Tips for a Strong Immune System

We know the news over the last few months has been quite frightening and the stats can be scary and overwhelming. Although there have been reports that those dying from Covid have no co-morbidities, further investigation is finding our lifestyle and nutrition choices are contributing factors. Most commonly, lower vitamin D levels, eating a SAD diet (standard American diet) of processed or packaged foods and/or a sedentary lifestyle contribute to weakening our immune defenses.

We want to remind all of our patients that you have more control over your health than we are led to believe.  Our choices influence our genetic activation (genes are NOT our fate) and inform our immune system on the status of our world. Nutrition can seem confusing and contradictory but the fact remains that our health comes down to the choices we make, especially in the areas of food, toxins, sleep and stress.  

Are we under physical or emotional stress? Is our diet nutrient dense or nutrient poor?  Do we skip meals or are we “running on Dunkin'”? What is our toxic load (heavy metals, pesticides, plastic water bottles, personal hygiene products?) Do we take time to get out in nature and breathe deeply or are we “going and doing and going and doing?”

The best prevention from cold and flu season is a strong and robust immune system.  Below are our top tips for a strong immune system this season.


Avoid packaged and processed foods and focus on a eating a rainbow at each meal. Smoothies are your friend here! Aim for 3 colors minimum per meal

Load up on liver loving, detoxifying veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage. Aim to have 1/2 your plate to contain 50-70% plant based veggies of all colors

Limit alcohol consumption. Boo hoo! Yes it’s true, alcohol is a toxin no matter which way you slice it! 

Probiotic rich foods like kefir (Califia farms makes a great dairy free yogurt), kimchi, pickled veggies, in addition to a good quality probiotic of mixed strains and at least 20 billion CFU’s


High stress = high cortisol release (sympathetic dominant state) = high inflammation = down-regulated immune system.  The body heals, rests and digests ONLY when in a parasympathetic state and it is estimated that digestive secretions are decreased up to 50% when we are under stress. 

Take time to breathe. click here for one of our favorite breathing techniques that can be done anywhere, even in the bathroom at work! 😆

Walking in nature – notice what is beautiful around you. Even this winter aim to bundle up and get outside it does wonders for your mood!

SLEEP – shift your bedtime slightly earlier and aim for a minimum of 8 hours of rich deep sleep/night and try to stick to the same time each evening. Limiting screen time and blue light exposure around bedtime is essential for a strong immune system.


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**At minimum, we recommend that you take:

Vitamin D: 2000-5000iu daily (unless you have kidney issues)

Vitamin C: 1-3g daily

If you get sick:

Curcumin 500-1000mg daily

Vitamin D- increase to 50,000iu twice daily for 3 days (not for those w/ compromised kidney function)

Zinc Picolinate or zinc lozenges 25-50mg

Quercetin 500mg 3x/day

If there are lung issues or shortness of breath:

N-Acetylcysteine (NAC): 600 – 900 mg twice/day

Vitamin A: up to 10,000 – 25,000 IU/day (not safe for pregnancy)

**Please note that these recommendations are NOT medical advice.  Most are not safe for pregnant women, and if you are taking medication or have any serious health condition, please make an appointment with your doctor to customized a regimen for your unique circumstances 

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