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Diet, Vitamins, and Supplements to Support Your Immune System

resilience retreat Apr 11, 2020

By Tim Culbert, MD

A challenge like COVID-19 requires that you feed your body to balance the immune response and support the cells of the immune system. The NMH Resilient Diet works great for this.

Here are some additional things to remember: 

  • Eat lots of brightly colored, fresh, organic (if possible) fruits and vegetables loaded with ant-oxidants. These support proper immune system function and also power up our white blood cells (and brain cells) by feeding a special cell structure called mitochondria which act as the “power generator” for cells in your body.
  • Hydrate well! Drink water, warm broths, soups, and teas to replenish nutrients and flush toxins.
  • Reduce or avoid foods that may trigger unhelpful immune system responses such as refined sugar, chemical additives, gluten, soy, corn, and red meat.
  • Avoid smoking and limit pandemic happy hours. 

There are also supplements that can support your immune function.

Supplements should supplement the healthy foods and practices that are of primary importance. On top of those primary factors, supplements can then help you shore up your front line defenses to infection. There are a few key players to focus on to support your immune function.

See them below and be sure to consult your healthcare provider before adding any supplement.

Vitamin D3

The role that Vitamin D plays in keeping the immune system healthy is somewhat complex. Studies indicate that daily doses of Vitamin D3 support respiratory tract health and may reduce the incidence of common seasonal infections. Deficiency in vitamin D, which tends to occur in the winter months, is associated with an increased susceptibility to infection. One indicator of how important Vitamin D3 is in regulating our defense and repair system (the immune system) is that there are Vitamin D receptors on the surfaces of all white blood cells!

Common dosages:

Children 6-12 years: 500-1500 IU Daily (often just October-April)
Teens 13+ years: 2000 IU Daily (often just October-April)
Adults: 2500-5000 IU Daily (often just October-April)

Vitamin C

Vitamin C supports the body’s production of proteins that bind to invading germs called antibodies. It also helps to stimulate both the production and function of different types of white blood cells.

Common Dosages:

Children 6-12 years: 150 Mg Daily
Teens 13+ years 200 Mg Daily
Adults: 250-1,000 Mg Daily

Magnesium (Glycinate, Malate, or Citrate)

Magnesium keeps the immune system strong, helps strengthen muscles and bones, and supports many body functions from cardiac to brain functions.

Common Dosages:

Children 6-12 years: 100-200 Mg Daily
Teens 13+ years 200-400 Mg Daily
Adults: 400-800 Mg Daily


Zinc is a mineral that is important to the body in many ways. Zinc keeps the immune system strong, helps heal wounds, and supports normal growth.

Common Dosages:

Children 6-12 years: 10-15 Mg Daily
Teens 13+ years 15-30 Mg Daily
Adults: 20-30 Mg Daily

Please remember that this information is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Be sure to consult your healthcare provider before adding any supplement.



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