There are some very simple things you can do to support your immunity against a virus infection. Of course, the basics such as keeping away from people with a virus; washing your hands thoroughly before preparing food or eating, and after touching anything someone else has touched; using hand sanitiser in those situation where you can't wash your hands; and wearing a face mask to prevent inhaling a virus from the air.
Read on to learn what supplements may help prevent a virus infection, or at least minimise it.
Zinc deficiency is more common than you might realise so you might benefit from a supplement containing zinc. Usually around 25mg per day for an adult is helpful, but take more if your zinc levels are low on a blood test. Your naturopath can help you determine if your levels are low. Always have zinc with a meal and avoid taking it at the same time as iron supplements because they can compete for absorption. Some food sources of zinc are: oysters, mussels, red meat, sunflower seeds, See the full list here in my blog.
Vitamin C has long been known to support immune function and is often included in immune support supplements. I find the calcium ascorbate form of vitamin C is much kinder on the tummy so go for one of those. If there is a virus going around, take 1000mg once or twice a day. It's better to split the dose over the day because your body uses vitamin C only as needed.
Echinacea supports innate immunity - picture it helping from the ground roots up so to speak. I take this daily throughout the year to boost my immune function. It's also a terrific herb for skin issues such as acne. Choose a supplement that contains the root of Echinacea angustifolia or purpurea. The root is much richer in beneficial constituents than the aerial parts of the plant.
Andrographis is the go-to herb I take at the very first sign of a virus infection. It may nip the virus in the bud, or at least help minimise the severity of an infection and duration. I keep andrographis on hand all the time.
Vitamin A is essential for healthy mucous membranes and is found in just about every cell of the body. We make vitamin A from the betacarotene in orange vegetables and fruit. Some people have a genetic variant affecting the enzyme that plays a role converting betacarotene to Vitamin A so may be deficient. Cod liver oil is a good supplement for vitamin A and it also contains some vitamin D. There is some terrific information on vitamin A in this link to the Oregon State University. Make sure you eat some orange coloured vegetables or fruit daily.
Sleep is not a supplement as such but really should come under the "essential" banner. Lack of sleep really does lower immune function making you more susceptible to infection. Make it a point to get seven to eight hours sleep per night. You can read my blog about improving sleep.