Our immune system is both complex and remarkable, defending your body against invading bacteria and viruses that can cause disease.1 There are a few things that you can do to help strengthen your body’s first line of defence.1
5 top tips for supporting your immunity
Having a healthy immune system is important for keeping your body healthy and defending it against external threats.2 Following our handy tips can help you give your immune system the support it needs.
Fuel your body
Eating a balanced diet consisting of plant-based carbohydrates, natural healthy fats and protein will optimise your intake of vitamins and promote growth and repair.2
Your immune system can be a bit like a computer, it needs time to rest. Sleep helps recharge the system and increases your levels of cells that fight off disease. Being sleep deprived can mean an increased level of stress hormones.2
Movement and exercise may increase the circulation of your immune cells in the body. This means that your immune system is better prepared to fight off invading bacteria or viruses.2
Practice clean living
Minding personal hygiene can go a long way. Regular hand washing can prevent the spread of germs and help stop yourself and others from getting sick. It’s also a good idea to have a clean and dry toothbrush, regularly disinfect your phone screen take daily showers and change your towels frequently.2,3
Say no to stress
When you’re stressed, your immune system can weaken and its ability to fight off bacteria and viruses can be reduced. Try out some stress management techniques like staying physically active, spending time outdoors or meditation.2
Your Immune Health Regimen
Incorporate foods in your diet that may help immune function
Feast on oily fish
Oily fish such as salmon contains zinc and vitamin D4
Eat the rainbow
Colourful fruits and vegetables like oranges, strawberries and broccoli contain vitamin C which is important for your immune system4
Consider lean meat
Lean meats are a great source of zinc, and also contain copper and manganese which are antioxidants4,5
Pick up some probiotics
Probiotics may help stimulate your immune system into producing more cells that fight off disease6
Change up your lifestyle to help keep your body healthy
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
You should wash your hands before and after touching food, after sneezing or coughing, after shaking hands with someone, after using the bathroom and after touching any animals2
Cut out the cigarettes
Smoking can reduce the activity of your immune system – by quitting smoking entirely, you’re giving your immune system a better chance of fighting off disease2
Spend time socialising and laughing
Research has shown that social contact and laughing can have positive effects on how your immune system functions 2
Do you want to try to manage how you feel about relationships, relaxation and work?7 Making a few small changes to your day to day routine could help you reduce stress.
Do you want to get to the end of the day and still have a spring in your step? Enjoy more activity in your everyday by changing a few of your daily habits.
1. Harvard Health. How to boost your immune system. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system [Accessed October 2020].
2. Heart Research Australia. 7 tips for maintaining a healthy immune system during this COVID-19 crisis. Available at: https://www.heartresearch.com.au/7-tips-for-maintaining-a-healthy-immune-system/ [Accessed October 2020].
3. Health Direct. Can you boost your immune system against the coronavirus (COVID-19)? Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/blog/can-you-boost-your-immune-system-against-the-coronavirus-covid-19 [Accessed October 2020].
4. Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute. Food and your immune system. Available at: https://baker.edu.au/-/media/documents/fact-sheets/baker-institute_food-your-immune-system.pdf [Accessed October 2020].
5. Better Health Channel – Victoria State Government. Antioxidants. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/antioxidants [Accessed October 2020].
6. Stavropoulou E & Bezirtzoglou E. Front Immunol 2020;11:2192.