Zinc and Vitamin C - the immune superstars, take centre stage as colder seasons start. Supplements can be a great back-up to help fill nutritional gaps, especially if your diet isn’t always what you’d like it to be.
Wondering if your nutrient levels aren’t up to scratch?
Everyday things can deplete nutrients, like:
- How much exercise (& the type of exercise) you do
- Your stress levels or if you’ve got a very busy home or work life
- Your age-you absorb less nutrients in your wiser years
- Overconsumption of alcohol and certain medications
Sound familiar? Taking an immune supplement like Zinc and Vitamin C can support your nutrient levels and help you stay in balance. And don’t forget, your immune health impacts all areas of your wellness – not just when you’re feeling run down.
Choosing the best supplement
Choosing the right product can be the trickiest part – you’re spoilt for choice. So, I’ve laid out your options - drawing from 16 years’ experience as a naturopath.
- Your best option – the highest-quality supplement available
- Great value for money – great quality and great on the wallet too
You’ll find out if you should consider taking a supplement and my top picks.
Some people take Zinc supplements daily – some just in the season when bugs are going round. It’s worth considering supplementing Zinc as NZ soils are deficient. And if you don’t eat much meat and dairy or follow a vegan diet – because animal derived foods like meat, fish, dairy and eggs are the richest Zinc foods. Also, if you exercise a lot or enjoy an alcoholic bevvie or two, which can both deplete zinc.
Key Zinc benefits
- Daily immune defences
You need enough Zinc in your body for healthy immune defences – especially during the chillier seasons when you’re more likely to come down with something. It’s a good time to keep ‘Immune Etiquette’ front of mind too– find out more Helpful tips for good immune health.
- Balanced immune pathways
If you have dry, itchy skin, are sensitive to seasonal allergens or have super sensitive digestion - supporting immune balance is a health goal for you. Zinc supports a balanced and appropriate immune response – so you have calm and comfy inner linings.
- Blemish support
Zinc is great for skin healing, as well as immune support, making it doubly great if you have blemish prone skin. Having balanced hormone levels (for all genders) relies on having sufficient zinc too – so it’s a great choice if blemishes pop up around PMS time or for teens.
Naturopath Zinc top picks
Best Zinc - BePure Zinc Restore
- With Vitamin C for improved Zinc absorption
- 10 mg of quercetin for added immune support
- Convenient, once daily capsule
Great value for money Zinc - BioBalance Daily Zinc
- Blend of three of the most bioavailable absorbable forms of zinc (gluconate, glycinate, citrate)
- 15 mg of Zinc in each once daily dose
- Excellent value – two months supply for under $20
5+ a day fruit and veggie aspirations not always possible? A Vitamin C supplement may be for you - they’re the highest Vitamin C foods. Humans can’t make Vitamin C like other mammals (neither can other primates) so you need to get it from your food, every day.
Key Vitamin C benefits
- Immune function
Keeping bugs at bay as well as ‘immune memory’ cells. Vitamin C keeps your immune system fighting fit and helps it recognise threats it’s encountered before – so it remembers the best way to fight back. Lots of people like to start dosing up at the first sign of a sniffle. Little and often is the best way to dose (every 2-3 hours if possible) so your body can absorb as much as possible throughout the day.
- Aging softly
Vitamin C for skin works as an antioxidant to protect cells from oxidation – which is what cause aging. Antioxidants help protect your body from oxidation, the natural aging process – especially noticeable in your skin and joints.
- Joints and skin
Think of collagen like Origami – it needs to be folded ‘just-so’ to work. Vitamin C is what makes Collagen fold properly and take the right shape. Whether you’re looking for comfy, flexible joints or plump, youthful skin – Vitamin C is key for robust and resilient collagen. The body constantly breaks down and rebuilds itself, so it needs a daily supply.
Naturopath Vitamin C top picks
Best Vitamin C – BioBalance Liposomal Vitamin C
- Vitamin C Liposomal - easiest form for the body to use
- Buffered and easy on the tummy – ideal if you have sensitive digestion
- Orange flavoured liquid – great if you’re not a fan of Vitamin C tablets or capsules
Best value for money Vitamin C – Clinicians Hi Dose Vitamin C Powder
- High dosing, with 3550mg Vitamin C per teaspoon
- Great tasting – citrus flavoured powder, easy to mix
- Excellent value for money, comes in three sizes
Vitamin C & Functional Mushrooms
Vitamin C pairs really well with Functional Mushrooms - they’re a great wholefood option. The best thing is, studies show they all support immune health, no matter which one you choose – whether you go for Turkey Tail, Cordyceps, Lions Mane, Tremella, Chaga, Reishi, Shiitake, or Maitake. Not sure where to start? Check out 9 Fantastic Functional Mushrooms to match your health goals.
How to use functional mushrooms
Try them as an everyday immune tonic or if you’re feeling a bit run down, treat yourself to a bottle for a months’ worth of immune support.
Functional Mushroom powders and liquids can be mixed into any food or drink – from stir fries and baking to hot Cacao or your morning coffee. On the go? Try Functional Mushrooms in a convenient capsule.
For optimal immune & mood support?
Vitamin D: your daily sunshine dose
With less sunshine hours during colder months it’s worth considering whether you’re getting enough Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin. You get up to 90% from sunlight, and lots of factors influence your Vitamin D levels, like:
- Time of year – less sun exposure in winter
- UV index – how strong UVB rays are on a particular day and time of year
- Closeness to the equator - South Islanders are further away so more likely to be low
- Melanin levels – more melanin means better UV protection for darker skin, but less Vitamin D activation
- Age – our efficiency at converting Vitamin D goes down as our age goes up
- Diet – how much oily fish we eat
- Exclusively breastfed babies - breastmilk is a not a rich source of Vitamin D
Feel golden every day with these Naturopath Vitamin D top picks:
Best Vitamin D - Solgar Vitamin D3 1000 IU
- High dose easy to absorb D3
- Natural, marine sourced
- Eco-friendly glass bottle
Best value for money Vitamin D – Radiance Vitamin D3 Chews
- Good form of Vitamin D3
- Vegetarian gummy with no sugar
- Radiance make great gummies – you can trust they’ll taste delish
Looking after your immune wellness is easy when you know what to look for - whether you’re after the best Vitamin C, D or Zinc supplement available or a great wallet-friendly option. You’re covered for ills and chills season.