4 Essentials for a Healthy Immune System

Fortify your immune system to stand against whatever winter throws at it.


By Julia Kim Murphy


Winter survival is something that all of us need to be more prepared for, especially with tougher work schedules, longer hours and our endless attempt at multitasking a.k.a. balancing life’s unpredictable demands on a daily basis.

Here are a few things I have learned about what our immune system requires to function properly when I’m run down/stressed and living through the cold winter months:

1. Zinc + Vitamin C

Zinc is an essential element in keeping our immune systems healthy. When I discovered this, I bought a whole jar of zinc and took it almost every day based on advice from a professional.

My body had almost no levels of zinc when tested. What I didn’t know is that it’s best to take zinc and vitamin c to help boost the immune system even further. If you can find zinc +vitamin C in one formulation, that’s the best kind for effective results.

Speak to a doctor or naturopath on zinc requirements for your body. Those professionals will be able to tell you what a healthy level of zinc looks like for your body.

2. Multivitamins

I didn’t trust multivitamins before. You will hear mixed feelings and opinions about them. A lot of doctors don’t endorse vitamins and I believed I was getting enough from the fruit and vegetables from what I was eating (I am a pretty healthy eater and have fruit/vegetables very often if not every day).

What I didn’t know is that a lot of the fruit and veggies we now get hardly have any vitamins we need because the land it’s grown in is over cultivated so naturally a lot of the minerals are ‘missing'. For that reason, we should consider taking multivitamins.

Choose a brand/formulation that best suits you. I am a fan of the less traditional vitamin sources, which contain all the goodies like vitamin C, A, B, like Siberian ginseng.

3. Good stomach bacteria

Tummy bacteria is important for your immune system, not just your digestive system. If those bacteria are outnumbered by bad bacteria, you’ll get sick. Antibiotics can offset the balance of good bacteria in your gut and so you’ll have to take additional supplements to get that balance straight.

For everyday tummy bacteria nourishment I drink Yakult. The live cultures found in yakult is great to support those little bits of goodness in your belly. Find a drink that has probiotics to help keep your stomach bacteria healthy.

4. Fiber

Soluble fibre helps change our immune cells from pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory, thus helping our overall immune system. So theoretically, we should be eating more fiber. On the contrary, our generation is consuming about ⅓ of all the fibre our ancestors had in their daily diet.

No surprise. Most food today are processed, high in sugar and fat that there is no fiber to be found.

Best sources of fibre are kale, spinach –basically all the leafy green vegetables. Realistically though, how likely are you to snack on leaves of kale in the afternoon at work? Not likely at all! To get a quick dose of fiber, invest in a good juice blender like a Nutri Ninja or Nutri Bullet or any other myriads of Nutri blenders available.

Blend those greens in with bananas, other fruit, juices and even yakult. I do this daily to keep my fiber levels up.

Lifestyle and travel blogger Julia enjoys writing in and exploring the digital space. A Digital Marketing Professional with a passion for all things health, beauty, lifestyle and travel, Julia is on a mission to battle stress, live a healthy, happy life and lend a helping hand. An animal lover and avid globe trotter.

Main Photo Credit: David Franklin/; Second Photo Credit: Concept W/; Third Photo Credit: Thelefty/; Fourth Photo Credit: Dauma/; Fifth Photo Credit: Alena Haurylik/