Immunity booster karela juice with tissue papar and pen

How to Boost Your Immunity During Covid-19 with Dr. Walid Khairallah – Part 1

Boost your body’s natural protective defences against COVID-19 by incorporating these practices into your everyday life.

Now more than ever, we need to learn how our immune system can be enhanced naturally and what we can do to strengthen our body’s defences against viral infections. We spoke with Dr. Walid Khairallah, Medical Director of Green Clinics Lebanon about the human immune system and what steps we can take to bolster our own defences to be COVID-19 ready. Dr. Walid is an endocrinologist and expert in evidence-based nutritional therapy, integrative medicine and functional medical care.


Debora: Dr. Walid, this is the time when we need your advice the most. The information regarding the COVID-19 virus seems to change every day. The world is under lockdown and the numbers of infections and human losses are still growing.  What is your take on this pandemic? And how are you dealing with the situation as a health practitioner?

Dr. Walid: These are very difficult times for mankind as a whole with everybody in lockdown at home trying to prevent the spread of this infection. Everything was brought to a halt. Most of us, including the medical community, are learning about this infection on a daily basis and trying to integrate this information and data into our practice so that we save lives and improve the outcomes of the cases.

Deborah: Why do you think people are having immunity issues now more than ever?

Dr. Walid: Unfortunately, the way people have been living for the past 50 years has affected in one way or another different parts of the immune system. From a dietary perspective, we can say that our consumption of sugar has increased tremendously over the past century. Having a diet based on refined sugars and carbs weakens our defences by depleting the immune system of the precious vitamins and minerals needed to fulfil its function on a daily basis. Another way sugar affects our immunity system’s response is by getting into the blood and binding with different molecules and enzymes.  This creates what we would call a glycation process without enzymatic regulation -which is similar to what is seen in diabetic and pre-diabetic people. This glycation impairs the immunity system’s ability to function properly.

Boost your immunity against the Coronavirus

Sugar consumption also increases the proliferation of fungi in the body like candida, aspergillus and other kinds of mould. When these fungi flourish in the gut they release toxins into the body that can burden the immune system and make the body vulnerable to  other microbes especially viruses. Therefore, making us more prone to infections.

Another factor that pressures our immune response is the negative effect of poor agriculture practices like the use of pesticides and herbicides. These toxins that have eliminated the nutrients available in the soil.

Still, another factor is the premature harvest of farm produce which is done in order to extend its shelf life at grocery stores. Today produce is harvested before the fruits and vegetables can adequately ripen which results in a poor density of nutrients and antioxidants in the food.

boost immune system

Debora: What can we do to improve our diets and make sure we are getting enough nutrition in order to boost our immunity?

Dr. Walid: Stick to the essentials – consume vegetables of different colours. Start with green leaves. These are very rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and important to protect the body against pollution and carcinogens.  Broccoli is very rich in Vitamin C and it’s been shown that it can enhance the anti-viral immunity in the body. Red and orange coloured vegetables contain carotenoids, lycopene and vitamin A that are imperative for the anti-viral immune function. Other foods, with antiviral effect and immunity-boosting properties are garlic and wild plants such as zaatar, oregano and thyme.

foods to boost immunity
Photo by Ella Olsson from Pexels

Be sure to incorporate in your diet bone broths such as chicken soup. They not only provide calcium and phosphorus but also possess healing properties for conditions like leaky gut. They have a strong impact on helping to alleviate the symptoms of viral infections and are warming to the body when you feel sick.


It is important to eat organ meats like liver at least once a week because they are rich in Vitamin A, B6 and B12, zinc, selenium and folic acid – all essential nutrients for the optimum functioning of the human body and blood cells formation. Another great source of vitamins is cod liver oil which contains Vitamin D, Vitamin A and omega fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory molecules important for the function of the immune system and brain.

To boost immunity it is important to consume enough good fats like nuts, avocados, ghee (clarified butter), olives and cold-pressed oils; and proteins such as red meats, chicken, fish and eggs every day.  These foods bolster your defence system and support its detoxifying function so that it can synthesize and produce its own molecules that are necessary to fight infections.

good fats for immune system

Good quality carbs are a must, like whole grain rice and super-food grains such as quinoa, millet and fonio. Sweet potatoes and even white potatoes are also beneficial in moderation.  Remember to avoid or reduce the refined carbohydrate intake especially sugar, processed foods and bad fats.

Whole Grains for the immune system

Drink plenty of water every day,preferably warm water because it maintains good lymphatic drainage.

drinking water for health
Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Deborah: We know organic product is pesticide and herbicide-free and in so many ways better than regular produce. Can you give some options for those who cannot access organic products on what they should choose instead?

Dr. Walid: We know that organic foods have more nutrition in terms of minerals and vitamins. My advice in general for people, especially those who cannot afford or get access to organic products is to grow their own vegetables.  There are so many different creative ways nowadays to do it in the backyard, balcony or terrace and do it under good practices and grow your fruits and vegetables the organic way or as organic as it can be.

You can also stay informed on which foods to choose by checking the Environmental Working Group (EWG) yearly report, where they show the fruits and vegetables that are most sprayed with pesticides. They call them the “Dirty Dozen”. The EWG site also includes information about the “Clean 15” which is the produce with the lowest amounts of pesticide residues or those that due to their thick skin do not absorb the pesticides, so you don’t have to really worry about getting them organic. It’s preferable to be organic whenever possible.

Environmental Working Group – Dirty Dozen 2020

Environmental Working Group – Dirty Dozen 2020

Environmental Working Group – Clean 15 For 2020

Foods Items To Boost Immunity

Another alternative for people who cannot afford or get access to organic products is to try to eliminate or diminish the amount of pesticides on their food by using ozonated water to clean their fruits and vegetables. Soaking the produce for 10 to 15 minutes in the ozonated water disrupts or breaks down the molecules of pesticides.

Deborah: Nowadays our diets are restricted due to the current global situation and in the case that we cannot get all the nutrients from our foods directly, how do we supplement? 

Dr. Walid: I always like to go to the basics. When it comes to supplements the first level are the vitamins and minerals that the body needs. When it comes to anti-viral immunity Vitamin D, C and A have been shown to play a crucial role.We can get Vitamin D from sun exposure. Unfortunately,  most people don’t get enough of it specially under the lockdown circumstances. So ideally, we should supplement it. It depends on the person but in general 3000 IU to 5000 IU per day is important during infection.

Vitamin D3 5000 IU Non Flavoured, 120 Capsules, PRP AED 115.50, available at lifestylenutrition.com

Vitamin C is very important to fight infections, especially viral infections. The immune system uses Vitamin C in the form of l-ascorbic acid to enhance its own functioning to produce substances that neutralize the virus and stop its replication. It is also a repairing molecule that can restore any damage in the lungs tissue after an infection. Vitamin C is also important in the formation of strong collagen which is imperative not only for the health of the joints but important for the blood vessels. During an infection, the immune system increases its absorption of Vitamin C by fifty to a hundred-fold, which means it’s a very crucial element. Knowing that Vitamin C is safe and very effective, I highly encourage doctors around the world and patients to use it during infection.

Vitamin C With Bioflavonoids & Rosehip, PRP AED 67.45, available at lookfantastic.ae

Another key component is Zinc which stops viral replication. Also, Selenium helps in protecting the lining of the lungs against virus penetration avoiding health complication.

Zinc Picolinate 50 Mg 60 Veg Capsules, PRP AED 55, available at mumzworld.com

Selenium 200 mcg VCaps 90’S, PRP AED 69.30, available at mumzworld.com

We also should supplement with Quercetin which is found in propolis which is a natural antimicrobial produced by honeybees. You can also find Quercetin in onions and apples. Quercetin is not only an antioxidant but also acts as a chaperone for zinc and helps it enter the cells to protect against viral replication.

Quercitin Non Citrus 90 Capsules, PRP AED 77.29, available at carethy.net

Finally, but not least we have Acetylcysteine which improves the regeneration of Vitamin C and protects the lining in the body by boosting the regeneration of glutathione which is a major component in our lungs.

N-Acetyl-Cysteine Supplement – 120 Tablets, PRP AED 200.40, available at noon.com

So this is a good package that would help a lot both as a preventive toolkit against infections and to alleviate the symptoms and shorten the course of the illness.


Our Newsletter

Our Newsletter

Your Female Email

Gaggler your inbox for a 10% discount on your first order!
By clicking ‘Subscribe’ you agree to receive emails from The Gaggler and accept our privacy policy and terms of use.

Revitalise After Feasting: A Post-Thanksgiving Workout Regimen to Recharge Your Body

Revive, Recharge, Thrive

As the Thanksgiving feast fades into fond memories, it’s time to give your body the attention it deserves. In this post-feasting recovery guide, we’ll explore a tailored workout regimen designed to revitalise your body, recharge your energy, and counterbalance the indulgences of the holiday season.

Meow Yoga

The Wellness Journal

AED 175.00


Yoga Starter Kit – Green

AED 389.00

Gypsy Rose Holistic

Relax Essential Oil Roller

AED 75.00

Gypsy Rose Holistic

Digestion Essential Oil Mist

AED 95.00

Rut Essentials

Sandalwood Pure Essential Oil

AED 70.00


Meow Yoga

Aroma Diffuser – Chestnut

AED 70.00


7 Chakra Balancing Pillow & Room Spray

AED 95.00

C&S Active

Nafs Eco Sports Bra – Black

AED 180.00

C&S Active

Nafs Eco Leggings – Black

AED 200.00


Green Tea Assorted Energy Drink

AED 278.00

Beauty Treats

The Energy Cookie

AED 98.00


RAW Protein Isolate Vanilla

AED 290.00

1. Wake Up the Body with Cardio Bursts:

Kickstart your post-Thanksgiving regimen with invigorating cardio bursts. Whether it’s a brisk morning walk, a jog, or a dance session, get your heart pumping and awaken your body from its food-induced slumber.

2. Core-Strengthening Pilates:

Engage your core muscles with a Pilates session to restore balance and stability. These low-impact exercises are perfect for toning and strengthening, providing a gentle yet effective workout for your post-feast body.

3. Yoga for Digestive Ease:

Explore a sequence of yoga poses designed to aid digestion and promote relaxation. Gentle twists and stretches will help soothe your stomach and release tension, leaving you feeling rejuvenated.

4. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT):

Inject a burst of energy with HIIT exercises to elevate your heart rate and boost your metabolism. Short, intense intervals followed by rest periods are an efficient way to burn off excess calories and jumpstart your fitness routine.

5. Mindful Cool Down with Stretching:

Wind down your workout with mindful stretching. Focus on areas that may have tightened during the holiday festivities, allowing your body to recover and preventing post-feast stiffness.

As you embrace this post-Thanksgiving workout regimen, remember that it’s not about punishment but restoring balance. This curated routine aims to invigorate your body, clear your mind, and set the tone for a healthy and active holiday season. So, lace up those sneakers, roll out the yoga mat, and let’s embark on a journey to revitalise and recharge after the Thanksgiving feast.

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon after Thanksgiving should I start this workout regimen?

The post-Thanksgiving workout regimen can be started as early as the day after the feast. However, listen to your body, and if needed, allow a day or two for digestion before engaging in more intense exercises.

Can I customize the workout routine based on my fitness level?

Absolutely! Tailor the regimen to suit your fitness level and preferences. Modify intensity, duration, or choose alternative exercises to ensure a comfortable and effective workout experience.

Is it necessary to follow the entire workout routine, or can I focus on specific exercises?

Feel free to adapt the regimen to your needs. While the full routine provides a well-rounded approach, you can choose specific exercises based on your preferences or focus on areas that feel particularly tight or in need of attention.


Our Newsletter

Our Newsletter

Your Female Email

Gaggler your inbox for a 10% discount on your first order!
By clicking ‘Subscribe’ you agree to receive emails from The Gaggler and accept our privacy policy and terms of use.
Load More