28 May 2024 — Wellness

Boost Your Immunity This Winter

Girls in fields of sunflowers

Surprising Immune Boosting Tips You May Not Have Thought Of

Winter is upon us, and with it comes the season of sniffles, coughs, and the occasional flu. And dare we say it? There appears to be another variant of COVID doing the rounds. While we all know the basics of staying healthy—like washing our hands regularly and getting enough sleep—some lesser-known strategies can boost your immune system.

1. Prioritise Gut Health

A healthy gut is crucial for a strong immune system. Probiotics found in fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut can help maintain a balanced gut microbiome. Additionally, consider incorporating prebiotics—found in foods like garlic, onions, and bananas—that feed beneficial gut bacteria. A healthy gut can better fend off infections and strengthen your immune system. You can also add a daily supplement like Gut & Skin Rejuvenation which is packed full of immune boosting ingredients.

2. Stay Socially Connected

Believe it or not, maintaining strong social connections can positively impact your immune health. Research shows that people with rich social lives have stronger immune responses. While winter can make it tempting to hibernate, try to stay in touch with friends and family, whether through cosy gatherings around the fireplace, phone calls, or virtual hangouts.

3. Incorporate Herbal Teas

Certain herbal teas have immune-boosting properties. For instance, echinacea tea is known for its ability to enhance immune function and reduce the duration of colds. Ginger tea has anti-inflammatory properties, and elderberry tea can help prevent respiratory infections. Sipping on these warm, soothing beverages can be both comforting and beneficial.

4. Get Moving, Even in the Cold

Regular exercise is a well-known immunity booster, but staying active in winter can be challenging. Opt for indoor activities like yoga, pilates, or a brisk mall walk. Exercise increases circulation, helping immune cells move through your body more efficiently. Just make sure to bundle up appropriately if you’re exercising outdoors.

5. Try a Sauna or Steam Room

Saunas and steam rooms can do more than just relax your muscles. They help stimulate circulation and detoxification, which can enhance immune function. The heat can also relieve congestion and improve respiratory health. If you don’t have access to a sauna, a hot bath with Epsom salts can be a great alternative.

6. Laugh More

Laughter is indeed the best medicine. It boosts the production of endorphins, reduces stress hormones, and increases the production of antibodies and T-cells, improving your immune response. Watch a funny movie, read a humorous book, or spend time with people who make you laugh.

7. Optimise Your Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D is crucial for immune function, and during winter, many people experience a deficiency due to reduced sunlight exposure. Consider a vitamin D supplement or incorporate more vitamin D-rich foods into your diet, such as fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and egg yolks.

8. Add More Spices to Your Diet

Spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper have potent anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Turmeric, for example, contains curcumin, which has been shown to enhance immune function. Sprinkle these spices into your meals or enjoy them in warm drinks like golden milk.

9. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is often overlooked in winter but is as important as during the warmer months. Proper hydration helps maintain the mucous membranes in your respiratory system, which are your first line of defence against infections. Aim to drink plenty of water, and include hydrating foods like soups and broths in your diet.


  1. Martino, J., Pegg, J., & Frates, E. P. (2017). The Connection Prescription: Using the Power of Social Interactions and the Deep Desire for Connectedness to Empower Health and Wellness. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 11(6), 466-475.
  2. Wiertsema SP, van Bergenhenegouwen J, Garssen J, Knippels LMJ. The Interplay between the Gut Microbiome and the Immune System in the Context of Infectious Diseases throughout Life and the Role of Nutrition in Optimizing Treatment Strategies. Nutrients. 2021 Mar 9;13(3):886. doi: 10.3390/nu13030886. PMID: 33803407; PMCID: PMC8001875
  3. Bennett MP, Lengacher C. Humor and Laughter May Influence Health IV. Humor and Immune Function. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 Jun;6(2):159-64. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nem149. Epub 2007 Dec 5. PMID: 18955287; PMCID: PMC2686627.
  4. Patrick, R. P., & Johnson, T. L. (2021). Sauna use as a lifestyle practice to extend healthspan. Experimental Gerontology, 154, 111509. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2021.111509
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