10 ways to boost your immune system

Siski Green / 21 January 2015 ( 22 June 2017 )

Make sure your immune system stays in good condition by following these tips.



How your immune system changes as you grow older

Immune system boost # 1. Berries are the best antioxidants

Full of antioxidants, berries of all kinds are excellent for promoting healthy immune response. Put a handful with your cereal for breakfast, snack on them throughout the day, or add them to a smoothie.

The 10 healthiest berries

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Immune system boost # 2. Beat cold and flu symptoms

That old wive’s tale about catching a cold if you get wet in the rain isn’t exactly true – you’re not more likely to catch a cold but a dormant cold virus in your body may flourish in the time your body temperature is a bit lower, leading to a full-blown cold. Keeping your body at normal temperature will allow your immune system to fight off illness.

How to avoid a cold

Immune system boost # 3. Try to avoid insomnia

Like exercise, restful sleep is absolutely essential for your health. When you sleep certain protective cytokines in your body increase in levels, and inflammatory cells decline, which means that less sleep could result in a deprived immune system.

How to get a better night's sleep

Immune system boost # 4. Holiday in the sunshine

You need vitamin d for a strong immune system and sunshine is the best way to get it. Just 15 minutes of skin exposure is all that’s needed per day.

Learn more about vitamin D in our guide to vitamins and minerals

Immune system boost # 5. The health benefits of garlic

Good for scaring off vampires and with it any colds and flu or other viruses that might be going around. If you don’t like the taste, go for capsules instead, which will have the same effect.

Find out more about the health benefits of garlic

Immune system boost # 6. Stay sexy for good health

Regular sex helps boost immunity according to a study from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, USA, which found that getting frisky between the sheets boosts levels of immunoglobulin, an antibody that helps fight off colds and other viruses.

How sex makes you look and feel better

Immune system boost # 7. Aerobic exercise boosts your immune system

Researchers from the University of North Carolina, USA, found that people who were active and fit were less likely to suffer with illnesses during the winter months.  What’s more, when they did have a cold or some other illness, they had fewer symptoms that were less severe.

Need to get more active, start with our guide to the basics of exercise

Immune system boost # 8. Eat yogurt instead of pills

Probiotics have been shown to stimulate white blood cells which help keep you from getting sick, but you needn’t take pills if you don’t want to. Research from the University of Vienna in Austria found that eating yogurt daily was just as effective in boosting immunity as eating probiotic pills – and yogurt is a good source of calcium too, so that’s a double benefit.

Find out more about probiotics 

Immune system boost # 9. Laughter is the best medicine

Laughing gets your heart racing to nearly the same levels as when you exercise and that helps keep your body in good shape. But laughter also helps you de-stress and stress is a major factor in reducing your immune response. So watch a funny film, go to a comedy show or spend the afternoon with some kids – they tend to laugh more often than adults, and it’s contagious!  

See our laughter yoga video tutorial

Immune system boost # 10. Rolled oats are a super grain

With antioxidant and anti-microbial properties, this grain is ideal for boosting your immune system. Eat porridge for breakfast, add oats to the top of a crumble for extra crunch or mix into a smoothie.

Delicious ideas for different ways with porridge

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.