Staying strong on the inside: What you and your family can do to beat COVID-19

By Rachael Richardson, RDN - Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, since 2001

The adrenaline surge has taken us all through stage one of this pandemic- gathering the necessary supplies to isolate indefinitely.  But now that you’re prepared to limit exposure, the next step is: prepare to contract.  After all, regardless of how much distancing you do, there’s still a reasonable chance that you will contract the coronavirus.  If this happens, neither sanitizers nor toilet paper will help you one bit.  But excellent nutrition that supports your immune system will!! 

What will you do if you come down with signs and symptoms of COVID-19?  Hospitals may be overwhelmed, and access to tests and treatment is limited. Yet you have more power over this “invisible enemy” than what is currently being shared.  Nutrition and plant medicine can help you keep your body's immune system maximally effective to help you fight off coronavirus with minimal pain and suffering.  And for some natural home health care could prove to be a life-saver!

Below I detail some of the most important products to keep in your coronavirus home healthcare arsenal:  

Oil of oregano (liquid spray and caps). Oil of oregano is one of the world’s most powerful antibiotics!  It works primarily in the respiratory system, and if taken early, it limits many infections' ability to replicate and move into the lower respiratory system.  Quality varies widely; so I recommend these pharmaceutical grade nutraceutical forms of oregano oil.
        Allicin.  Allicin is a combination of the active ingredient in garlic and cinnamon bark oil, both proven and powerful in killing all types of microbes.  It works more in the digestive tract than respiratory system, though by using this plant antibiotic upon digestive upset, you'll spare your "immune soldiers" for other calls of duty.  
          Probiotics.  Probiotics won’t kill a virus per say, but taking them will support your immune system greatly.  Like with Allicillin, supporting the microbial load in the digestive tract frese up your immune army to defend against corona and other viruses (including the flu.)  The best are the HLC by Pharmax, pictured below. 


            Speaking of the immune system, there are numerous essential immune nutrients, which are fundamental to a well-working immune system.  People generally ask which specific nutrients they need to supplement.  Yet the reality is that each person needs only to take the nutrients in which they are deficient. The best way to determine nutritional deficiencies is with a full diet recall and a full health history, in order to correlate patterns of imbalance.  Yet nutrient deficiencies can detail the nutrients that most people tend to be deficient in, due to low levels in the soil and food supplies. 

            Zinc - Zinc is one of the most prevalent nutritional deficiencies, and a deficiency can cause a major immune disruption!  I recommend taking about 60 mg a day, in split doses (i.e. 30 mg twice per day, or 15 mg four times daily) and with food.  

            Food sources of Zinc:  Foods grown in zinc rich soil, including fruits, vegetables, and especially nuts and seeds.  Zinc is found in animal tissue (including our own) so is also rich in meat, chicken and fish, again, IF the animal had enough in their diet. 

            Vitamin C - Vitamin C is a cornerstone nutrient for immune function.  It's water soluble so you can't overdose on it easily.  I suggest 500 mg every 2-3 hours. 


            Food sources: citrus, lemon, lime, grapefruit, berries, greens, tomatoes, peppers, other produce.  Vitamin C is heat sensitive and best absorbed in raw foods. 

            Vitamin D- Vitamin D regulates the immune system, and yet it is one of the most widely known deficiencies, especially during the winter months.  It's extremely important to take the right kind (vitamin D3 with K2), and I do not recommend taking over-the-counter (OTC) forms.  Dosing varies based on how deficient you are, but 2000 IUs is a safe starting dose.  Get your levels tested every 3-6 months if possible, and if you're going to dose higher than this.
            Food sources of Vitamin D: Grass-fed animal products such as butter, eggs and dairy.  Also, sunshine!  Food sources of K2: fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut. 
            Omega-3s-  Omega-3s enable you to produce anti-inflammatory hormones, needed by your respiratory and other systems in case of contraction.  As well it's needed for everyday immune and brain health.  Like vitamin D, you can go wrong taking the OTC Omega-3. So stick with pharm-grade on these as well.

            Food sources of Omega-3s: grass-fed animal fat, wild caught fatty fish such as sardines and salmon, and walnuts.

            Aside from the aforementioned, there are other supplements that literally halt the replication of viruses!  By stopping replication of the virus, it cannot do the same kind of damage.  The compounds listed below are commonplace used to support Shingles, other HSV and HIV patients.   So, having handy these antiviral supplements could prove to be a life saver.  While we cannot site research articles proving the efficacy against COVID-19, we can assure that there is no health risk imposed by taking these if you think you may be infected.  

            L-Lysine- This amino acid is powerful, and best taken in between meals.  I recommend 1,000 mg 2-3 times a day.

            Monolaurin- This is a compound found in coconut oil, and extracted in supplement form to support the immune system.  It's used by people  living with HIV/AIDs to support anti-viral efforts, and it can be used to support your system in fighting against all viruses. 

            The most destructive and potentially fatal aspect of the corona virus involves severe inflammation to the respiratory system.  For this reason, we strongly recommend having some powerful anti-inflammatory support in the house in case you develop this severe condition.  While there are many plants that work on inflammation, my favorites are still ginger and turmeric.  I believe both are most effective when juiced, however you can chop these roots and make a hot tea; and this is effective too.  More posts will come soon to provide recipes for juices and teas.

            The overall message is that while a worldwide pandemic abounds, this is not the last time it will happen in our lifetime.  While the supplements discussed in this article do not replace prevention nor medical treatment, they can support recovery and help you dramatically in the case that conventional medical care is not accessible for any reason.  Having knowledge and holistic home healthcare solutions makes you more self-sufficient and less dependent on the healthcare system which will be tested in the weeks to come. and our Registered Dietitians are here to help with practical advice and long term solutions for better health.  

            New blog articles and recommended recipes and products will be streaming in the weeks to come.  To receive notification, sign up at the base of our homepage.

            *Note:  Some of the exact products contained in this article may be out of stock, due to extreme demand.  We will recommend alternate brands or products as needed. 

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