Supporting Your Immune System

It seems as though there is never a good time to catch a cold or the flu. When you’re busy it’s inconvenient and when you’re not, it’s no fun at all. So we’re going to share with you some tips on how to bolster your defences – follow these steps and you should experience fewer (and shorter) infections.

One note to make is that experiencing a cold or the flu periodically can actually be helpful to your health. By and large, the viruses that cause colds and flu infect mostly your weakest cells – they ones that are already burdened with waste products and toxins. They are more susceptible. Normally the body will identify, destroy, eliminate and replace them with new, healthy cells over time. An infection can help purge the body of these old and damaged cells.

Another thing is that while spending 3 days in bed may not feel like time well spent, sometimes it can be just what the body and mind require. In the long-term it’s a good idea to listen to your body and give it what it needs.

That said, there are some key things we can all do to support our immune system, helping to protect against viruses while improving our health more generally.

  • Maintain a good diet full of fresh, minimally processed foods with an emphasis on plant foods, organic where possible (especially with meat products)
  • Avoid sugary products
  • Get plenty of quality rest
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get as much sunlight and fresh air as you can
  • Find a way of clearing stress – for example meditation

What Supplements Should I Use?

Good quality nutritional supplements can work well alongside the above tips. These are the key products people turn to…

Vitamin D

There’s a growing body of evidence that indicates that having enough vitamin D in your body is essential to reducing your risk of every disease that we know of.

Alarmingly, vitamin D deficiency is widespread in industrialized countries where people have been taught to be afraid of the sun and/or they spend most of their days indoors.

If you work indoors and do not get some exposure to sunlight on a regular basis (free of wearing sunscreens and makeup), it’s quite possible that you are compromising your health by being deficient in vitamin D. We have a separate article about this and how to sun safely elsewhere on our site.

Getting sufficient sun exposure during the Winter in the UK can a challenge so many of us can benefit from supplementation of vitamin D3. It’s especially important to pregnant and breastfeeding women, children under the age of 5, people over the age of 65, people with darker skin and obese people.

Vitamin D3 is the one to go for, preferably as a spray because it’s better absorbed in the mouth than in the gut. We offer two – a vegan one here and Dr Mercola’s Sunshine Spray here.

Vitamin C and Zinc

There’s evidence that supplementation of both vitamin C and zinc improve components of the immune system such as antimicrobial and natural killer cell activities, lymphocyte proliferation, chemotaxis, and delayed-type hypersensitivity – meaning shorter infection time and less severe symptoms.

Our vitamin C is combined with bioflavonoids, which improve the availability and use of vitamin C, as well as supporting the immune system in itself. As with all our products, it’s vegan and free from fillers, binders and excipients other than stone ground brown rice flour. You can find it here.

Our Zinc is in the superior Zinc Picolinate form, for better absorption. Again, no fillers, binders or excipients other than non-GM Alfalfa, which is high in protein, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K and other minerals. You can find it here.


While good probiotics support all aspects of digestive health, for the most part, the state of your immune system is dependent on how healthy your gut is. When your intestines are not colonized by an abundance of health-enhancing microorganisms, it’s only a matter of time before harmful organisms plant themselves into the walls of your intestines, which paves the way to incompletely digested protein entering your bloodstream and creating confusion for your immune system.

Healthy intestinal flora also supports or undermines the immune system through a number of other mechanisms, such as correcting deficiencies, increasing the numbers of certain T cells, improving phagocytosis (natural killer cell activity) and mucosal immunoglobulin A production (especially in children).

Our Acidophilus Complex is gentle yet highly effective. We combine two key strains of beneficial bacteria – lactobacillus and bifidus – with fructooligosaccharides, which promote proliferation of “good” bacteria once in the digestive tract. You can find it here.


Best taken at the early onset of a cold or flu, Echinacea can reduce severity and duration of the symptomsby increasing the number of white blood cells and boosting the activity of other immune cells. It’s best used in short bursts when bugs are going around, for up to 4-6 weeks, followed by a break. It’s contraindicated for people with allergies to the daisy family and people on blood thinners or anti-depressants.

Our Echinacea product, Echinacea Plus, has been designed by a medicinal herbalist and includes 4 other herbs that support the action of Echinacea. It’s in liquid form for better absorption and it’s made with the highest quality (organic where possible) ingredients. You can find it here.

Home Remedies


Garlic has many beneficial effects on health (described in our superfood profiles article). As far as the immune system is concerned, it supports the multiplication of infection-fighting white cells, boosts natural killer cell activity, and increases the efficiency of antibody production. The immune-boosting properties of garlic seem to be due to its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin and sulfides.

Garlic is best taken raw. Simply crush a clove and leave to air for 15 minutes (this allows the allicin to develop) and eat. It’s more manageable when mixed with avocado, yogurt or honey – look for a nice raw, active honey.

Cayenne Pepper and OJ

This is particularly useful for sore throats. Mix 1/8 to ¼ of a teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper with fresh (or a good quality) pulpy orange juice and drink with a straw, taking it straight into your throat. Repeat every 2-3 hours.

If you have a history of peptic ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux, try a few good gargling sessions with salt water instead.

We hope these tips help to keep you feeling your best. Remember – if you do catch a bug, drink plenty of water and to blow your nose as often as it runs to help your body get rid of what it wants to get rid of.

NutriVital Zinc Picolinate

NutriVital Zinc Picolinate

Package contents: 60 Caps

  • Zinc is essential to proper functioning of the immune function
  • Supports prostate health, fertility, and reproduction
  • Is useful for glucose homeostasis
  • Contains alfalfa, which is high in protein, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, and other minerals

Zinc is an essential mineral found in every cell of the body. It is a component of over 300 enzymes and involved in thousands of reactions in the body. It is required for the senses to perceive both taste and smell. Reduced perception of these senses is associated with zinc deficiency.

Zinc also has a role in

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