Lifestyle Tips and Immunity-Boosting Foods for the Cooler Months

Lifestyle Tips and Immunity-Boosting Foods for the Cooler Months

Immunity boosting foods and drinks

As the cooler months roll in, it’s crucial to know how to keep yourself feeling healthy, energised, and immune strong.
Our top lifestyle tips and list of immunity-boosting foods will help to strengthen your overall health and make this winter your healthiest yet!

Restful Nights: Embrace a soothing sleep routine and a tranquil bedroom setting for a restorative winter slumber.
Winter Workouts: Keep the cold at bay with engaging indoor exercises and the cosy glow of an infrared sauna.
Comfort Cuisine: Relish in the comfort of warm, seasonal dishes that nourish the body and cheer the mind.
Immune Boost: Fortify your health with nutrient-rich foods and essential supplements to stay resilient against the cold

1 Improve Your Sleep Quality

Establish a Consistent Sleep Routine Quality

Sleep is vital for your health, especially during winter. Establish a consistent sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. This helps regulate your body’s internal clock and improves sleep quality.

Create a Cosy Sleeping Environment

Ensure your bedroom is a haven for sleep. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature, dark, and quiet. Ensure your mattress and pillows support restful sleep, and invest in cosy blankets to keep you warm. Limit Screen Time Before Bed

Avoid screens at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light from phones, tablets, and computers can disrupt your sleep cycle. Instead, unwind with relaxing activities like reading or listening to soothing music with a warm cup of herbal tea.

Lifestyle Tips and Immunity-Boosting Foods for the Cooler Months

2 Stay Active – Move More

Embrace Winter Workouts

Staying active during winter can be tricky, but it’s essential for your health. Embrace wintry activities like walking in nature, hiking, or ice skating. Layer up to stay warm and comfortable.

Try Indoor Exercises 

If the weather is too harsh, opt for indoor exercises. Yoga, Pilates, and indoor sports like squash are great ways to stay active and healthy. These activities also help keep your lymphatic system moving, which is crucial for fighting infections.

Relax in an Infrared Sauna

Another indoor option is using an infrared sauna. Infrared saunas provide heat that warms you directly without heating the air around you. Spending time in an infrared sauna can mimic the health benefits of exercise, such as increasing heart rate and causing mild episodes of oxidative stress that are found to have a hormetic benefit. The deep penetration of infrared wavelengths can also help muscle recovery after exercise.


Lifestyle Tips and Immunity-Boosting Foods for the Cooler Months

3 Find Joy in Winter

Focus on What You Love

Winter can bring shorter days and chillier weather, but it also has its joys. Think about what you love this season—hearty soups, cosy blankets, or reading by the fire. Focus on these positives to maintain a cheerful mindset.

Get Your Daily Dose of Sunlight

Even on cloudy days, a brief stroll outside can boost your Vitamin D levels and lift your mood. Make it a habit to spend some time outdoors every day.

Prioritise Your Mental Health 

The darker, colder days of winter can impact your mood. Prioritise activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as reading, journaling, or practising mindfulness and meditation.[6] These activities can significantly improve your mental wellbeing.


Lifestyle Tips and Immunity-Boosting Foods for the Cooler Months

4 Enjoy Seasonal Produce and Warm, Nourishing Foods

Seasonal Winter Fruits and Veggies 

Winter offers a variety of delicious and nutritious produce. Citrus fruits like lemons, satsumas, and oranges are rich in Vitamin C and perfect for boosting immunity. Vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, spinach, and cabbage are also in season and packed with nutrients.

Warm, Comforting Recipes 

Incorporate these seasonal fruits and veggies into your meals. Enjoy warm soups, stews, and roasted vegetables. These comforting dishes keep you warm and provide essential nutrients for your health.


Lifestyle Tips and Immunity-Boosting Foods for the Cooler Months

5 Boost Your Immunity Naturally

Winter is a season when your immune system can be particularly challenged. Colder weather, shorter days, and increased exposure to indoor environments can all contribute to a higher risk of catching colds and other illnesses. Boosting your immunity naturally can help you stay healthy and resilient. Here are some ways to fortify your immune system through diet and lifestyle changes.

Incorporate Immunity-Boosting Foods 

It’s important to include immunity-boosting foods in your diet to ward off seasonal illnesses. These foods are rich in vitamins and minerals crucial for maintaining a strong immune system.

  • Citrus Fruits 
    Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, satsumas, and grapefruits are well-known for their high Vitamin C content. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that enhances the production of white blood cells, vital for fighting infections.
  • Capsicum
    Capsicums, especially red ones, contain even more Vitamin C than citrus fruits. They also provide a healthy dose of beta-carotene, converted into Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important for maintaining the integrity of your skin and mucous membranes, your first line of defence against pathogens.
  • Spinach 
    Spinach is rich in Vitamin C and packed with numerous antioxidants and beta-carotene. These nutrients increase the immune system’s ability to fight infections. Spinach is best when it’s cooked as little as possible to retain its nutrients.
  • Nuts and Seeds 
    Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds, are excellent sources of Vitamin E. This vitamin is a potent antioxidant that helps combat oxidative stress, which can weaken immune function. They also contain zinc, which is vital for the production and function of immune cells.


Lifestyle Tips and Immunity-Boosting Foods for the Cooler Months

Use Antimicrobial Ingredients 

Certain foods have natural antimicrobial properties, which can help your immunity boosting systems by fighting off pathogens.

  • Garlic 
    Garlic has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It contains allicin, a compound shown to boost the response of white blood cells when they encounter viruses, such as those that cause the common cold or flu.
  • Ginger
    Ginger is another potent antimicrobial agent. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects can help reduce inflammation and improve immune function. Ginger can also help alleviate sore throats and other inflammatory conditions.
  • Turmeric 
    Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin enhances the immune response and has been shown to modulate the activation of immune cells, thereby enhancing the body’s ability to fight infections.
  • Mushrooms 
    Certain types of mushrooms, like shiitake, maitake, and reishi, have been found to boost immune function. They contain beta-glucans, known to activate white blood cells, making them more effective at fighting off infections.


Lifestyle Tips and Immunity-Boosting Foods for the Cooler Months

6 Talk to Your Health Practitioner About Supplements

While getting nutrients from food is ideal, supplements can provide additional support when needed, especially during the winter months.

  • Vitamin D 
    Vitamin D is crucial for immune function; a deficiency can increase infection susceptibility. During winter, when sunlight exposure is limited, Vitamin D supplements can help maintain adequate levels. Vitamin D helps the immune system produce antimicrobial peptides, which are natural antibiotics.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dr Lewis Ehrlich (@doctor.lewis)

  • Zinc 
    Zinc is a mineral that plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy immune system. It helps in the production and function of white blood cells. Zinc supplements can reduce the duration of colds and improve your overall immune response.
  • Probiotics
    Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support gut health. Since a large part of your immune system is located in your gut, maintaining a healthy gut flora is essential for overall immune health. Probiotic supplements can help balance your gut microbiome and enhance immune function.

By incorporating these immunity-boosting foods and antimicrobial ingredients and considering supplements when necessary, you can naturally boost your immune system and stay healthy throughout the winter months. Remember, a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle are your best defences against seasonal illnesses.

Lifestyle Tips and Immunity-Boosting Foods for the Cooler Months

7 Stay Connected with Loved Ones

Maintain Social Connections, as winter can sometimes make you feel isolated. Stay connected with friends and family to combat feelings of loneliness. Schedule virtual hangouts, social catch-ups, or movie marathons to maintain social connections.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dr Lewis Ehrlich (@doctor.lewis)

Lifestyle Tips and Immunity-Boosting Foods for the Cooler Months

8 Optimise Your Light Exposure

Get Natural Light During Winter

Exposure to natural light, even in winter, is essential for maintaining your circadian rhythm and boosting your mood. Aim to spend at least 30 minutes outside during daylight hours, preferably in the morning.

Reduce Blue and Artificial Light Exposure

In the evening, reduce exposure to blue and artificial light to help prepare your body for sleep. Use dim, warm lighting, and consider blue-light-blocking glasses if you must use screens. This can improve sleep quality and overall well-being.

Lifestyle Tips and Immunity-Boosting Foods for the Cooler Months

9 Maintain Your Oral Hygiene for All-Round Winter Wellbeing

Importance of Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential all year round. Ensure you have your 6-monthly check-up with the hygienist and continue brushing and flossing daily to prevent gum disease and other related infections.

Link Between Oral Health and Overall Wellbeing

Link Between Oral Health and Overall Wellness Maintaining good oral hygiene can minimise the risk of gum disease, which is often mistaken for the beginnings of a cold in winter. Pay attention to your oral health to support your overall wellness.


Lifestyle Tips and Immunity-Boosting Foods for the Cooler Months

Additional Tips for Immune Support 

  • Stay Properly Hydrated 

    Hydration is crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system. Water helps produce lymph, which carries white blood cells and other immune system cells. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water daily, and consider warm beverages like herbal teas and broths.

  • Get Regular Exercise 

    Regular physical activity can boost the circulation of immune cells, making them more effective at combating infections. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.

  • Manage Stress 

    Chronic stress can suppress your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. Practices such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can help manage stress levels and support immune health.


Lifestyle Tips and Immunity-Boosting Foods for the Cooler Months

You can thrive during the colder months by following these tips for winter wellbeing. Focus on getting quality sleep, staying active, finding joy, nourishing your body with immunity-boosting foods, and maintaining social connections. Remember the importance of oral hygiene, too. You can keep healthy and energised with mindful practices and make the most of this cosy season.