A Nutritionist’s Guide To Keeping Your Immune System Strong This Winter

Against the backdrop of the ongoing pandemic, it’s more important than ever to keep tabs on our health, diet and lifestyle. Supporting and building our immune systems by tweaking our diets and ensuring we get a good night’s sleep can help them stay strong – whatever your current health is like, the best defence weapon against any illness – Covid-19 included – is bolstering your immune function.

We can start by considering what we eat and drink everyday. Here are my four golden rules to try now.

Cut out the junk

Cut out or limit processed packaged foods, as well as hydrogenated fats and vegetable oils; takeaways; fast food; e-numbers and additives; sugary treats and baked goods; poor quality protein and deli meats; and cigarettes and alcohol. They all upset our immune system.

Focus on food in its simplest form

Opt for an abundance of fresh fruit and veg; clean proteins like organic meats; legumes; free-range eggs; extra virgin olive oil; nuts and seeds; and complex whole carbs like root veggies and gluten-free wholegrains. When you focus on foods like these, your diet will naturally be full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that have the ability to support a strong immune system.

Supplement wisely

As well as ingesting liposomal vitamin C to help the immune system protect against viral infections more efficiently, I also recommend taking a good quality zinc supplement (it activates enzymes that break down proteins in viruses and bacteria so they are less able to spread), vitamin D, and a good quality probiotic, like Symprove, to help keep the gut in check.

Read MoreThis Is The One Supplement You Need To Be Taking Now

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Gut health is everything

A healthy gut microbiome is the foundation for your overall wellness, as it triggers your body’s immune response when it detects invaders. How many of us even consider it? As well as taking a good quality probiotic and eating a balanced diet as mentioned above, it’s important to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, exercise regularly, manage stress and limit your alcohol intake. Plus, drinking adequate fluid, whether that’s water, broths or herbal teas, is key.

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