In episode 141 of his video series, Dr. Larson discusses:
I have had a lot of people, both patients and others in my life, ask me what I do to keep my immune system functioning in top shape. As tensions around the nation rise, now is a great time to talk about how to keep your immune system strong to ward off viruses. The first recommendation that I always make is to watch your diet. Vitamin A is the most important vitamin for something called the mucosal immune system. The mucosal immune system comprises your respiratory system and your GI system. They are both the first line of defense that your body has against foreign invaders. Foods like carrots, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash are great sources of vitamin A. Leafy greens are key for many of the body systems and a great multivitamin to keep all of your body systems working optimally.
Diet is literally medicine for the body, and what you ingest affects how well your body operates.
-Dr Chad Larson
Vitamin C helps to support your immune system, which is why you hear about it most during the cold and flu season. Foods like bell peppers, broccoli, and again, leafy greens, are all great ways to get the vitamin C you need. Vitamin D is the vitamin you get mostly from the sun. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps support the mucosal immune system, as well as other components of your overall immune system and response. During the winter you might not get the vitamin D you need, which is why eating foods like salmon, egg yolks, and sardines are a great way to boost your intake. And if you can’t get enough in your diet, supplementation might be necessary. Although the best way to determine how much you need in your diet is through a blood test, generally, taking vitamin D that has about 2000 IUI daily is safe for the population regardless of where your levels currently stand. It is also beneficial to ensure that you have enough onboard throughout the seasons to stay healthy.
Zinc is an important mineral for your immune system health, and it can be found in nuts, oysters, beef and poultry. So while viruses are at their height, make sure to load up with as much in your diet as you can. You don’t need a recipe to incorporate healthy foods into your diet. With the limitations you might find at your local grocer, incorporating superfoods as a stand-alone is an excellent idea.
Supplements are called supplements because they are used to boost your immune system and to help you get the nutrients you might not be getting in your diet. By having enough nutrients and minerals you can reduce your risk of contracting viruses. One supplement that I highly recommend is NewGreens Superfood Drink. It comes in a variety of flavors, but I am told that the mint is especially good from people who don’t generally like supplement flavors at all. NewGreens is the only superfood supplement that I know of on the market that can claim actual full servings of fruits and vegetables. It is unlike other superfoods that are processed by juicing and dehydrating. NewGreens is freeze-dried, which keeps the nutrients intact. So for people who don’t eat the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables that they need, NewGreens is a perfect way to ensure that they are getting all that they need in its purest form.
Another recommendation I have is SR Stamina by Pure Prescriptions. It is a blend of a variety of botanicals that are both adaptogenic and immunosuppressive. During times of stress, your HPA access can be suppressed, which can also suppress your immune system’s ability to fight off foreign agents and viruses. Finally, although I don’t recommend it all the time, right now is a great time to add AHCC to your supplement list. It is a product that helps to boost NK cells or natural killing cells. When you boost these cells, their activity is increased to fight against viruses and foreign invaders in the body. And they also help to build your immune system’s resilience.
When people ask me what I take to keep my immune system working strong, these are my go-to regular supplements. I take them daily and I recommend them to my patients and to anyone who is trying to stay healthy. Although the supply of other supplements might be running low, the Pure Prescriptions brand is stocked full and ready to go. And they are also something that you might want to consider to go along with the food recommendations that I have made. Since the grocery supply might not be exactly ideal, now is a perfect time to look for alternatives to help you make it through this stressful time. Be mindful, take precautions to limit your exposure, and keep your body’s immune system strong by giving it all it needs.