As if the new COVID-19 strain wasn’t enough of a stressor, it’s high time for the flu and cold too, which means it’s even more important to keep yours off immune system in top shape. Fortunately, there are several ways you can do this naturally and on a daily basis.

Nicole Avena, Ph.D., nutritionist and author of Why Diets Fail, specializing in functional nutrition and holistic health. Here she shares five tricks with which you can optimally prepare your immune system for diseases this winter through diet and nutritional supplements alone. And after that, be sure to read The 7 healthiest foods to eat right now.


It’s a breeze, isn’t it? We all know that vitamin C is critical to fighting vitamin C. cold, along with countless other viruses, but do you know why? Vitamin C is an antioxidant this protects against oxidative damage in white blood cells– as in other important immune cells – so that they function optimally, says Avena. Essentially, the antioxidant forms a strong barrier around these cells so that environmental pathogens and pollutants do not weaken or destroy them.

If you already have a cold, Avena recommends consuming between 1 and 2 grams (1,000 to 2,000 milligrams) of vitamin C per day – this can be achieved with a powerful supplement. If you don’t have a cold, the recommended dietary intake of the vitamin is 75 milligrams for women 19 years and older and 90 milligrams for men.

Be sure to check out 5 foods high in vitamins that can help protect you from COVID-19 for tips on which foods are the richest sources of the antioxidant.

Vitamin DShutterstock

“A short walk during the day can do wonders for the body, especially when the sun is shining,” says Avena. “Make sure you put on SPF and go outside 10 to 30 minutes a day to take advantage of the sun’s natural form of vitamin D, as this vitamin can protect against colds and reduce inflammation.”

Of course you could always harvest that health benefits of vitamin D3 from a supplement, but if your goal is to get outside you will also get some exercise – which is ideal for doing something every day. There are also some foods that you can get the vitamin from, but there aren’t many options.

“It can be difficult to get vitamin D from foods because fewer foods naturally contain it,” explains Avena. “Salmon is a source that can be good. Also, many dairy products and grains are fortified with vitamin D. So check the label and choose this one.”

CONNECTED: 5 signs of vitamin D deficiency that you should never ignore


“Vitamin C and zinc are cofactors that help your cellular immune system function better,” said Dr. Brittany Busse, Associate Medical Director at WorkCare, told Eat This, Not That! in another items. The vitamin and mineral together support the immune system, which can shorten the duration of the common cold.

“Macrophages and other white blood cells that attack pathogens need zinc to reach their full capacity,” says Avena. You can get zinc naturally from oysters, pumpkin seeds, crab meat, and beef, or get your daily dose as a supplement. Avena suggests giving it a try Zinc Gum Vitamin from Vitafusion.

Elderberry gums

You’ve probably heard mixed reviews of Elderberry in 2020. At the beginning of the pandemic elder It was thought that this played a role in causing what is known as a cytokine storm. However, more recently, experts have found that this is not necessarily the case.

William Schaffner, an infectious disease doctor at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, said North Carolina Health News While ingesting elderberry syrup likely won’t prevent COVID-19, it wouldn’t be harmful either. But taking the supplement as a cold prevention means is a different story.

“Elderberry berries and flowers are full of antioxidants and vitamins that can help boost your immune system and reduce recovery time from a cold or flu by activating the body’s immune response, raising antibodies, and increasing immune cell production,” says Avena. If you’re not a syrup fan, go for Elderberry gums from Nature Made.


In fact, you should be getting at least 300 milligrams of the mineral every day.

“There is evidence that magnesium plays an important role in brain function, sleep regulation and emotional stability,” says Avena. “The mineral contains calming properties while activating your parasympathetic nervous system and is naturally found in leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and milk.”

Many foods offer magnesium, which can make reaching the recommended food intake somewhat easier through diet alone. One ounce of dry, roasted almonds, for example, provides 80 milligrams of magnesium, and one cup of soy milk contains just over 60 milligrams of the mineral.

Be sure to read now These vitamins can help prevent COVID, study results.