For adults and children, lifestyle, level of physical activity, amount of sleep and diet can affect how well the immune system functions. You could support your immune system by avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. You can also decrease your chances of catching or transmitting a cold or virus by washing your hands regularly.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that keeps us healthy and prevents cells from getting damaged. Vitamin C is commonly found in citrus fruits and many vegetables. Taking high doses of vitamin C has not been proven to prevent colds, but it has been proven to reduce the duration and severity of the common cold.
Zinc is a mineral needed in small amounts every day. It contributes to good health and strengthens our immune system. The best sources of zinc are seafood, meat, seeds, cooked dried beans, peas and lentils. Evidence has shown zinc supplementation can reduce the duration and severity of the common cold.