Natural Immunity Boosters to Stay Healthy Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Staying healthy is top of mind as we all work to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

We checked in with a local functional medicine doctor to find ways we can help boost our immune system.

Dr. Heather Moday is a traditional physician who now runs the Moday Center for Functional and Integrative Medicine. It's all about health and healing from the cellular level.

She says there's never been a better time for self-care than right now.

"This is the perfect time for people to take better care of themselves," says Dr. Moday.

She says boosting the immune system starts with sleep.

"While we sleep we actually fight infection. It's really crucial."

If you're having trouble sleeping with schedules and stress, Dr. Moday says melatonin can help.

"Magnesium can also be really calming," she says.

Also, before bed, consider a warm herbal tea like Chamomile, Valerian and Lemon Balm.

Dr. Moday also runs down the supplements shown to boost natural immunity. Zinc is a big one.

"Obviously, Vitamin C is a great antioxidant," she says, adding that people also tend to overlook Vitamin D.

"It's our sunshine vitamin and a great immune modulator," she says, "and make sure you have enough Omega 3 fatty acid in your diet, that's fish oil."

You can always find these vitamins and minerals naturally in nutrient-rich foods.

"People are home and you can make your own food," she says. "That can be a family thing too."

One last note, while a glass of wine or beer is okay, Dr. Moday says now is not the time to overindulge in alcohol, which can take a toll on our immune systems.

"It has been shown to decrease some of the cells that help fight off viruses," she says. "The healthier we can be, the more likely we will get through this."

Another major factor is controlling stress. Everyone finds different ways to do that, from exercise to meditation to spending a little time in nature (while maintaining distance, of course).

Dr. Moday recommends finding what works for you.
Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.