• Merianne Drew

Support a robust immune system and stay healthy

Updated: Apr 3

In my opinion, supporting the immune system and the cell mitochondria is the best way to stay physically healthy. Drawing from my extensive training in holistic nutrition (using food as medicine) here are some of my favorite immune and mitochondria supporting strategies and nutrients. I know it's long, but worth the read.




THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BE EVALUATED BY THE FDA. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE SEEN AS MEDICAL OR NURSING ADVICE AND IS NOT MEANT TO TAKE THE PLACE OF SEEING LICENSED HEALTH PROFESSIONALS.


Before we dive in, I read in a scientific article this week that the reason the very young aren’t very affected by the virus is because the virus doesn’t thrive in a high melatonin environment. So getting enough sleep or supplementing with low doses of melatonin may help. FOLLOW THE DOSING GUIDANCE ON THE PACKAGE.


I have read information that the COVID-19 infection develops into pneumonia in many cases. Therefore I would prioritize supporting the lungs. For example, according to traditional Chinese medicine, fat soluble vitamins support the lungs:


  • vitamin A (beta-carotene is the precursor to Vitamin A but not as bioavailable). Food sources of vitamin A are: grass-fed butter, liver from free-range game

  • Vitamin D – Best sources are: Sunlight. Best time for vitamin D producing sunlight in my latitude is from 10:15 am to 4:15 pm. Optimal exposure times in the north hemisphere vary slightly. Download the Dminder app to find out what time is optimal for your latitude.

  • Vitamin E – Best sources are: Sunflower seeds, nuts, goose meat, Peanuts, salmon, avocado, trout

  • Vitamin K – food sources are cheese, parsley, cilantro, leafy green vegetables, Brussels sprouts, grass-fed beef liver, pork chops, chicken, and green beans.

Other lung supporting nutrients and tips:

  • Cordyceps- this is a parasitic mushroom found to benefit the lungs. Here's a cool story about how cordyceps' action on the lungs helped the 1993, China’s Olympic women’s running team break 3 world records.

  • Let that shit go! Letting go of grudges and resentments benefits the lungs.

  • Zinc

  • Vitamin B6

  • Probiotics

  • N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)

  • L-glutamine

  • Glutathione

  • Magnesium

  • Vitamin C - my favorite is liposomal Vitamin C

  • Porphyrin rings from green foods

  • Licorice root

  • Maitake mushrooms

  • Chaga mushrooms

  • Astragalus root

  • lauracidin

Immune boosting nutrients and tips:

  • D-beta glucans found in oats and mushrooms (reishi is an immune modulating mushroom)

  • Vitamin C: found in camu camu berries (50% vit C content wow!), papaya (organic), bell pepper, broccoli

  • Encouragement and positive dialogue

  • Vitamin A (listed again here)

  • Zinc: found in organic grass-fed beef, lamb, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, shrimp, green peas

  • Vitamin D3

Essential Mitochondrial nutrients:

  • Porphyrin rings from green foods like chlorella.

  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine): sources are sunflower seeds, tuna or salmon, black beans, green peas.

  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): found in crimini mushrooms, venison, yogurt, spinach

  • Vitamin B3 (niacin): found in chicken, tuna, salmon, peanuts

  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): found in avocado, yogurt, broccoli, winter squash

  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): found in tuna, bananas, cod, brussels sprouts

  • Magnesium: found in pumpkin seeds, spinach, swiss chard, green beans, salmon, black beans

  • Iron: found in soy, lentils, spinach, turmeric, chlorella

  • L-carnitine: found in animal sourced foods

  • Manganese

  • Copper

  • Alpha lipoic acid

  • CoQ10 *If you are taking a statin medication it is highly recommended to supplement with coQ10

  • Quercetin- apples, onions, bell peppers, raw capers, red leaf lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, grapes, beans and tomatoes.

Increase cell mitochondria numbers by:

  • Exercise that leads to 30 minutes of detoxifying sweat 4-5 days per week

  • L-arginine and essential amino acids (proteins)

  • Lipoic acid

  • Biotin (B7)

  • Resveratrol found in grapes

  • Quercetin found in apples and onions

Other tips:

  • Make sure to get 8-12 grams of fiber per major meal. My favorite source of dietary fiber is avocados. Yummm.

  • Manage stress. Stress causes acidic cellular environments and thus cellular damage. If your mind is going 1000mph, do some focusing exercises like affirmative prayer, meditation, puzzles, deep breathing, yoga, tai chi, emotional letting go process, etc.

Foods to avoid that stress out your body:

  • sugar (I know mental stress often leads to stress eating of high sugar foods, but they will only add more stress to your body and keep you stressed out.)

  • cheap, industrial oils like corn oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, rapeseed oil. Use instead coconut oil, free-range lard, grass-fed butter, sunflower seed oil, avocado oil. Olive oil is great for adding to a meal but only low heat.

  • Non-organic produce and grains contain high levels of pesticides and herbicides that bog down the body’s detoxification pathways and inhibit enzyme formation.

  • Meat from factory farms have higher levels of an inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid called arachidonic acid. Studies have tied this to heart disease and chronic inflammation.

  • Bonus: avoid Teflon cookware and microwaving food in plastic dishes.


Bonus tips:

Here's a great immune boosting tutorial from my holistic nutrition mentor, Dr. H.


Activate the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system with:

· Laughter

· Meditation and abdominal breathing

· Change your perception! The way you choose to see the world determines which side of your nervous system is engaged. If you look for threat, you will find it.

· Alkalizing organic foods

· Loving therapeutic touch (by healthy individuals)

· REM sleep

· Salivation, tears, and sweat

· Encouragement and positive dialogue


As always, wash your hands and limit non-essential contact with others.

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