Get set for Winter wellness

5 minute read
Get set for Winter wellness

The winter months increase our chances of falling sick, so what can we do to give ourselves the best chance of staying well? What is important for a healthy, functioning immune system so we can step into winter fighting fit.

Our immunity is made up of an amazing and complex system with many parts including:
Immune cell surveillance

There is an army of blood cells that go around the body looking for trouble. If they detect anything unusual, they trigger a response. This sends our defence cells to the location to fight off the winter bugs, but also starts the body making more immune cells in case it results in a battle.

Physical barriers

This includes the linings of our respiratory system, gut and skin barrier, that physically stop bugs from entering the body. The linings of the gut and respiratory system are also covered in hairs, which help to sweep debris and bugs out of the body. The cells of these linings also excrete defensive substances like mucous which trap bacteria.

Learnt immunity

Part of our immune system is set up with pre-programmed responses that protect against specific conditions. We develop these as a result of previous exposure to an illness. from our inherited genes and vaccines. They are trained to recognise a certain disease and have specific systems in place to know how to deal with it.

What do we need for immune defences to work effectively?

All defences need building blocks, so what do we need to build ourselves up? Vitamins and minerals all contribute to our well-being, but some standout ones are essential for the functioning of our immune system.

Key vitamins for our immune system include:

Vitamin C

This is the one that most people associate with winter wellness and with good reason. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production which builds and repairs our physical barriers. It is used in the maki our immune surveillance team (white blood cells) and is a component of our immune cells. This means when we get sick we quickly deplete vitamin C levels and need to top up with extra to support a strong immune response.

Vitamin C is also the chief antioxidant for our lungs, so it helps to protect them through the winter months and repairs damage created by invading bugs.

This vitamin is also important to make our fight or flight hormones, so if we are stressed we need to use more vitamin C. This is why we can often get sick after periods of busyness.

For daily support during the winter months use Super Family C for all of the family 4yrs+. 

When you need an urgent high-dose top-up when sick use Hi-Dose Vit C for fast support. 

Do you want a vitamin C solution that is gentle on your stomach and premium quality? Vitamin C & Quercetin Liposomal taste great, absorbs easily and has the added benefits of quercetin that work synergistically with vitamin C for immune health. 

Vitamin A

This is essential for creating strong linings in the respiratory tract and gut, and the mucous substances they produce. It supports the development of the immune system, with the production and function of our white blood cells and helps in the responses of our learnt immunity. Low vitamin A can increase your susceptibility to infections, can lead to dry skin, dry eyes and can affect night vision.

You can find vitamin A naturally in orange and red fruits and vegetables, egg yolks, oily fish and butter. Daily vitamin A support can be found in Viractive Complete, along with zinc and vitamin C for full winter support. 


This is a mineral that is found on all our physical barriers, such as the skin and mucous membrane linings inside the body. Zinc is found in the mucous secretions of the respiratory system and on the surfaces of the lungs and throat. Its antimicrobial actions help as a first line of defence for the body. Zinc is also used in the production of our immune cells.

Zinc governs our sense of taste and smell, so picky eaters might need a zinc top-up. Also, white spots on the nails can be a sign that we need some more zinc.

Zinc can be found in many foods such as meat, fish, seafood and sea vegetables. Vegetarian sources include nuts, legumes, whole grains, miso, tofu, brewer’s yeast, mushrooms, green beans, seeds (for example pumpkin and sesame), green leafy vegetables, and avocado.

You can support family zinc levels using Clinicians Zinc Oral Drops. These have variable drop dosing making them suitable for all family members 1yr+. 

Vitamin D

Latest research shows that Vitamin D deficiency can increase susceptibility to illness. This vitamin is predominantly made in the body on exposure to the sun. The incidence of deficiency in NZ has increased as our sensible sunscreen culture affects Vitamin D production. Also, less sun in the winter months, especially in the South Island can affect winter vitamin D levels.

Some foods are rich in vitamin D such as eggs, oily fish like salmon or mackerel, fortified milks and cheese. You can also top up family vitamin D levels using Vitamin D liposomal liquid or Sunshine Vitamin D chewable tablets, which is suitable for all family members 3yrs+.

Who might need extra immune support?

At some time in our lives, we might find ourselves more run down and in need of some extra support to stay well. However, some groups might need more support than others.

  • People with a poor diet that is lacking in fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Older people who are more vulnerable, especially around the lungs.
  • Smokers and vapers, as this adversely affects vitamin C levels.
  • People taking medications should be mindful as some can deplete nutrients.
  • Families with children starting daycare or new schools will be exposed to new germs as they develop their immune health.

What else can we do to stay well?

  • Stay hydrated; water is needed to make the mucous that lines and protects are barriers.
  • Eat plenty of seasonal vegetables and fruit. Nature has provided us with abundant vitamin and mineral-rich foods in winter, such as broccoli, carrots, citrus fruits, persimmons, tamarillos and kiwifruit.
  • Our gut plays an important part in regulating our immune system and beneficial bacteria play an important role. Top up on your probiotics and increase fermented foods in the diet. For kids, try Kids Immune Support powder to help nurture their developing immunity. 
  • People who have weak lungs can take respiratory herbs daily to help keep the airways clear and open. Consider ivy leaf, elecampane, elderberry and pelargomium.
  • Try to spend some time outside. Just 10 minutes outside in the sun daily can help with vitamin D levels.

If you would like more personalised advice on how to keep yourself or your family well this winter, book one of our 15-minute free naturopath chats.

Immunity Lifestyle
  • Zinc Oral Drops
    Immune & Allergens

    High potency zinc, in liquid form for greater absorption. Essential immunity and skin health support for the whole family.

  • Hi-Dose Vit C
    Immune & Allergens

    A potent Vitamin C combination for times when you need fast support for ills and chills.

  • Liposomal Vitamin C & Quercetin
    Immune & Allergens

    Highly absorbable Liposomal Vitamin C and Quercetin, that work together for immune health and antioxidant support.

  • Prospan® Lozenges
    Immune & Allergens

    Scientifically researched Ivy Leaf extract in a handy lozenge. Great to soothe the throat and clear the airways.

  • Prospan® Bronchial Syrup
    Immune & Allergens

    Scientifically researched Ivy Leaf bronchial syrup for respiratory health. Great to soothe the throat and clear the airways.

  • ViraShield
    Immune & Allergens

    A powerful, fast-acting herbal and zinc formula, to support immune defense and recovery from ills and chills.

  • Vitamin D Drops
    Kids Health

    Support healthy Vitamin D levels in infants and kids for growth and development, normal bone structure and a healthy immune system.

  • Super Family C Powder
    Immune & Allergens

    Formulated with esterified Vitamin C to provide 24-hour immune support.

  • Nasal Clear Mānuka Spray
    Immune & Allergens

    Scientifically formulated nose spray to support clear sinuses and healthy breathing, containing New Zealand Mānuka Honey.

  • VirActive Complete
    Immune & Allergens

    Formulated with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Zinc and Selenium which are vitamins and minerals used by the body to fight ills and chills.

  • Super Family C Capsules
    Immune & Allergens

    Formulated with esterified Vitamin C to provide 24-hour immune support.

  • Kids Nasal Clear Mānuka Spray
    Kids Health

    Nasal spray for kids to provide natural and fast-acting support for clear sinuses.

  • Kids Immune Care
    Kids Health

    Scientifically researched probiotics to support your little ones developing immune system and daily immune response.

  • Immune System Support
    Immune & Allergens

    A scientifically researched product that supports the activation of the immune system, for a fast response to ills and chills.

  • Hi-Dose Vit C Sachets
    Immune & Allergens

    High dose Vitamin C in a handy sachet for times when you need fast support for ills and chills.

  • Allerstop
    Immune & Allergens

    Natural chewable tablets to support a healthy response to allergens within 15 minutes.

  • Herbal Bronchial Liquid
    Immune & Allergens

    A research based warming bronchial liquid to support relaxed airways for easy breathing and lung health.

  • Free Gift of Nasal Clear Spray
    Immune & Allergens

    Scientifically formulated nose spray to support clear sinuses and healthy breathing, containing New Zealand Mānuka Honey.