top of page

Power Foods & Tips for Vibrant Health

Updated: May 7, 2020

Power nutrients & tips for strong immune function:

1. Water: Drink at least 64 fluid ounces of filtered H2O daily. Rule of thumb: Drink ½ your body weight in fluid ounces, so if you weigh 150 lbs., drink 75 ounces/day

2. Zinc: pinto beans (baked beans/refried beans), hemp seeds, chicken legs and thighs, pumpkin seeds, beef, almonds, chick peas/hummus, oats, supplementation. Zinc RDA 19+ years, females 9 mg males 11 mg UL (Upper Limit): 40 mg/day 1 Note: It is important to get enough copper when taking zinc, to avoid copper deficiency. Copper deficiency is rare, but is associated with recurrent infections.

3. Copper: beef, potatoes, mushrooms, cashews, millet, dark chocolate 2

Copper RDA 900 mcg (.9 mg); UL females & males, 10,000 mcg/day2

4. Vitamin C: citrus fruits, tomatoes, kiwi, potatoes, peppers, parsley, Brussel sprouts, strawberries, cantaloupe, basically all fruit and vegetables! Try adding lemon to H2O

Vit. C RDA 19+ years, females 75 mg males 90 mg, UL 2000 mg 3

5. Vitamin D: Sunlight, Cod liver oil, salmon, egg, soy, tuna fish, fortified OJ & milk.

Vit. D RDA 19-70 years, females & males, 600 IU (15 mcg); UL 4000 IU (100 mcg) 4

70+ females & males, 800 IU = 20 mcg (micrograms)

6. Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Fish oil, flax seed oil, salmon, cod, sardines, tuna fish, walnuts, and hemp, chia and flax seeds, grass-fed beef and omega 3 eggs.

Omega 3 FAs, Adequate Intake (IA) 14+ years, male1600 mg, females 1100 mg 5

7. Probiotics: All Probiotics from Microbiome Labs survive transit through the stomach acid and the one I recommend for most people is MegaSporeBiotic.

Food sources of probiotics > Kombucha, Sauerkraut (Bubbies or Eden), Miso, Tempeh, Kefir and yogurt. Remember that dairy increases mucus.

8. Vitamin A: Beta-carotene and Vitamin A are powerful antioxidants

Food sources for vitamin A include yellow, orange and red vegetables and fruits: carrots, squash, sweet potatoes and yams, oranges, peppers and cantaloupe, as well as cod liver oil and eggs. Beta-carotene is another form of Vitamin A and is also found in green vegetables.

Daily recommended amounts: Adult males: 900 mcg Adult females: 700 mcg

Summary: Key immunity nutrients and nutrient--dense foods include pure water, probiotics, zinc, Vitamins A, C, & D, fish oil, and probiotics. Nutrient-dense foods include parsley, ginger, greens, sweet potatoes, lemon, oranges, blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, avocados, almonds, hemp & chia seeds, garlic, onions, eggs, salmon, cod, lentils, bone broth.

Natural antivirals:

Echinacea: an anti-viral herb from the daisy family known to help prevent respiratory infections. Must be taken preventatively or at the onset of a cold. 7 Six weeks duration.

Elderberry, Goldenseal, Ginger root, Berberine, Oregon Grape root and Astragalus are botanicals which are effective against multiple viruses. 7,8

Monolaurin: Lauricidin® is an extract from the fatty acid named lauric acid, found in human breast milk and coconut oil. It has been proven as a powerful and safe antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal agent without harming the intestinal microbiome or causing other adverse side effects of antibiotics.9,10,11

Lauricidin is best taken with probiotics & ample dietary protein per day: 59-91 g/d for males and 46-75 g/d for females (.36-.60 grams per lb. of body weight)

Garlic: Allium cepa (garlic) is a powerful antimicrobial against viruses, bacteria and yeast overgrowth and infections.12

Special considerations if you have allergies and/or asthma:

*Quercetin increases the energy power houses of the body called mitochondria. This antioxidant has been shown in clinical studies to reduce symptoms for asthmatics and allergy sufferers by decreasing inflammation and oxidative stress and by improving blood flow. 13

Food sources > onions, apples, berries, grapes, some herbs and teas, wine

*Daikon radish reduces mucus build-up in the throat, lungs and other organs. It is a restorative, healing root vegetable which can be eaten raw in salads, cooked in vegetable side dishes or prepared as a tea (cut and place in hot water for 5 min)

Special considerations for those experiencing high stress and/or anxiety:

* L-theanine: a constituent of green tea, relaxing and non-addicting

* B-vitamins to help with stress and to restore energy from nervousness.

* Stay hydrated, as dehydration exacerbates anxiety and stress responses.

* Chamomile, valerian root, passionflower & lemon balm are calming botanicals

* Magnesium: Almonds, peanuts, bananas, potato, brown rice, oatmeal, black beans and other legumes, edamame, dark chocolate, cashews, spinach, avocado, salmon, hemp seeds and other seeds, whole grains, tofu, soymilk.

RDA females 320 mg, males 420 mg/d 14 Do not exceed

8 Tips for getting more power foods into your day:

1. Make easy salads with nutrient-dense foods like purple and green cabbage, pumpkin, hemp or sunflower seeds, avocado, nuts, cucumbers, celery, radishes, carrots, etc.

2. Make big pots of soup to last a few days

3. Roast or sauté veggies that are easy to wash: zucchini, asparagus, carrots, daikon radish, peppers, yellow squash, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy seeds, walnuts or berries to oatmeal, salads, main dishes

4. Add parsley, basil, cilantro, oregano, turmeric and/or garlic to soups, main and side dishes

5. Eat more raw vegetables and fruits >(no cooking and minimal prep!

6. Cook whole grains and beans while doing other things…it becomes a lifestyle.

7. By consciously choosing more nutrient-dense foods, you’ll get the beneficial nutrients your body needs without consuming too much refined sugar and calories.

8. Use healthy oils like avocado, extra virgin olive, flax seed and coconut

Healthy Lifestyle:

* Get adequate sleep: aim for 8 hours per night

* Drink water throughout the day, aiming for at least 64 fluid ounces daily

* Do some deep breathing each day. Take a breath in whle counting to five, pause and exhale through your mouth while counting down from 5-1. Repeat 7 times or more.

* Physical movement, stretching, walks outside daily.

* Give thanks for your food, family, friends, clean water and health.

* Keep your hands clean and away from your eyes, mouth and nose when you are out.

* If you feel like you’re getting a cold, wash out your sinuses with a saline rinse and take echinacea, vitamin C and D, zinc, fish oil and probiotics, drink hot decaf. tea and get in bed

Please remember to laugh every day and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and to care for your health!

For more information on wellness and functional medicine or to schedule a private telehealth session with Dr. Melissa Sannelli go to


1. National Institutes for Health. Zinc. Last reviewed July 10, 2019.

2. National Institutes for Health. Copper. Updated February 27, 2020.

3. National Institutes for Health. Vitamin C. Last reviewed July 9, 2019.

4. National Institutes for Health, Vitamin D. Last reviewed August 7, 2019.

5. National Institutes for Health, Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Last reviewed October 17, 2019.

6. National Institutes for Health, Probiotics. Updated January 29, 2020.

7. National Institutes of Health. The common cold and complementary health approaches. December, 2019.

8. Zwickey, H. Important clarifications regarding COVID-19. Natural Medicine Journal. 2020.

9. Silva VO, Pereira LJ, Pasetto S, da Silva MP, Meyers JC, Murata RM. Effects of Monolaurin on Oral Microbe-Host Transcriptome and Metabolome. Front Microbiol. 2018; 9:26

Melissa Makin Sannelli, DC, AFMCP

Balance Support Function

55 State Highway 35 North, Suite 1

Red Bank, NJ 07701 732-284-7550

72 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page