The winter season is in full swing, and you may find that you need to stay healthy now more than ever. There simply just isn't enough time to finish your to-do list, visit family and recover from a bad cold or flu.
Luckily, there are ways to protect yourself this winter. In addition to getting a flu shot, getting enough sleep and washing your hands often, you can take supplements to boost your immune system.
Boost your immunity with these supplements.
Which vitamins are good for immunity?
When deciding on the best multivitamin or immunity supplement, pay attention to which vitamins and nutrients are included on the label. The best vitamins, minerals and herbs for immunity include:
- Vitamin A: 5,000 IU daily value
- Vitamin B6: 2 milligrams daily value
- Vitamin C: 60 mg daily value
- Vitamin D: 400 IU daily value
- Vitamin E: 30 IU daily value
- Magnesium: 400 mg daily value
- Zinc: 15 mg daily value
- Elderberry: The FDA doesn't regulate herbal supplements, so there's no set daily value.
The following supplements contain high amounts of the above immunity vitamins.
Dosage: 2 softgels, taken daily with a meal
Nature's Bounty has been around for over 50 years, and is a brand that constantly appears on our best vitamin lists. Its products are all non-GMO and contain no artificial colors, flavors, sugar, starch, milk, lactose, soy, gluten, yeast, sodium or fish.
Two softgels of its Immune 24 Hour Plus supplements contain 750 mg of vitamin A, 1,000 mg of vitamin C, 15 mcg of vitamin D, 2 mg of vitamin B6, 666 mcg of folate, 6 mcg of vitamin B12, 600 mcg of biotin, 10 mg of pantothenic acid, 25 mg of magnesium, 15 mg of zinc, 17 mg of elderberry, 16.5 mg of echinacea and 16.6 of astragalus. Other ingredients include rice bran oil, gelatin, vegetable glycerin and 2% or less of carob powder (color), natural caramel color, sunflower lecithin and yellow beeswax.
These supplements rely on the immunity support of Ester-C, a version of vitamin C that lasts up to 24 hours in the body. Its high doses of vitamin A, zinc and B vitamins also support immune function.
Take two softgels daily, preferably with a meal. One bottle will last about 25 days.
- Contains Vitamin C that will stay in your white blood cells for up to 24 hours
- Packed with 13 vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements
- Not vegan, contains yellow beeswax and gelatin
- One bottle only lasts 25 days
Dosage: 2 capsules, daily with a meal
The Vitamin Shoppe has brick-and-mortar stores across the country, as well as an online store. The familiar brand name offers a couple of immunity supplements, and we've included the best two on this list.
A serving of its Immune Essentials contains 1,000 mg of vitamin C, 50 mcg of vitamin D3, 50 mg of zinc and 250 mg of elderberry extract. Other ingredients include hypromellose (capsule), rice flour, magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide. The capsules are free of gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, sugar, salt, and preservatives. Elderberry extract can support a healthy immune system during cold and flu season.
Take two capsules daily, preferably with a meal. One bottle will last about 30 days.
- Does not contain any sugar
- High potency of vitamin C, vitamin D3 and zinc
- Contains only three vitamins and one herbal supplement
- One bottle will only last 30 days
Dosage: 2 gummies, daily with a meal
My favorite vitamins on this list are gummy supplements from The Vitamin Shoppe. I personally take these every day, because of their high elderberry potency. On top of that, they're delicious.
Two elderberry gummies contain 70 mg of vitamin C, 400 mg of echinacea extract, 200 mg of elderberry extract and 100 mg of propolis extract. The other ingredients include sugar, glucose syrup (tapioca syrup), water, citrus pectin, citric acid, sodium citrate, natural raspberry flavor and black carrot extract for color. The gummies are free of gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, gelatin, synthetic colors, and artificial colors. In addition to the vitamin C and elderberry, the supplements contain propolis extract, which can be used as an anti-inflammatory. Echinacea extract also supports a healthy immune system.
Take two gummies daily, preferably with a meal. One bottle will last about 60 days.
- Raspberry flavor tastes amazing
- Will last you about 60 days
- Each serving contains 4 grams of sugar
- The sugary taste isn't for everyone
Dosage: 1 to 2 gummies
Olly is sold at Target, CVS, Walgreens and Amazon. The company's products are alo certified by the National Sanitation Foundation, which guarantees that products have met strict standards for public health safety. Olly is also B-Corporation certified, meaning that the corporation is transparent about environmental performance (such as its waste management) and social performance (like employee benefits).
Depending on the serving size, Olly's Kids Immunity supplements contain 15 to 30 mg of vitamin C, 2.5 to 5 mcg of vitamin D, 1.5 to 3 mcg of zinc, 50 to 100 mg of acerola cherry extract (a rich source of vitamin C), 35 to 70 mg of Wellmune baker's yeast beta glucan (a researched and lab-grown nutrient with multiple health benefits) and 12.5 to 25 mg of elderberry juice powder. The gummies are gluten-free and made with natural colors and no artificial flavors. The other ingredients include glucose syrup, beet sugar, water, gelatin, citric acid, natural flavor, pectin, coloring (from sweet potato, apple, radish, cherry, carrot and chokeberry juices) and lactic acid.
Olly recommends that children aged 2 to 4 should chew one gummy a day. Those aged 5 and up can chew two gummies a day. Consult with your doctor before giving your children any supplements. One bottle will last anywhere from 25 to 50 days if taken daily.
- Easy for children to chew
- Great taste that children will like
- Recommend seeking a doctor before giving any vitamins to children
- Easy for children to confuse gummy vitamins with candy
Liquid I.V. has gained popularity in the last couple of years. The company's claim to fame is its Cellular Transport Technology, which combines sodium, glucose, potassium and water. This delivery system makes it easier for the body to absorb water and other nutrients directly into the bloodstream.
Liquid I.V.'s Hydration Multiplier Plus mix now includes added immune support. One stick contains 45 calories, 500 mg of sodium, 11 g of carbohydrates, 10 g of sugar, 370 mg of potassium, 504 mg of vitamin C, 24.4 mg of niacin, 2.5 mg of vitamin B6, 7.8 mcg of vitamin B12, 11.5 mg of pantothenic acid and 10.5 mg of zinc. The other ingredients include natural flavors and stevia leaf extract. In addition to the hydration and immune support, the B vitamins in Liquid I.V. will also supply your body with energy.
Choose between tangerine and wild berry flavor. Dissolve one stick of mix in two cups (16 ounces) of water. One package contains 14 sticks of drink mix.
- Comes in two delicious flavors: tangerine and wild berry
- Faster hydration than water alone
- Most expensive on this list
- One stick contains 10 g of sugar
Immunity supplements for winter FAQs
How can I boost my immune system fast and naturally?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best ways to boost your immune system naturally is to eat well and maintain a balanced diet, engage in physical activity, maintain a healthy weight, get enough sleep and don't smoke or drink too much alcohol.
What causes low immunity?
If you have low immunity, this is often due to certain diseases or genetic disorders. Additionally, it can be caused by poor diet. It can also be caused by certain medications such as chemotherapy.
How do you know if your immune system is weak?
If you find yourself getting frequent colds or infections such as pink eye, sinus infections, thrush or yeast infections, you could have a weak immune system. Speak with your doctor if you have a hard time recovering from simple infections or viruses.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.