But sometimes, you can do all of the above to take care of your immune system and still need a little bit of extra help. "Supplementation can be helpful with some of the aforementioned nutrients if you are unable to get adequate amounts in the diet, are deficient, have increased needs, and/or are more susceptible to colds, viruses, etc.," says Tamar Samuels, MS, RDN, NBC-HWC, a registered dietitian, a national board–certified health and wellness coach, and co-founder of Culina Health.
Taking supplements should be your second step after incorporating healthy diet and lifestyle habits, but if you do decide to go that route, it's important to talk to your doctor, dietitian, or another healthcare professional before you start a new regimen. Some supplements might affect your preexisting conditions or any medications you're taking. Also, your doctor might even order specific tests to identify your needs and will be able to recommend personalized dosages from that. And remember to do your research when purchasing supplements—read the labels, check the recommended dosages, and look up the brands themselves.
With all of that in mind, dietitians and physicians shared some common vitamins and nutrients (and their supplement forms) that can support the immune system below.