Immune Health

The 7 Best Vitamins for Your Immune System

The 7 Best Vitamins for Your Immune System

Take Me To: The Best Vitamins | FAQs

Your immune system plays a vital role in protecting your body from harmful germs and substances that can make you ill. And it needs certain vitamins and minerals to function properly. Ensuring you consume enough of these nutrients and other supportive immune ingredients can help boost your immune system by building daily immune resistance, helping your body defend and fight against sickness and assisting with recovery.

Do Vitamins Actually Help Your Immune System?

There are a number of vitamins and minerals that play a crucial role in how well the immune system operates. These include vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D3, betacarotene, vitamin E, iron and selenium. For example, vitamin C affects several components of the immune system.¹ It stimulates the production and function of white blood cells (leukocytes), which are responsible for protecting the body from infection. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties, which helps safeguard immune cells from oxidative damage. It also supports the wound healing process and can increase the germ-killing effects of neutrophils, which help keep you well.¹ The benefits of Zinc are also numerous, as it’s required for the normal development and function of white blood cells and also has antioxidant effects. If you don’t get enough of these important immune nutrients, it may increase your susceptibility to infection and impact on how quickly you recover.²

Do Immune Boosters Work?

Many products lining the shelves of pharmacies, health food stores and supermarkets claim to boost immunity, but do these actually work? Research suggests that certain vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements can in fact help enhance the body’s immune defences. Vitamin C supplements have been shown to reduce the risk of mild upper respiratory tract infections like the common cold and to minimise the duration and severity of symptoms.³ Vitamin D supplements have also been found to reduce the incidence of mild infections of the respiratory tract. The herb Andrographis has traditionally been used in Chinese Medicine to relieve common cold symptoms and is found in Immune Defence to help alleviate sore throats, excess phlegm, coughs, fever and fatigue.

How do I Improve my Immune System?

The first line of defence against illness is general healthy living strategies such as getting enough sleep, moving your body regularly, eating a “rainbow’ of fruits and vegetables which are filled with immune-supporting nutrients, drinking enough water, avoiding smoking and reducing caffeine and alcohol intake.

Immune boosting supplements with ingredients such as vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, mushrooms and Andrographis can also be taken to support your daily immune defences or in times when you feel a common cold coming on or you are experiencing full-blown common cold symptoms. Read this blog to learn more about how to support your body when you have a cold.

Ethical Nutrients Immune Range

The Ethical Nutrients Immune Health range is formulated with high quality immune-influencing ingredients such as vitamin C, zinc and medicinal mushrooms.

The Best Vitamins (and Minerals) for Your Immune System

There are many important vitamins and minerals that support the immune system, with our 7 favourite being:

  1. Vitamin C – Vitamin C supports the production, function and germ-killing effects of white blood cells, assists wound healing and has antioxidant properties.¹ When seeking a vitamin C supplement, look for high quality, non-acidic forms as found in Ethical Nutrients Extra C.
  2. Zinc – Zinc is required for the normal development and function of white blood cells and has antioxidant properties. If you don’t get enough zinc from your diet, it can affect your immunity and reduce your ability to fight off germs.² Taking an enhanced-absorption zinc supplement such as Ethical Nutrients Mega Zinc can provide daily immune support.
  3. Vitamin D – Vitamin D plays an important role in immune health and being low in vitamin D can compromise immune function. Vitamin D can be found in Ethical Nutrients Immune Defence along with other key immune ingredients.
  4. Betacarotene - Betacarotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, which plays an essential role in maintaining a strong immune system. Betacarotene can be found in Ethical Nutrients Immune Fighter as part of a comprehensive immune formula led by medicinal mushrooms.
  5. Vitamin E – Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and supports the function of immune cells, which may help increase resistance to illness.
  6. Iron – The proper functioning of the immune system relies on adequate iron levels.
  7. Selenium – The trace mineral selenium also plays an important role in the health of the immune system. You can top up your vitamin E, iron and selenium intake with a high-quality daily multivitamin such as Ethical Nutrients Super Multi Plus.

Other herbs and natural ingredients can also have an impact on immune health. Andrographis, found in Immune Defence, can help relieve common cold symptoms, as traditionally used in Chinese Medicine. Reishi and shiitake mushrooms combined with Ashwaghanda, in Immune Fighter may reduce the severity of common cold symptoms and assist with recovery as traditionally used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I Drink to Boost my Immune System?

The most important beverage for the immune system and the body as a whole is water. Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining the health and integrity of immune cells, keeping the lungs and other mucous membranes moist, eliminating waste and carrying nutrients and oxygen around the body. If you’re struck down with a cold, drinking warm water with lemon, honey and ginger may help soothe your symptoms.

What Weakens the Immune System?

The immune system can be weakened by a number of factors. A lack of sleep can affect how well you fight off illness since sleep is when the body’s cells and systems repair and regenerate. Long term stress can also suppress immune function, as can smoking and alcohol consumption. Eating too many processed foods and not getting the nutrients the immune system needs to function and thrive can also compromise immune health and your ability to stay well.

What Foods Boost the Immune System?

Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can help boost immune health since they contain important immune-influencing nutrients. Try to consume different coloured fruits and vegetables on a regular basis as each colour provides different health benefits. For example, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables (carrots, capsicum, rockmelon, oranges, lemons, mango, pumpkin and sweet potato) are good sources of vitamin C and betacarotene and blue and purple fruits and vegetables (blackberries, purple grapes, eggplant and purple cabbage) are rich in powerful antioxidants. Eating zinc-rich foods such as pumpkin seeds, oysters, beef and oats, can also provide immune support.


  1. Higdon J. Vitamin C. Linus Pauling Institute. Updated December 2018. Accessed June 11 2023.
  2. Shankar A, et al. Zinc and immune function: the biological basis of altered resistance to infection’, Am J Clin Nutr. 1998;68(2):447-463
  3. Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1211. doi:10.3390/nu9111211
  4. Martineau AR, Jolliffe DA, Hooper RL, et al. Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. BMJ. 2017;356:i6583. doi:10.1136/bmj.i6583
  5. Aranow C. Vitamin D and the immune system. J Investig M. 2011; 59 (6):881-886. doi: 10.231/JIM.0b013e31821b8755
  6. Higdon J. Carotenoids. Linus Pauling Institute. Updated October 2023. Accessed June 11, 2023.
  7. National Institutes of Health. Dietary supplements for immune function and infectious diseases. Updated November 14, 2023. Accessed June 11, 2023.
  8. Better Health Channel. Iron and iron deficiency. Updated January 6, 2022. Accessed June 11, 2023.

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