Top tips for a healthy immune system

Looking for ways to boost your immunity? The solution may be simpler than you realise.

Echinacea, spirulina, garlic, elderberry, oregano, green tea, black tea. There’s an endless list of what you can take to help boost your immune system. Some supplements and so called immune boosting foods do contain good amounts of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D and selenium, which are essential for overall good health. But your immune system is complex, so no one magic pill, food or supplement will help it work better. Living a healthy lifestyle and following good diet and exercise advice is the best thing you can do.

Here’s our top tips for a healthy immune system:

1. Eat a range of fruits and vegetables

Aim to eat at least 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit each day. Try to eat a rainbow of colours. Eat what’s in season and use a mix of fresh and frozen vegetables to keep within your budget. Learn more about the benefits of fruits and vegetables and how to get more in your diet. 

2. Get active

Aim for 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week. Try and sit less and do more. Check out our top tips for fitting in daily exercise into busy lives.

3. Get enough sleep

It’s recommended that adults get between 7–9 hours’ sleep every night. Follow a good sleep routine. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day and try some relaxation and mindfulness exercises before you go to sleep. Falling asleep 15–20 minutes after going to bed is a sign that your body’s in a good sleep routine.

4. Wash your hands

Most people catch a cold at least once during winter, no matter how hard we try not to. But simple things like washing your hands before eating can help keep the bugs away.

5. Quit smoking

Smoking weakens your immune system, making it harder to fight off viruses and bacteria. Learn more about quitting smoking.

6. Make sure you’re immunised

Being immunised makes sure that your body is ready to jump into action when you come into contact with certain infections. Get the flu immunisation each year – it’s free for many people.

Credits: Health Navigator Editorial Team.