There are two questions that have fascinated immunologists in any pandemic. Why do some people get sick while others stay healthy? And among those who become infected, why do some people fare so much better than others of the same age and gender? Over and over again, it turns out that a person’s diet and lifestyle make an enormous difference.
The truth is that there are things you can do — right now — to optimize your immune system. And in the time of COVID-19, these strategies are more important than ever.
I’m not a medical doctor but I’ve spent more than 20 years researching how nutrition and our daily habits can affect our overall health and especially our immune system. So, I thought you might benefit from information you can trust about how good nutrition and specific supplements can help ramp up your immune system pretty quickly.
So first, let me give you a few facts:
Fact: We’re looking at a new strain of the coronaviruses and our bodies don’t yet have antibodies to totally defend against it.
Fact: A strong and healthy immune system alone is not a guarantee that you will not contract this virus.
However, the strength of your immune system is critical. By far, the highest percentage of people not surviving are those with weakened and suppressed immune systems. The takeaway is that a strong and healthy immune system can help your body recover faster than if it’s weak and compromised.
So, what can we do?
Here’s a short list (and brief description) of essential nutrients that strengthen immunity and give your body the best chance of fighting back.
Getting enough high-quality protein every day should be a priority. We normally don’t think of protein as an immune booster but your immune system antibodies and other immune system fighters are dependent on protein for their structures and function.
So how much do you need? Age, weight, and activity level are all factors in determining how much protein you need, but the consensus seems to be that 40-50 grams of high-quality protein every day will help build the foundation for a healthy immune response.
For some, (especially athletes) you may need more, but 40-50 grams a day is a good starting point. And remember – protein is one area of nutrition in which quality really counts. I suggest that you get some form of protein at each meal. If you started your day with a high-quality, science backed smoothie, you would get your first 20 grams right off the bat. My top recommendation can be found here.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps support the immune system and protects against free radicals. It can also reduce the severity of allergies and help you fight off other infections. Right now, to protect you 24/7, you want a minimum of 2000 – 3000 mg per day in a sustained-release form.
Because Vitamin C is water soluble and yes, that means you will pee it out, this sustained-release version allows you to get smaller doses of C throughout the day, keeping your immune system in fighting shape all day long.
3. Vitamin D
Research shows Vitamin D3 is one nutrient you must have to build strong immune health. It’s far more important than scientists previously understood. Most of us are woefully short on D3 and that’s because we simply can’t get all the D3 we need from food and most of us don’t spend prime time in the sun, especially all winter long. To get a significant boost in immune levels, you need to do two things – get lots of sunshine and add in Vitamin D3 from a high-quality supplement.
The only way to know for sure what your D levels are and exactly how much you need is to have your doctor test for them. Optimally, we want our D3 numbers between 60-95. But don’t wait for the testing; starting now, consider supplementing with at least 2,000 IU’s per day. That’s what the latest science is showing. The good news is Vitamin D3 is inexpensive, totally safe to take and can really strengthen your immunity.
Did you know your gut houses 70% of the cells that make up your immune system? That’s why if you want to fix your health, a great place to start is with your gut. Healthy gut flora is crucial for optimal gut health and gut bacteria thrive on what you feed them, which means your immune system works best when you get enough ‘good’ bacteria found in probiotics.
Not just any probiotic supplement will do the trick, because studies show that live cultures in most probiotics never survive your stomach acid on the way to the gut, making them worthless. Also, please don’t be fooled by the number of CFU’s you see on the label. It’s all about the number of live cultures that survive the trip.
Shaklee’s probiotic, Optiflora DI, gives you 10 billion CFU’s. That’s 10 billion CFU’s that have been tested and proven to survive stomach acid. And you can also find beneficial bacteria in fermented foods such as kimchi, kombucha, kefir, natto, tempeh, miso, cultured sauerkraut and yes, yogurt. But FYI – you’d have to eat 700 yogurts to get the same probiotic equivalent in the Optiflora DI. My suggestion is to take this high-quality proven probiotic every morning and have that yogurt too!
And lastly, although I know there are many more foods and supplements that support our immune health (stay tuned, there might be another post…), I want to tell you how it’s possible to ramp up your immune system in just 3 days! I’m not a magician but our body has something in it called interferon.
Here is a little science, so stay with me. Our body has signaling proteins called interferon. Signaling proteins are made and released by host cells in response to the presence of viruses. In a typical scenario, a virus-infected cell will release interferons causing nearby cells to heighten their anti-viral defenses.
This discovery was made in 1954 by world renowned immunologist Dr. Yashuhiko Kojima in Japan. Because interferon directs our immune cells and activates immune responses to help fight off pathogens, it has been referred to as the “brains” behind our immune system.
Unfortunately, as we age our bodies produce less and less interferon, and that’s why our immunity gets compromised.
Ask any cancer patient, and they can tell you about interferon … because chemo treatment lowers immunity and the drug form of interferon is often used to boost the immune system. The problem with interferon as a drug is severe side effects.
Why am I telling you this?
Because following his discovery of interferon and its role in boosting immunity, Dr. Kojima spent 40 years creating a natural, plant-based formula designed to increase the production of interferons we have in our bodies.
The formula he created is an immune building complex called NutriFeron… and it’s my brand partner, the Shaklee Corporation’s world exclusive. Four clinical trials show NutriFeron stimulates every cell in your body to produce more interferon and strengthen the defense system we already have. And no side effects.
In addition to essential nutrition, if I could choose only one product to boost my immune system, it would be NutriFeron. But let’s not forget, because every cell in our body needs to be healthy to fight the good fight, good overall health is the best place to start in building immunity.
In summary, if you want it all in one place, my overall suggestion is the Immunity Challenge Plan. You’ll get all the vitamins I spoke about that boost your immunity plus all your RDA requirements and your daily protein and the Nutriferon. WOW! In addition, if do the Immunity Challenge and you don’t feel better, strengthen your immunity and have more energy, I’ll refund it all, no questions asked.
And lastly, we’re holistic beings so from an overall perspective, we still need to watch our diet, add in exercise, get plenty of sleep, get out in the sunshine, and have a positive outlook on life. Plus, laughter helps. Due to these unprecedented times, speed is critical, so if you have any further questions at all, please reach out. And I’d love to hear how you’re supporting your immune system!
NOTE: Shaklee is the #1 natural nutrition company in North America, and the most trusted name in nutrition for more than 60 years. If you want to know more about who we are, what we believe, and what we stand for … you can check that out here.