter, and mindfulness practices can all help to reduce anxiety, boost immunity, and lower blood pressure.
  • Keep up your spiritual practice; be kind, compassionate and respectful of yourself and others. While this crisis is new for most people in our society, we can minimize the impact if we take care of ourselves, stay calm, and work cooperatively.

Related Articles:

Stress Relieving Tips

A Prayer for Cultivating Compassion:

May all sentient beings have happiness
May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering
May all sentient beings never be separated from the happiness that has no suffering
May all sentient beings live in equanimity, free from attachment and aversion.

Stress Relief & Health Benefits of Laughter

Laughter is a great form of stress relief, and that’s no joke. Therefore I recommend releasing some tension and help your kids cope with a good laugh. Or streaming comedies with your friends and family.

7 Health Benefits of Laughter

  • Lowers blood pressure and stress.
  • Reduces stress hormone levels.
  • Boosts immune T-cells.
  • Produces a general sense of well-being.
  • Improves cardiac health.
  • Triggers the release of endorphins.
  • Improves your mood.

Related Articles:

Healthful Tips to Boost Your Immune System

Foods & Supplements:

Some foods are known to enhance immune function and increase resistance to infection. Several important ones are listed here. 
Based on modern research there are many vitamins and minerals that play a role in a healthy immune response. For improving immune function and “barrier tissue” health I recommend taking a high quality multiple vitamin-mineral complex (it is important to choose those that are clean, properly formulated, and have good quality control practices). Some extra amounts of a few things that are especially important can be added.

MANUKA HONEY: Unfiltered, raw honey is recognized for its antimicrobial properties and research has shown that Manuka honey from New Zealand is especially effective and is high in anti-oxidants. Use it in herbal teas and other hot drinks, on toast or take a small spoonful.
FOODS HIGH IN CAROTENOIDS: Carrots, tomatoes, red peppers, squash, yams, mangos and many other red, orange and yellow vegetables and fruits.
DARK LEAFY GREENS: Kale, Spinach and Chard; they’re great added to soups.
FERMENTED FOODS: Raw Fermented Sauerkraut, Miso soup (anti-inflammatory, immune enhancing, packed with nutrients).
QUALITY PROBIOTICS: Bacillus Indicus, and B.Subtilus
VITAMIN D: I recommend 2000 IU of Vitamin D3 daily for general use and up to 4000 IU per day to help increase resistance, less for children. Vitamin D3 has shown to be effective in reducing susceptibility to the flu. Taking 10,000 IU’s for three days during the early stages of bronchitis or pneumonia is very helpful to shorten the duration of infection.
SELENIUM & ZINC: Both are important for proper immunity and resistance to disease as well as many other functions. Proper guidance is important given that high doses taken for long periods of time may cause problems. For short term use, 200 micrograms of selenium and 20-50 mg of zinc per day are recommended to prevent and treat infections.
HERBAL TEAS: Such as Yogi Tea: Ginger/Lemon, Echinacea Immune Support, Throat Comfort, etc.
BERRIES: Dark red and blueberries, especially wild or organic, have large amounts of flavonoid compounds called anthocyanins which are important for circulatory health and immune function.
SPICES, GINGER, GARLIC, & ONION: Are recognized for their ability to increase resistance to infections, use them liberally, raw and cooked. Many spices are known to improve immunity and reduce inflammation. Some important ones include turmeric (also available as a supplement), ginger, cayenne pepper, black pepper, rosemary, thyme, cardamom and cumin. Most spices must be cooked in oil in order to release their active ingredients, and to enhance absorption in the intestines.
MULTIVITAMINS: High quality multiple vitamin-mineral supplements.
VITAMIN C + BIOFLAVONOIDS: These are found in abundance in many fruits and to a lesser extent in vegetables. Take 1000mg of Vitamin C 2-3 times per day to increase immune resistance and treat infections.

Related Articles:

7 Tips for Staying Well this Season

  • Take vitamin D3
  • Eat seasonal foods
  • Boost your immune system with quality probiotics, ginger and miso
  • Prevent colds & flu with Chinese herbs
  • Exercise to circulate your Lymphatic system
  • Practice relaxation techniques…breathe
  • Express gratitude for your blessings