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Vital vitamins

Think immunity and most people think vitamin C. While it won’t prevent you from catching a cold, taking one to two grams of vitamin C daily during illness can reduce symptoms and severity and decrease recovery time. vitamin D, known as the sunshine vitamin, because it’s derived from exposure to sunlight, has also been shown to help the immune system fight off bacteria and viruses, and a deficiency – especially likely in winter – makes you three to four times more likely to catch a cold.

The B vitamins are also important for maintaining a functioning immune system – particularly vitamin B6, which is involved in antibody production, and vitamin B12, which helps with the production of white blood cells.

Must-have minerals

Zinc is involved in wound healing and also bolsters your defence against infection, while selenium is an antioxidant that helps to lower inflammation and enhance immunity. Both of these nutrients become harder to absorb as you age. Iron is also important for immune function and a lack of iron – known as iron deficiency anaemia – is common among women of childbearing age and those with intestinal diseases.

Try turmeric

Turmeric has become hugely popular and although much of the research is focused on the ingredient curcumin, turmeric actually contains over 300 beneficial compounds. Healthspan’s Opti-Turmeric contains highly absorbable advanced liquid curcumin and is combined with vitamin C to support the immune system.

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