8 Botanicals to Boost the Immune System and Reduce Virus Activity

antiviral immune system Apr 08, 2020

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As we are all dealing with the pandemic of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, it is of utmost importance that we focus on boosting our immune systems and decreasing the effect of the virus on our bodies. 

Being a member of of the Institute for Functional Medicine, I have been fortunate enough to receive information on 8 Botanicals or Nutraceuticals that have been shown to help the body decrease its viral load and improve the immune system. 

Luckily, many of them are found in whole food sources and others are better to supplement due to the high dosage needed.

Remember, that 80% of the immune system is in our gut. This means that we have to keep our gut healthy in order to keep our immune system strong! 

Check out my Gut Health Reset Guide Here! 

Please consult with your primary care physician before use to ensure no reaction with current medication or health issues. 

Below are the 8 common botanicals to boost the immune system and reduce virus activity. 

Curcumin 

The active part of turmeric, is a key player in reducing inflammation. This has also been shown to be anti-viral. I like putting turmeric powder into my bone broth soup. Add black pepper as it contains piperine which helps the absorption of curcumin! Supplementation should be 500-100mg daily. 

Quercetin 

This nutrient is found in multiple fruits and veggies and has been shown to decrease viral loads and inflammation. It also has a high antioxidant content. Supplementation should be 1000 mg orally. This is found in 

  • Onions 
  • Green Tea
  • Apples 
  • Berries
  • Peppers 
  • Asparagus
  • Grapes
  • Broccoli 
  • Kale 
  • Tomatoes

Zinc 

This mineral has anti-viral properties that make it a good supplement for helping the immune system. Supplementation should be between 30mg-60mg daily. 

It is found in: 

  • Oysters 
  • Beef
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Chicken 
  • Pumpkin Seeds 
  • Cheese 
  • Oatmeal 
  • Almonds 

 Vitamin D

Many of us are deficient in Vitamin D because our body makes it when we are in contact with sunlight. With normal time in the office making us indoors, we often find that people are vitamin D deficient.

It is important to get outside for at least 20 minutes per day in the sun without sunscreen so that the body can make the hormone Vitamin D through sunlight activation.

Since Vitamin D is a key player in the immune system and is antiviral, supplementation can help. Supplementation should be 2000-5000 IU daily. You can get your Vitamin D levels checked here. 

Remember, that magnesium is needed for the activation of Vitamin D. It is believed that close to 50% of Americans are deficient in Magnesium.

Magnesium is found in: 

  • Avocados 
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashews 
  • Almonds
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Chickpeas 
  • Lentils
  • Black beans
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Salmon
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Quinoa
  • Oats

Vitamin D is harder to get in food sources, but can be found in: 

  • Fatty fish such as salmon or tuna 
  • Fish oil supplement
  • Mushrooms
  • Eggs 

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C has been used to boost the immune system and combat viral infections. It is found throughout the diet and can also be supplemented at 1-3 grams orally. 

Vitamin C is found in: 

  • Kiwi
  • Bell Peppers
  • Strawberries 
  • Orange
  • Acerola Cherry 
  • Jalopenos
  • Broccoli 
  • Tomato 
  • Kale

 Elderberry 

This has been becoming a new up and coming supplement that has been made into lozenges and syrup for people to boost immunity. It's high Vitamin C content makes it a contender for improving people's health and protecting against illness. While elderberry is it's own plant, you cannot find it in other food sources. It has been showed to protect against the virus influenza. 

Check out elderberry syrup here from these trusted brands 

 

Green Tea 

This is a simple way to get a large boost of antioxidants and it also targets one of the pathways of COVID-19 replication. Drinking 4 cups daily is going to get a great health boost. I like to put lemon and raw honey in my green tea. There are also different variations of mint green tea if you like a peppermint flavor. 

Resveratrol 

This is a powerful compound found in red grapes and is known to be an antioxidant and anti-aging. It has been found to have positive effects on heart and brain health as well. You can supplement with Resveratrol with 100-150 mg orally daily.

Naturally, Resveratrol is found in 

  • Grapes 
  • Wine
  • Blueberries
  • Pistachios
  • Cranberries 
  • Cocoa 
  • Dark Chocolate 

 Remember, that 80% of the immune system is housed in the gut. This means that we have to keep our gut healthy to keep our immune system strong! 

Check out my Gut Health Reset Guide Here! 

Stay healthy everyone!

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