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Immune Boosters, it's Not to Late

It’s never too late to give your immune system key nutrients it needs to perform on high speed. Whether it's Covid-19 or the seasonal flu, here are my top 7, inexpensive, shelf-stable & easy immune boosters to add to your diet daily.

Include a few servings per day! Consistency is key.

1. Omega 3’s:

  • 1-3 tsp whole chia seeds or ground flax seeds

  • 2-3 oz canned salmon & sardines (trust me, they’re delicious)

  • 1 oz or ¼ cup walnuts (Pro-tip: keep seeds/nuts in freezer so they last)

  • Supplements: safe doses range from 1-4g per day. Look for supplements that are third party tested for purity purposes. Pharmaceutical grade supplements can be recommended during client consultations.

2. Vitamin D:

  • Diet: limited sources include salmon, sardines, sun-dried mushrooms, & fortified products. Check the nutrition facts label and look for products with at least 10% DRI for vitamin D or higher.

  • Supplements: Many individuals require supplemental doses of vitamin D to bring levels into normal range. It's a good idea to ask your doctor or dietitian the amount that you need. Maintenance doses can range from 1000-3000 IU. Ensure supplements are third party tested.

  • Sun exposure: SPF 8 or higher blocks the conversion or vitamin D in the skin. Many need 20-40 minutes or sun exposure 2-3 times a week.

3. Vitamin E:

  • ¼ avocado (Pro-tip: for proper storage keep pit in avocado, squeeze lemon juice and place in fridge wrapped. Avocados can also be peeled, sliced, tossed with lemon juice, and placed in freezer in a container)

  • 1 Tbsp almond butter or 1/4 cup almonds (keep whole nuts stored in the refrigerator)

4. Beta Carotene

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin

  • 1/2 cup frozen kale

  • 1 cup sweet potatoes

  • 1/4 cup dried apricots

  • 1 cup winter squash (kabocha, butternut, acorn)

  • Pro-tip: to maximize absorption, cook these foods and pair with a source of healthy fats like olive or avocado oil, nuts & seeds, avocado, egg yolks, fatty fish

5. Zinc

  • 1/2 cup canned baked beans

  • 3/4 cup fortified cereals

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds/cashews

  • 5 oz yogurt

  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas

6. Vitamin C:

  • 1 cup frozen broccoli

  • 1 cup frozen bell peppers

  • 1 cup frozen berries

7. Pre & probiotics:

Probiotics or “good” bacteria, can be ingested through foods or supplements, to colonize in the gut and crowd out the “bad” bacteria that would otherwise cause illness & infection. Increasing good bacteria has been shown to help treat inflammation, reflux, diarrhea, aid in digestion/cardiovascular function & even cancer prevention. Prebiotics are food for the probiotics. Without the proper food, it’s difficult for probiotics to survive.

Probiotics: fermented veggies like Kimchi and Sauerkraut, Yogurt & Kefir (Top quality brands: Siggi’s, Fage, Stony Field Organic, Lifeway Kefir), Kombocha, certain cheeses that have NOT been heated (Gouda, cheddar, blue cheese), probiotic supplements (When choosing, look for a label that clearly outlines the type of bacteria, the product's shelf life, the number of bacteria, storage instructions.


Prebiotics: Jicama, bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, beetroot, fennel, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, soybeans, chickpeas, & whole grains

* If you are taking medication or have an underlying condition, ask your doctor or dietitian before starting a supplement regimen. Pharmaceutical grade supplements can be recommended during client consultations.


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Registered Dietitian & Sports Nutritionist
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