How to boost your immune system

Immune System Boosting Supplements And Foods To Keep You Healthy


The immune system is the first and last line of defence against illness and disease, so the stronger an immune system is, the healthier the individual. Unfortunately, the weaker the immune system, the more likely an individual will be to fall ill and suffer from poor health. The good news however, is that you can easily strengthen and boost your immune system in a number of ways. One way of doing this is using supplements.


I firmly believe everything starts in the gut from digestion, poor sleep, skin breakouts etc and about 70% of your immune system starts here too. Thats over half of your over all health so if you are looking for a place to start building yourself up against coughs and colds this is an ideal place to start. Probiotics are basically good bacteria that help your immune system, digestion, absorption of vitamins and minerals etc. Its also particularly important for those who have just been on a course of antibiotics as these will have killed off the good and bad bacterica and will leave you more susceptible for picking up another infection. Our favourite to use are Udos Choice super 8s which have 42 billion bacterica per cap.


Echinacea has received lots of press over the last few years and rightly so. It is effective against bacteria and viruses. It is considered to be immunostimulating, stimulating the body’s infection fighting immune cells and increasing the production of other immune fighting compounds such as interferon. Its action is at its highest during the first 2 hours after taking it. So it is best used at low doses in 2 hour intervals at the first sign of infection and throughout an infection


The beautiful native Irish elder tree is a medicine chest in itself. In herbal medicine the leaves, berries and flowers are used for many conditions. The berries and flowers have traditionally been used to treat the common cold. They help decongest, aid in reducing a fever and have an antimicrobial action. Recent studies have also show elderberries to have an inhibiting effect on H1N1 (swine flu).

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for immune system support. It increases the production of important immune system components, including neutrophils, phagocytes, interferon, and natural killer cells. It also simulates the activity of antibodies, which the immune system uses to identify and neutralize microbes and other foreign invaders. Infections and other illnesses deplete vitamin C, and since your body cannot produce or store it, you need to replace it every day.

Because vitamin C is water-soluble you can safely take large doses without fear of toxicity.However, high doses of oral vitamin C can cause loose stools, so start with 1000 mg per dose and build up to higher or more frequent doses gradually. I recommend eventually taking at least 1,000 mg daily, in divided doses, with meals. For extra immune system support, you can take up to 10,000 mg daily.

Vitamin D

It’s no coincidence that cold and flu season occurs during the winter, when vitamin D stores are at their lowest. In addition to its many other benefits, vitamin D turns on genes that boost production of antimicrobial peptides called cathelicidins, which destroy viruses, bacteria, and other germs. Limited sun exposure during the wintertime results in minimal vitamin D production—and a compromised immune system.

There’s plenty of research to support vitamin D as an immune boosting supplement.

Protect yourself by getting your vitamin D blood level tested and taking enough of this immune boosting supplement to maintain a level of 50-80 ng/mL. For most of people, this requires supplementing with about 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day.

Foods to boost your immune system

Eating a healthy balanced diet is the best long-term help you can give your immune system.


  • Increase warming soups and stews. These are a great way to get lots of nutrients into our diet, boosting our bodies overall and warming us from the inside.

  • Be sure to include lots of sweet potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables in your diet. They are full of antioxidants and contain carotenoids which have immune boosting effects. They also often contain polysaccharides which have an immune stimulating effect on the gut.

  • Eat your greens! Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage are high in vitamin C and other nutrients that boost your immunity. They also contain cancer preventing isothiocyanates.

  • Mushrooms such as shitake and reishi have many immune boosting properties. They are a great addition to stir-fries and curries and also make a great immune boosting broth.

  • Eat good quality wholegrain carbohydrates to give you energy throughout the day so your body doesn’t have to run on empty and get run down.

  • Avoid junk food and lots of processed sugars which do little for your nutrition levels and can also put pressure on your immune system.

  • Don’t mind the smelly breath, Garlic is too tasty and too good for you to avoid. Garlic is a decongestant and contains allicin a compound proven to have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.

  • Make sure you get lots of immune boosting Vitamin C – found in citrus fruits, berries, red peppers and leafy green vegetables, and Zinc – found in nuts, seeds, seaweeds, wheatgerm and seafood.

Buying Immune Health Supplements at Healthy Living

Healthy Living stock an extensive range of immune health supplements from only the very best brands including Better You, Terranova, Quest, Udo's Choice and to name but a few. Take a closer look at our extensive supplement range for more information on which one is best suited to your needs.

If you have any questions, our would like some complimentary advice, just ask any member of our team in store.