5 Proven Ways to Naturally Support Your Immune System

College of Naturopathic Medicine

Looking after your immune system couldn’t be more important right now. Naturopath and herbalist, Michelle Sanchez, from the award-winning College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM) shares 5 ways to boost your immune health this winter and beyond

1. Nourish your body and mind by eating a healthy diet full of fresh organic vegetables and fruit, good quality proteins (legumes, beans, sardines, eggs) and healthy fats (avocados, nuts, seeds). Foods that boost immune function include dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, rocket), broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mushrooms, garlic, ginger, turmeric and fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi). 

2. Cut out coffee and alcohol as both of these lifestyle habits cause acidity and inflammation in the body. They can also aggravate the gastrointestinal system, triggering irritation in the gut lining and reducing the absorption of nutrients. As 70% of your immune cells are located in the gut, it’s vital to keep your gastrointestinal tract in tip-top condition. Opt for caffeine and alcohol-free alternatives such as kombucha (also great for the gut), a turmeric latte or a chicory root “coffee”. READ: 4 Signs You're Addicted to Caffeine (and How to Easily Quit)

3. Avoid sugar, refined carbs soft drinks and fruit juices. Sugar negatively affects the immune system and prevents your immune cells from working efficiently. Sugar also feeds harmful bacteria in the gut, enabling it to multiply and reproduce, and outnumber the beneficial bacteria that we need to stay healthy.

Chicory Inulin (found in a clinically-trialled dosage in U ULTRA Immunity) is an important nutrient as it acts as a prebiotic to feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut, helping them to fight off the harmful bacteria. Keep grains to a minimum and aim to get your energy sources from proteins and good fats. 

4. Do regular exercise to stimulate circulation, reduce stress and promote wellbeing. Evidence suggests that daily movement can improve immune function and reduce inflammation. 

5. Consider taking a high-quality immune supplement to support your immune system. Key nutrients for immune health include zinc, turmeric and beta glucans (all found in clinically-trialled dosages in U ULTRA Immunity). Vitamins C and D are also effective immune system supporting nutrients. Turmeric is particularly important for fighting inflammation, protecting cells from toxin damage and balancing an overstimulated immune system which can occur in allergic reactions and autoimmune conditions. Beta glucans work by stimulating immune cells, enabling your immune system to fight infections more efficiently. They also encourage the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. 

Established over 20 years, CNM is the leading training provider of natural therapies in the UK and Ireland offering life-changing diploma courses in Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Natural Chef and Health Coach, both online and in class. CNM also offers an extensive range of online short courses including Nutrition for Everyday Living, Bach Flower Remedies, Cooking for Health and The Gut-Brain Connection. Go here to learn more about CNM’s courses.