Natural Vitamins for Immune System Boosting During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Michelle Routhenstein, MS, RD, CDE


March 16, 2020

Hi! I hope you and your family are staying safe and well during this global pandemic. I wanted to write a post outside my usual heart health posts to discuss natural vitamins for immune system boosting and for overall health during this time.

Please share this to anyone who may benefit from knowing this. I am here for you and your family. Feel free to email me ( with any questions or comments.

Staying mentally and physically healthy, and social virtual connecting is key to survival at this time.

Optimal nutrition is not going to prevent COVID-19, don’t believe anybody who tells you that.


  • Social distancing – people can carry it without showing any symptoms which is why the spread is so rampant. I know this may be challenging mentally and physically but take the time to sit back and reflect. Maybe it’s a good time to focus on self care – staying physically active, trying meditation or yoga, reading a good book, relaxing and connecting with friends, taking the opportunity to optimize your health.  While many people say “it won’t affect me because I am healthy,” that is far from the truth. If anybody has to go to the hospital (from whatever reason – chest pain, broken leg, a stomach pain that won’t go away, etc.), healthcare providers will soon have to choose who they will save, the thought of that is petrifying…. let’s not let that happen. If we practice social distancing, we can flatten the curve and hopefully prevent what is going on in Italy.
  • Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces. 
  • Follow the government and doctor mandates.  Be informed and aware of quarantines mandated by your town, they are there to protect you and the whole community. I can understand how the news can make you more anxious, so no need to listen to everything that comes through but be informed and make smart decisions to protect you, your family and your community.


While proper nutrition will not prevent the COVID-19, it is important right now more than ever for two reasons:

1) The better your nutrition, the better your gut and your immune system which will help fight infection.

2) The healthier you are, the less risk you have of a heart attack or the need for medical attention in times where healthcare professionals and their resources are severely limited.

To ensure you are receiving all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need to thrive and optimize your health, consider my Preventive Nutrition Check Up service. 5 Natural Vitamins for Immune System Boost (and heart healthy) foods to include in your diet today: *Bonus, all of these items can last in your pantry for a while.

  1. Lentils are jam packed with Zinc which is a mineral required for creating T-cells, a kind of white blood cell that helps fight infection.  You can easily add lentils to a soup, a salad or as the main protein of your dish. Conveniently it is also easy to stock up on here
  2. Sunflower seeds are a rich source of Selenium. Selenium helps increase glutathione peroxidase, one of the most powerful antioxidant powerhouse’s in your body, which enhances your body’s immune response to fight infection. Conveniently, it is also easy to stock up on here.
  3. Water. Dehydration has been known to decrease the concentration of salivary immunoglobulin (SIgA). SIgA plays a big role in the immunity of the oral cavity, lungs and gut by helping to protect pathogens (infections) from invading one’s body. Be sure to increase water consumption (a goal most of my clients struggle with) and make it a long lasting habit. It may be helpful to have a water bottle that tracks your daily intake to ensure adequate consumption.
  4. Cantaloupe. While many people run to the drug store and get Emergen-C (which is also loaded with added sugars that can hurt your immune system more than help it), there are many powerful foods that are loaded with high amounts of Vitamin C – cantaloupe included! Vitamin C is looked at as a nutrient of choice to decrease the length of cold symptoms, likely due to their high amount of antioxidants.
  5. Onions and Garlic. Onions and garlic contain anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties that boost up your immune system and ward off any potential invaders. They can be added to a tuna salad, raw salad, dip or cooked in any dish to add flavor and heart healthy benefits. Yesterday I made a delicious and easy immune boosting split pea soup that was loaded with onions, garlic and ginger. If you are interested in the recipe, just reply or email me, and I will happily share it with you. 

Let’s Connect

Please feel free to share this post with someone who may benefit from it. Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter to get more tips into your inbox regularly. If you would like to work together, let’s schedule a 15 minute discovery call to see if we would be a good fit. I am seeing clients virtually at this time, utilizing a HIPAA compliant software that is easily accessible on your phone or home computer. I would love to help you or a loved one.  Please feel free to comment or email me ( with any questions, feedback, or comments. Please protect yourself and your family! Be well and let me know how I can support you!

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