Winter is coming. And with it, the dreaded cold and flu season that can knock you off your feet for days or weeks. If you shudder at the thought of having to fight off yet another nasty cold this year, it's time to take proactive steps to boost your immune system's defences.


A robust immune system acts as your body's protective barrier against the 200+ cold and flu viruses lurking out there. Fortify your immune system naturally, and these nasty viruses won't stand a chance! Who wouldn't want an impenetrable immune defence shield to stay healthy when everyone around seems to be down with the sniffles?


In this article, we'll provide expert-backed tips and tricks to pump up your immunity the natural way. From diet to lifestyle changes, supplements, and beyond - you'll be armed with easy-to-implement ways to help cold-proof your body. With a strengthened immune system, you can fearlessly take on the cold season. Let's get started building up your defences!


TLDR: Boost Your Immunity Naturally

  • Eat immune-boosting foods like citrus fruits, broccoli, garlic, yogurt, almonds, turmeric, and green tea
  • Support immunity through lifestyle factors like managing stress, getting enough sleep, exercising, and avoiding smoking/excess alcohol
  • Consider supplements like vitamins C and D, zinc, elderberry, and echinacea
  • Include immune-supporting foods and herbs like bone broth, mushrooms, ginger, apple cider vinegar, and licorice root
  • Stay hydrated by drinking fluids like water and herbal tea
  • Practice healthy hygiene habits like handwashing, avoiding face touching, and disinfecting surfaces
  • Make positive diet, lifestyle, and supplement changes to optimise immune defences
  • Take proactive steps to strengthen immunity before the cold season hits
  • Fortify your body's natural defences against viruses and bacteria
  • With a robust immune system, you can stay healthy while others get sick


Eat Immune-Boosting Foods

What we eat can have a powerful effect on the strength of our immune system. Incorporate these immunity-boosting foods into your diet to give your body the tools it needs to fight off illnesses:


  • Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are rich in vitamin C, which stimulates the production of white blood cells - your body's primary line of defence. The vitamin C in just one orange can provide over 100% of your daily recommended intake.
  • Broccoli is packed with vitamins A, C, and E - all key players in immune system regulation. The phytochemicals in broccoli also help to bolster immunity. Aim for 1-2 cups per day, raw or lightly cooked.
  • Garlic contains the compound allicin, which has antimicrobial effects against viruses and bacteria. Adding garlic to soups, sauces, and other dishes gives your immune system a boost, especially when raw.
  • Yogurt with live, active cultures helps populate your gut with beneficial bacteria. Around 70% of the immune system resides in the gut microbiome, so maintaining gut health is crucial.
  • Almonds are high in vitamin E, an antioxidant that assists white blood cells in fighting infections. Enjoy a quarter cup daily as a snack.
  • The curcumin in the bright yellow spice turmeric has been shown to modulate immune responses. The anti-inflammatory effects also support immunity. Add to curries, stews, and smoothies.
  • Sipping green tea provides epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a compound with powerful antibacterial and antiviral effects that can help prevent infections.


Support Your Immune System Through Lifestyle


A healthy immune system requires a balanced lifestyle in addition to a nutritious diet. Here are some changes you can make to keep your immunity strong:


  • Chronic stress can compromise immune defences, so try to incorporate stress-relieving practices like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing into your daily routine. Even 10-15 minutes per day can make a difference.
  • Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night. Lack of sleep negatively affects the cells that fight infections in the body. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule and limit screen time before bed.
  • Regular exercise supports immunity by increasing circulation and levels of happy hormones called endorphins. Get at least 30 minutes per day of moderate activity like walking, cycling, or swimming.
  • Smoking and excess alcohol intake interfere with optimal immune system functioning. Try to cut back or quit smoking and keep alcohol consumption moderate.


Making positive lifestyle changes reduces factors that depress immune function. With healthy habits in place, your body is ready to mount its best defence against illness-causing germs.


Consider Immune-Boosting Supplements

In addition to a nutrient-dense diet, certain vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements can give your immune cells an extra boost. Talk to your doctor before adding any new supplements to your regimen. Some to consider include:


  • Vitamin C is arguably the most well-known immune-boosting nutrient. Supplements can provide higher therapeutic doses than dietary sources alone. Look for 500-1000mg daily.
  • Vitamin D regulates immune cell production and activity. Those who are deficient are more susceptible to illness. Most need 2000-4000 IU per day, especially during winter months.
  • Zinc supports the health of immune cells and helps fight infections. Supplement with at least 30mg daily. Take it separately from iron supplements.
  • Elderberry extract has antiviral properties against cold and flu viruses. Take 500-1000mg daily as a preventive measure during peak season.
  • Echinacea contains polysaccharides that enhance the activity of certain white blood cells. This herb is often used in the short term to help fight off colds.


Work with your healthcare provider to determine which supplements can benefit your unique needs and help provide immune reinforcement.


Immune System Support


Certain therapeutic foods and herbs have been used traditionally to help stimulate and strengthen the overall immune system support. Here are some examples:


  • Bone broth made by simmering bones, connective tissue and aromatics contains amino acids and minerals that support immunity. Sip 1-2 cups per day.
  • Medicinal mushrooms like reishi, shiitake and maitake modulate aspects of the immune response. Have them in soups, teas or as supplements.
  • Ginger's antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects help fortify defences. Enjoy ginger tea or add fresh ginger to stir-fries and marinades.
  • Apple cider vinegar contains probiotics from fermentation that improve gut immunity. Mix with water and drink before meals.
  • Licorice root has antiviral properties as well as immune-boosting triterpenoids. Use for tea or take as a tincture or supplement.


Discuss adding these foods and herbs into your routine with your healthcare provider to help optimise your body's immune-fighting capacity from the inside out.


Stay Hydrated

Preventing dehydration is an important yet often overlooked factor in maintaining a healthy immune system. Drinking adequate fluids ensures your body's cells function properly, including immune cells that need water to carry out their duties.


Consume plenty of pure, filtered water throughout the day. Herbal teas are another excellent way to hydrate. Aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids daily. Eating water-rich fruits and vegetables like cucumber and watermelon also contributes to hydration.


Try to avoid excessive intake of beverages that can have a diuretic effect, like coffee, black tea, alcohol, and soda. The caffeine and alcohol in these drinks can contribute to dehydration over time, which stresses the body and weakens immunity.


Keep a reusable water bottle with you as a reminder to drink frequently. Brew a big batch of antioxidant-rich herbal tea to sip throughout the day. Proper hydration energises your cells to help fend off any cold or flu viruses in their tracks.


Practice Good Hygiene Habits


Viruses and bacteria can easily enter through the eyes, nose, and mouth, so practicing healthy hygiene minimises exposure to pathogens that cause illness. Washing the hands frequently prevents the spread of germs and should be done:


  • After using the restroom
  • Before, during, and after food preparation
  • After touching public surfaces
  • When hands are dirty
  • More often when sick


Resist touching your face since viruses and bacteria on the hands can then enter the body.


Disinfecting surfaces, especially shared ones like doorknobs, keyboards, and phones, kills lingering microbes. Use disinfectant wipes or a bleach-based household cleaner.


Healthy hygiene habits reduce the chances of transmitting viruses and bacteria. Fortify your first line of immune defence by washing your hands, avoiding face touching, and disinfecting surfaces.


Key Takeaways: Boost Your Immunity Naturally

Want to laugh in the face of the cold season? Now, you're equipped with expert tips to pump up your body's defences the natural way. A robust immune system is within your grasp.


Don't let nasty viruses catch you off guard and ruin your winter. With a strategic immune-boosting plan, you can stay healthy while others sneeze and sniffle around you.


Take action now by adopting our immune-enhancing diet, lifestyle, supplement and hygiene suggestions. Say goodbye to feeling run down and sluggish when everyone else has a cold or flu. This year, commit to supporting your body's innate protective powers. With our guidance, you can face the cold season with confidence, energy and vitality. Your pumped-up immune system is ready to take on any cold-causing culprits out there. Game on, winter - we're ready for you!


This article is part of the Point-of-View Programme.


Latest Articles