Wondering what foods, supplements and other preventative steps to take to minimize your chances of becoming severely infected by COVID-19? Recently, Miracle Noodle founder, Jonathan Carp, M.D., conducted a webinar that revealed his go-to superfoods, vitamins and pillars of health. Learn what Dr. Carp recommends.
Let’s get this disclaimer out of the way first: to date, there is no cure or vaccine for the novel coronavirus pandemic. By no means are the following recommendations by Dr. Carp intended as a substitute for medical treatment should you become ill.
Supplements That Support The Immune System
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, everybody these days wants to know which supplements to take.
According to Dr. Carp in this webinar, the following supplements may help if you feel like you’re starting to get sick:
Zinc lozenge: The most potent is zinc acetate. Take 18.75 mg every 2 waking hours. Studies show zinc acetate is effective for preventing or shortening the duration of colds, and even for upper respiratory infections.
- Garlic: Take 9-18 grams when you start feeling ill. Considering that most garlic supplements have a standard dosage of 1000 mg (1 g), this is a very high dose. (Garlic breath is a small price to pay in comparison to developing upper respiratory distress. This is not Dr. Carp’s words, nonetheless, something to think about!)
Cimetidine: A prescription for stomach acid which can also be used during times to boost the immune system.
Melatonin: The so-called “sleep hormone,” melatonin supports the immune system by encouraging deep sleep; high-quality sleep supports a healthy immune system.
N-Acetylcysteine: Has anti-mucolytic properties (fights excess mucus in the lungs), and helps to replenish intracellular glutathione, the master internal antioxidant.
Lactoferrin: A milk protein that contains anti-infective properties.
EGCG: A compound in green tea that has high antioxidant properties.
Selenium: This trace mineral lowers oxidative stress and inflammation, which helps keep the immune system strong.
Probiotics: Approximately 80% of human immune cells reside in the gut. Having enough beneficial bacteria in the gut is crucial for a balanced immune system
- Vitamin C: There has been some success in using high doses in cases of coronavirus in China. For prevention, there’s no reason to take more than a 2,000 mg daily dose.
To reiterate, these supplements are for non-specific conditions; they are not intended as a panacea for COVID-19. But if you feel like you’re coming down with something, taking some of these supplements may support your immune system.
In his webinar, Dr. Carp mentions he personally takes zinc, garlic, melatonin, and natural probiotics (more on natural probiotics below).
Is Vitamin D Good For Coronavirus?
The term “flying off the shelves” is usually hyperbole. During this pandemic, however, vitamin D supplements have literally been flying off the shelves. But is taking a vitamin D supplement effective for managing symptoms? Or could it even be harmful?
Don’t take it all of a sudden willy-nilly, especially in high doses, Dr. Carp suggests. And here’s why.
If you want to take a standard recommended dose like 2000 IU and haven’t taken supplemental vitamin D before, that is fine. But do not start taking it if you think you have the coronavirus. (This information mainly comes from published suggestions from Andrew Weil, MD.)
The best thing to do when it comes to vitamin D is to first get your blood levels tested. Dr. Carp recommends buying a kit on Amazon, which involves a simple finger prick. There are also labs that you can order from directly yourself (no doctor needed).
You should probably be eating the following list of foods that Dr. Carp recommends, not just during a pandemic but everyday for the rest of your life.
Obviously, for starters, avoid processed and heavily-refined foods and sugar.
Also avoid tropical fruits such as pineapple and papaya. Instead, here’s what to eat:
- Low-sugar berries
- Leafy, green veggies
- Cruciferous veggies: these are the most important for detoxification and anti-cancer. For every 10% increase in consumption, there’s a 20% reduction in cancer. These crunchy, nutrient-dense veggies can also balance hormones.
- A wide variety of low-starch vegetables.
Why Mushrooms are Good For the Immune System
Many people regard mushrooms as a squishy topping on pizza and pasta dishes. But there are a wide variety of edible mushrooms that have extraordinary immune-supportive properties. The all-star healthy compound in mushrooms is beta glucans.
Beta glucans in essence, helps your immune system stay young. As Dr. Carp explains, the immune system contains naive T cells and memory T cells. The former doesn’t recognize a recurrent pathogen while the latter does. In order to have healthy, balanced immune cells, you need a good balance of naive and memory T cells. The amount of memory T cells goes up as you age, while the number of naive T cells goes down. Mushrooms help balance the two.
Some of Dr. Carp’s favorite edible mushrooms include reishi, which he uses dried to make a mushroom tea or a tincture. You can also make a therapeutic alcohol beverage (as mentioned in this blog post about drinking booze) with reishi. Dr. Carp also mentions cistanche mushrooms and maitake. Mushrooms are a natural source of vitamin D and fiber.
Courtesy of Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Carp suggests the acronym G-BOMBS for every day consumption:
Beans: Possess anti-diabetes properties. People with diabetes are more at-risk for viral infections. Dr. Carp recommends placing beans in a pressure cooker to remove the nutrient-interfering lectins.
Onions: Help detoxify carcinogens; includes garlic and chives.
Berries: Stimulate the body’s internal antioxidants.
Seeds and nuts: contain minerals, antioxidants, and are a good source of non-oxidized fats.
Dr. Carp, as mentioned above, prefers natural sources of probiotics over probiotic supplements. Sources of natural probiotics are fermented or pickled foods such as kimchi, kvass, sauerkraut, and natto. But most commercial kombuchas are not beneficial because they contain too much sugar.
4 Pillars of Health
But there’s much more to overall health and a balanced immune system than eating healthy. Movement, your mental state and your environment play a critical role as well.
Check out Dr. Carp’s webinar to learn the 4 Pillars of Health.