Dr. Mike Greenberg

Dr Paul Dabney

Bolster Your Immune System With These Foods During the COVID-19 Crisis

Green Leafy Vegetables

Leafy vegetables (e.g., kale, lettuce, and spinach) are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that help in the healing respiratory infections and protect the body against infectious agents.


Mushrooms  (such as Shiitake, Reishi, and Turkey tails ) contains a specific compound called beta-glucans, which is responsible for immunomodulatory properties, protect against bacteria and viruses, lower inflammation, and reduce phlegm.

Matcha Green Tea

As you are drinking your daily cup of matcha green tea, you are supplying your body with powerful compounds to fight bacterial and viral infections and lower stress levels. For example, matcha contains an amino acid called theanine, which reduces stress. It is important to understand that high stress levels can suppress your immune system, leaning you vulnerable to pathogenic attacks.

What makes matcha a great immune booster than regular green tea? It contains over 100 times more antioxidants, which helps in boosting the immune system. To harness more positive benefits of matcha, researchers suggest you add citrus juice to increases bioavailability of antioxidants by more than 5 times!

Citrus Foods

Citrus food (such as oranges, lemons, berries, kiwi, broccoli, bell peppers) are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, both of which can support the immune system and lower inflammatory response, thus, promoting a speedy recovery.

Foods High in Zinc

Zinc is an amazing mineral because is not only capable of reducing the severity and duration of the common cold, but it can significantly impact on supporting the immune system, promote healing, reduce inflammation, and lower anxiety.  Foods high in zinc are  beef, shrimp, eggs, shellfish, cooked greens, pinto beans, flax and pumpkin seeds, and chickpeas.

Foods High in Selenium

Selenium acts as an antioxidant that binds free radicals to protect cells against oxidative stress and degeneration, and can modulate the immune 

system. Fresh garlic, Brazil nuts, yellow fin tuna, pork, beef, mushrooms, and oatmeal are some examples of foods high in selenium. 

The Power of Lectin Proteins

In an article in the journal BioMed Research International (2018), researchers Mazalovska and Kouokam provide compelling information on the anti-viral properties of lectins. These are carbohydrate-binding proteins found in bananas and other fruits, and also in many other plant foods such as beans, peanuts, potatoes, tomatoes, lentils, and grains. Lectins, the scientists report, were found to prevent viral transmissions ranging from HIV, Ebola, hepatitis C, herpes simplex virus type 2, influenza viruses, to the COVID-19 infection.

Tips on Washing Your Hands in the Era of COVID-19: Do Not Forget to Moisturize

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been advised by CDC officials to wash our hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizers to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. However, what happens when we wash and sanitize our hands too frequently? The answer is your hands can become painfully dry and cracked. With this side effect, people are less likely to adhere to good hand-washing practices. 

There is a simple solution to this problem: use skin moisturizer after your washing routine of choice. Unfortunately, this skin hygiene recommendation is not often mentioned by health experts.

The skin is a protective barrier that prevents microorganisms from invading the body. However, if the skin becomes cracked or raw, this condition can set the stage for a possible microbial infection. Skin moisturizer has duel purposes: keeps the skin from drying, protects people from shedding microbes, and reduces likelihood of microbes transmission.

Additional Hand-Washing Recommendations

Wash hands for 20-30 seconds with warm/hot soapy water. Washing backs of hands, between the fingers, the thumbs and under the nails.

  • Keep fingernails cut
  • Make sure fingers and hands are clean before opening and applying moisturizers
  • Apply skin moisturizer after washing hands to lock in moisture
  • To keep hands hydrated at night, apply skin moisturizer at bedtime
  • Soaps and sanitizers with moisturizers can be very effective
  • Sanitizers should have at least 60% alcohol
  • Do not share moisturizers
  • Avoid soaps that have dyes and perfumes as they can irritate skin