5 immunity boosting tips to dodge a cold or flu

No one wants to catch a cold or flu and if we take good care of ourselves through the cooler months we have a better chance of warding off those winter nasties.

Bupa’s National Medical Director and GP Dr Tim Ross explains some key ways we can boost our immune systems to fight off a cold or flu. 

1.  A healthy diet

Eating a consistently healthy diet year round can help keep your immune system strong. That means enjoying a colourful mix of fruit and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants. It’s also important to opt for lean protein and wholegrains, and go easy on sugar and alcohol.

It’s believed eating raw garlic can help boost the immune system and let’s face it it’s delicious in those warming winter dishes. Good old fashioned chicken soup is nutritious, comforting and something with a bit of kick (spice) is also an immunity boosting favourite.

2.  Staying in shape

Keeping fit is a great way to keep our immune system firing on all cylinders. That doesn’t mean we have to run a marathon, a brisk walk for 20 minutes a day can do wonders to keep our immune system strong. And if you needed another reason to drag yourself out of bed on those chilly mornings, the release of those feel good hormones, endorphins, can also help prevent illness.

3.  Sleep

Making sure our bodies have time to rest and recover is really important not just to help us feel better through the day but to prevent us from feeling sick. While everyone’s body is different, it’s recommended adults get between 7-9 hours’ sleep a night. 

4.  Stay positive

Some people are convinced they’ll get a cold every winter and low and behold it happens. The old saying ‘mind over matter’ might just have some truth to it. Staying positive is really important for overall wellbeing – so why not will yourself well? 

5.  Avoid stress

When we’re stressed our bodies release hormones which can lower our immune system. Finding a way to manage your stress or trying to avoid stressful situations can make a big difference. Perhaps it’s a matter of trying meditation, setting the alarm for 15 minutes earlier to avoid the daily rush out the door, or starting a new organisation system at home or work to make life that little bit more manageable.

While a strong immune system isn’t a guarantee you won’t get sick, these simple tips will no doubt make you feel great every day and hopefully avoid coughing and spluttering through the winter months.

Back to top