Immunity & Allergies

Keep your immune system strong this winter

John Feltham

July 2, 2020

Winter is here! And with the colder days, it becomes even more important to keep our immune system strong so our bodies are resilient and better able to cope with the chill mornings and rainy days.

Have you ever wondered why some people seem invincibly healthy while others catch every passing flu? One may say it is genetics but in fact, there are many things you can do to support your immunity:

Eat a rainbow diet

During winter, we naturally crave comfort foods and carbohydrate-loaded meals, but if you stick to eating two serves of fruits and five serves of vegetables each day, this will ensure your body is getting all the vitamins it needs to perform at its best. 

Fruits and vegetables are highly nutritious, packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients - all required for the proper functioning of the immune system. 

Make a hearty soup every week using winter vegetables: sweet potatoes, pumpkins, broccolis, kale and silver-beets are some of my favourites!

Eat organic and seasonal produce whenever possible to ensure you are not consuming pesticide residues. 

Power your protein intake 

Protein is a very important nutrient, however many people are at risk of not consuming enough protein, especially vegetarians and vegans. On average, a woman needs about 46g of protein per day or 0.75g/kg, and these requirements may increase depending on activity level or age.

When it comes to immunity, the body uses the protein from the diet to create other specific proteins, which will be used to perform many body functions, including working  as chemical messengers to warn cells when a virus or bacteria is present; or as antibodies, latching onto pathogens to remove them from our system.

Try adding more legumes and whole grains to your diet this winter and aim for one good source of protein with each meal.

Take a good vitamin C supplement

Vitamin C is the immune system best friend! This is thanks to its antioxidant properties and its ability to recycle and regenerate other important vitamins, like vitamins A and E. Those powerful antioxidants help fight damaging free-radicals, which are associated with ageing and disease. 

Vitamin C increases our ability to resist infections whilst reducing healing time. It also helps maintain our skin's integrity which stop pathogens from entering our bodies while at the same time keeping our skin looking healthier and youthful (Yay!). 

Since the body cannot produce Vitamin C, it is important to eat plenty of citrus fruits, orange-coloured vegetables and leafy greens daily.

Taking a good Vitamin C supplement can also help keep your immune system strong throughout winter or when feeling tired and run-down.

Go Nuts for nuts! (and seeds)

Seeds and nuts are rich in protein, healthy fats, fibre, and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, plant iron and zinc. They also contain vitamins B1,B2, B3 and vitamin E - a natural antioxidant. 

Our levels of these micronutrients can influence various parameters of our immune system, including antibody responses, cell-mediated immunity, and natural killer (NK) cell activity.

Since the body needs these micronutrients on daily basis, having about 30g of nuts and seeds daily is the best way to ensure you are meeting your daily requirements. 

Eat more fermented foods

The inner and outer surfaces of the body (such as the skin and the mucus membranes) are the first barrier against pathogens (viruses, bacteria, toxins), but our gut microbiota (the bacteria in your gut) also plays an important part in fighting disease and modulating our immune response.

Having a healthy gut microbiome improves overall health, and when balanced, the good bacteria in your gut makes up about 70% of your immune system cells. 

If you experience symptoms like bloating, allergies or abdominal discomfort, gradually increasing your intake of fermented foods, pre and probiotics can help ease your symptoms whilst also boosting your immunity. 

Try adding these foods to your daily diet: coconut yogurt, kefir, kombucha, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, tempeh and miso. Also consider a good multi-strain probiotic to help rebalance your gut flora. 

Spice it up 

The humble herbs in your kitchen garden can help you fight and recover from illness. 

Herbs have been used medicinally for thousand of years. They contain hundreds of chemical constituents, some well researched for their pharmacological activity. 

Although best taken under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional, when used in cooking or as herbal teas, they are often safe and a great addition to your daily health ritual.

Well-known herbs to support immunity are: Echinacea, Oregano, Thyme, Mint, Elderberry, Ginger, Andrographis and Astragalus. 


When it comes to being healthy, the simple rule is to look after yourself: eat well, enjoy a little bit of sunshine everyday, get plenty of sleep and keep yourself hydrated this winter! 

If you feel like you need extra support to reach your health goals, book a consultation now or contact us for more information.



Hechman, Leah. Clinical Naturopathic Medicine
"Vitamin D Linked to Autoimmune and Cancer Disease Genes, Underscoring Risks of Deficiency." Genome Research. CSH Press. Published 24 August 2010. Accessed 22 July 2018.,an%20increased%20susceptibility%20to%20infection

Supplements should be taken under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

This post is informational only and it does not intend to diagnose or treat any health conditions



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