For most of us, being in the midst of the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak is overwhelming experience. Sometimes we may feel, despite our best efforts to distance ourselves socially and wash our hands regularly throughout the day, a bit like a sitting duck! Thankfully, there is lots we can do nutritionally to support our immune systems and give our bodies more than a fighting chance should we come in contact with the virus. We want to share our top 5 supplements to consider taking to boost your immune system, particularly it’s viral defence mechanisms.
Supplements to boost your immune system
Zinc – possibly most important immune support mineral. Zinc can interrupt the replication of viruses in the body and as most of its richest sources are animal products, we vegans can have a low dietary intake. Daily recommendation is around 25mg, but you can take a burst of 150mg for several days without causing problems. The best forms to take are zinc gluconate, zinc acetate or zinc citrate.
Buy: Thompson’s Organic Zinc, 80 tablets – $12.95
Buy: Blackmores Bio Zinc, 84 tablets – $16.95
Vitamin C – this beautiful vitamin has strong reputation for fighting the common cold, which is also a coronavirus. I have been recommending 1000mg/day as a maintenance dose but you can comfortably triple (or quadruple) it for a period of time if you feel particularly at risk. You can get it as ascorbic acid, but if you want something gentler on the stomach, choose a mixed or straight calcium ascorbate form. Added bioflavonoids are a bonus.
Buy: Swisse High Strength C 1000mg, 150 tablets – $29.95
Selenium – also critical for immune function and typically low in many people, selenium can slow or prevent viral damage, so it is something we want adequate levels of. It’s important to note that this is a nutrient you need in very small doses – in the micrograms – and most supplements contain around 150 mcg so it important to only take as directed.
Buy: Lifestream Natural Selenium, 90 caps – $26.96
Buy: Blooms Selenium Forte 150mcg, 90 caps – $22.95
Vitamin D – helps our bodies fight infection and lowers risk in particular for respiratory illness. Aim for 1000iu as a maintenance dose.
Buy: Swisse Vitamin D, 250 Caps, $13.95
Buy: Ethical Nutrients, Bone Builder with Vitamin D, 180g – $27.95
Buy: Vitashine Vitamin D3 Spray, 1000iu – $24.50
Probiotics – support general immunity and also exert beneficial anti-inflammatory effects. Aim for a multi strain product that contains several billion CFUs (colony forming units).
Buy: Life Space Broad Spectrum Probiotic, 60 capsules – $27.50
Want to know more about how to boost your immune system? We cover what foods to eat here.
Disclaimer: This article was complied by a qualified Naturopath, however, this is not medical advice. If you have any signs of the virus you should follow the guidelines on health.nsw.gov.au and seek help from a health professional.
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
About the Author
Elise is a naturopath with a Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy) and a Master of Public Health (Professional Practice) from the University of Sydney. She works as a photographer specialising in botanical photography and as a freelance writer. Elise works closely with the environmental charity Planet Ark, shooting and writing for them and has a fortnightly column called Everyday Enviro with Elise. She is also a mum of two.
You can find out more about Elise at Floragraphica.com.au or follow her on Instagram/thisisfloragrahica – and Facebook/Floragraphica.
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