With the current virus scare in 2020, we see people looking for more quick solutions for how to deal with preventing illnesses. A recent email from a doctor to his family and friends got out to the public and, while not specific to Coronavirus, was just solid advice based on science.
Wash your hands, avoid crowds, use hand sanitizer, don’t shake hands, etc. Near the end, he mentioned increasing zinc. This got blown out of proportion as people started rumors that zinc prevented viral illnesses.
Evidence suggests that having good levels of zinc helps shorten the length and severity of things like the common cold. At the time of this writing, there is no evidence that zinc prevents illnesses, especially the Coronavirus.
However, generally speaking, having healthy levels of zinc is good for you and might help you with some illnesses. It seems to boost the immune system and many foods that are high in zinc are also good for you.
A recent article about boosting zinc naturally is available and discusses which sources of zinc are higher AND have a positive health benefit. For example, red meat is very high in zinc, as is dark chocolate, but too much of either will most likely not have a positive outcome.
Instead, eating regular helpings of beans, lentils, seeds, and nuts will boost your immune system. Keeping in mind we are neither expert dieticians nor doctors, this seems like basic good advice that leads to healthier habits that might protect you from more serious viruses when they are spreading in your community.