The Most Worthwhile Immune-Boosting Supplements, According to a Wellness Expert

Nutritionist and wellness advocate Mona Sharma recommends some best bets for staying healthy this winter.

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Though the ongoing pandemic is at the forefront of most current health conversations, winter is here, which so is common cold and flu season. While vaccines, boosters, and masks remain our best defenses against the spread of Covid-19, you can help your body snuff out lower-risk infections by bolstering your system with immunity-supporting supplements.

Odds are, your New Year’s resolution centers around wellness in one way or another, and getting stuck in bed sick is a quick way to slow down your progress. Fortunately, you can curb your chances of catching a cold with some intentional focus on what you put in your body. To learn more about using supplements to encourage our immune systems to do their jobs well, we talked to nutritionist and wellness advocate Mona Sharma.

Sharma has worked with high-profile clients such as Will Smith and Julianne Hough, and promotes a holistic approach to wellness centered around “food as medicine, movement as therapy, and mindfulness as the journey to optimize health.” She's also the founder of Xicama, a health beverage company powered by the numerous benefits of jicama, a Central American superfood.

If you’re aiming to take better care of yourself and feel great this year, Sharma believes that a good starting point is a simple semantic adjustment:

“This year, try to replace the word fixing with the word nourishing,” she says. “Often, when we’re trying to fix [things], it can feel like a lot of work. This leads to resolutions falling by the wayside because they seem too hard. Instead, shift your mindset to activities that nourish your health…It’s a subtle shift that invites more sustainability because it involves you feeling good along the way, instead of deprived or depleted. Make feeling good the priority, and align with daily rituals that help you get there.”

Sharma says that, for her, a morning ritual of meditation, herbal tea, and a brisk outdoor walk is the best way to ensure a good start to her day. She also recommends a number of nourishing supplements that promote good health, so that you can take on whatever ritual works best for you (even when it’s freezing outside).

Based on our conversation, we rounded up some of the best supplemental options to focus on, along with specific brands that tend to squeeze the most out of these immunity-boosting nutrients. When it comes to supplements, Sharma says, quality is key.

“The brand of supplements you choose is very important, since so many companies use cheap, synthetic ingredients with added fillers, preservatives, and dyes. These are often found in drug stores and department stores…Quality is everything, along with healthy digestion, to make sure that you’re absorbing the nutrients that you need.”

With that in mind, here are some of the best supplement choices to help kickstart your wellness journey in 2022.

Liposomal Vitamin C

Most of us probably reach for Vitamin C first when we’re hoping to strengthen our immune systems. But, according to Sharma, there are more efficient ways to get it than chugging a glass of OJ.

“We all know the benefits of Vitamin C for immunity. Taking it in the liposomal form offers greater bioavailability than encapsulated forms,” she says.

This is because Vitamin C is water soluble, so it often dissolves before it gets to your cells. In a liposomal form, the vitamin is encased within microscopic droplets called liposomes, which mimic the barrier of a cell membrane. This allows the Vitamin C to become fat soluble and have an easier time making it into your cells and supporting your immune system.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is most commonly associated with bone growth and strength, but it’s also an essential component of your immune system. Unlike Vitamin C, which we can only get through ingestion, our bodies naturally produce Vitamin D when we’re exposed to sunlight. Of course, that might be in short supply when the sun disappears early in the day.

“[Vitamin D3 is] critical for immune function, and supplementation is needed during the colder months,” Sharma explains. If you can, Sharma suggests getting your blood levels checked to identify your own specific dosage, but typically recommends starting at 2,000IU of D3 daily with food.


There’s been a lot of talk in the wellness world around gut health in recent years, and it all starts with probiotics. These live yeasts and bacteria (the good kind) help to keep your digestive system in check, and some studies suggest that they can promote the natural production of antibodies in the body.

While you can get those healthy bacteria from natural and delicious sources like yogurt, kimchi, and even sourdough bread, Sharma believes that a little boost should help you out.

“A healthy gut with optimal gut flora is integral to the immune system,” she says. “Look for a high strain of at least 10 billion organisms per capsule. Lactobacillus plantarum and spore forms of Bacillus are among the best for immunity.”

High-Quality Multivitamin and Mineral Formulas

In general, multivitamin and mineral supplements are used to compensate for the necessary nutrients that you might not get from your regular diet. According to Sharma, those deficiencies tend to become more prominent when we’re doing too much and facing a lot of stress.

“When we’re busy, our diet tends to suffer, and with stress, we also tend to become more vulnerable to illness,” she says. “So, supplementing with a good multivitamin offers support for our immune system when our food and lifestyle doesn’t cut it.”

Again, the focus here should be on quality. Many drugstore multivitamins tend to fall short when it comes to the ingredient list, so it’s worth your while to invest in a natural, well-produced product.

Chad Rafferty is a Thrillist contributor.
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