How to support a healthy immune system year-round

Having a healthy immune system year-round is a goal for many. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible and the chances of you being exposed to winter ills and chills is likely.

Your immune system is comprised of many organs, tissues and cells that work together to protect you and keep you fit and healthy. If these mechanisms are not functioning optimally, you may become more susceptible.

What are the common signs

Signs include:

  • Fatigue
  • Heightened stress levels
  • Bloating & distention
  • Digestive changes such as sluggish bowels

If you are suffering from any of the listed signs, seek advice from your health care professional.

What are the causes?

When your immune system is exposed to winter ills & chills, your immune system will develop proteins called antibodies that work to fight off the specific invader. White blood cells as well as antibodies are responsible for protecting your body.

Many factors can affect the health of your immune system including seasonal changes, poor diet, lack of movement as well as lack of sleep.  Chronic levels of stress can also also affect the immune system and may increase the likelihood of winter ills and chills.

Diet and lifestyle tips for supporting a healthy immune system

Although catching the winter ills and chills is inevitable, there are many steps you can take to support your immune system.

Dietary tips:

  • Increase vitamin C rich foods in your diet. These include broccoli, capsicum, kiwi fruit, oranges, lemons etc. Vitamin C is important to support a healthy immune system function
  • Increase zinc rich foods. Zinc is another essential nutrient needed to support immune system health. You can support your zinc status through including foods such as oysters, pumpkin seeds, poultry and red meat
  • Ensure you are having adequate protein intake from plant or animal-based sources. Protein is essential in helping to support a healthy immune system function
  • Enjoy a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure you are receiving essential vitamins and minerals needed to support your immune system
  • Vitamin D rich foods such as eggs and fatty fish provide immune supporting properties

Lifestyle tips:

  • Maintain a healthy exercise regime
  • Reduce stress where possible
  • Maintain healthy hygiene and wash your hands. This gives the immune system less work
  • Reduce alcohol intake and drink in moderation
  • Focus on improving the quality of your sleep
  • Ensure you have adequate levels of vitamin D by enjoying 10-15 minutes of sunshine per day (at sun safe hours)

Thompson’s Herbal Favourites for supporting a healthy immune system

Echinacea, a Native American plant also known as coneflower, has been used for centuries as a remedy for winter ills. Echinacea has immune supporting properties helping to support a healthy immune system function year-round.

Garlic (Allium sativum) is traditionally used in Western herbal practice to support the body’s immune system during winter ills & chills and support overall general health and wellbeing.

Olive leaf (Olea europaea) is used as an antioxidant to support general health and wellbeing.

Looking to support your immune system health? Explore our Immune Health range designed and mastered with herbs to support a healthy immune system year-round.  

Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional. Integria, Auckland