The Best Natural Ways To Boost Your Immune System

The Best Natural Ways To Boost Your Immune System

Beat the winter bugs by eating & drinking your way to good health, so head to the supermarket & pick up these foods & drinks to strengthen your immunity.

Forget the pharmacy! At this time of year, head to the supermarket to strengthen your immunity and beat the winter bugs by eating and drinking your way to good health

Have five daily portions of fruit and veg

It’s the easiest way to get enough vitamin C, which has a vital role in healthy immunity. The best sources: citrus fruits and their juices, berries, kiwi fruit, peppers, broccoli and tomatoes. Fruit and veg are also rich in antioxidants, which help mop up free radicals – harmful molecules that can potentially damage the immune system.

Get enough vitamin E

This antioxidant found in vegetable oils, avocado, nuts, green leafy veg and wholegrains, boosts immunity by helping to maintain levels of T-cells, (a type of white blood cell that looks for infections) and T-cell function becomes impaired the older we get.

Enjoy a daily probiotic drink or yogurt

As most of our immune system is in the gut, our digestive system is the first line of defence against infection, so it’s vital to keep it healthy with plenty of good bacteria. Swedish research found 26% of factory workers took sick leave after having a placebo drink for 80 days, compared to just 11% who had a probiotic drink.

Get enough zinc

According to Cardiff University’s Common Cold Centre, even a mild deficiency of zinc can cause problems for our immune system. Good sources include red meat, shellfish, dairy, eggs, nuts and whole grains.

Start your day with breakfast

Breakfast skippers are more likely to suffer with coughs and colds, say Cardiff University researchers. To strengthen your immune system, try porridge or wholegrain cereal – they’re prebiotics, which stimulate the growth of good gut bacteria. Or have eggs – they contain immune-friendly selenium, vitamins A and D, and folate (a B vitamin). Or click here to discover an immune boosting breakfast bowl that can be made in minutes. [VIDEO LINK]

Snack on nuts and seeds

They’re a powerhouse of immune-boosting nutrients including iron, zinc, copper and vitamin E. Brazil nuts are the true winner though – they’re loaded with selenium, a deficiency of which weakens immunity. Just 20g provide all the selenium we need in a day.

Make room for mushrooms

Studies show shiitake mushrooms boost immunity. Even white button mushrooms may increase production of antiviral substances according to research by Tufts University in the States. Add them to stir-fries, soups and stews.

Eat oily fish at least once a week

Salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and fresh tuna contain an immune-boosting combo of omega-3 fats and vitamin D. During summer, our body makes vitamin D when skin is exposed to sunshine. But in winter we don’t get as much sun, so it’s important to eat more vitamin D-rich foods.

Top tip…

If despite your best efforts you do contact a cold, remember that Vicks VapoRub will help relieve the symptoms of catarrh, sore throat, congestion and coughs.

You might also like:

Leave a comment * Mandatory Field
By clicking submit, I confirm I have written the entirety of the content and agree to the Terms and Conditions