Your immune system is your body’s ultimate defence system against attacks from bacteria, viruses, and other microbes. When functioning correctly, this complex network of white blood cells and chemicals stands guard, watching for anything that shouldn’t be there and ready to attack – all without you ever noticing.

Having a normal functioning immune system, therefore, is highly beneficial. It can make you less susceptible to illness and infection, wounds will heal faster than if your immune health is weaker, and you’ll be less likely to feel fatigued. In short, the immune system is key to helping you and your family remain happy and healthy.

While your immune system is designed to work in the background, there are many lifestyle habits you can adopt to support it in your day-to-day life. Let’s take a look.

1. Get plenty of sleep

We cannot overstate the importance of getting a good amount of sleep each night for both your physical and mental well-being. While your body and mind rests, parts of your immune system are busy working to fortify your immune system and carry out tasks that allow it to remain regulated and balanced. If your sleep is disrupted, then that in turn may disrupt those important processes and interfere with the normal functioning of your immune system.

2. Have a balanced diet

Leading a healthy lifestyle is one of the best things you can do to support your immune system, and this includes what goes into your diet. Different nutrients can support different functions, so eating a balanced and varied diet will help give your body and immune system what it needs to keep performing effectively.

Fruits and vegetables contain many of the Vitamins and minerals that support the immune system. For example, Vitamin C has an important role in helping to maintain the normal function of your skin^.

3. Spend time outdoors

Exposure to the UVB rays of sunlight encourages your body to produce the all-important Vitamin D. Vitamin D contributes to the normal function of your immune system.

Depending on where you live, it can be possible to get the Vitamin D we need from sunlight alone, so try to get outdoors at least once every day. You should always follow appropriate recommendations regarding applying SPF, especially in the summer.

In colder and duller months, on the other hand, the sun’s rays may not be strong enough to facilitate making the Vitamin D you need. That means it’s important to get it elsewhere, including food sources such as oily fish, red meat, egg yolks, mushrooms, and fortified foods.

4. Consider appropriate use of immune support supplements

You might consider taking supplements for immune system support* as well to help top up your Vitamin D levels in the winter months.

Our Zarbee’s® Immune Support range​ contains Vitamin D to support your immune system’s function* as well as biotin, which contributes to the health of your mucous membranes** – such as those in your throat and airways.

Our Zarbee’s® Immune Support​ and Zarbee’s® Children’s MultiVits + Immune Support​ also contain rosehip fruit extract, naturally rich in Vitamin C, and zinc which also helps support the normal functioning of your immune system*

5. Staying hydrated

Staying hydrated and getting plenty of water helps keep all the functions of your body working normally*** - including your immune system. Water and fluids help maintain the health of your mucous membranes, one of your body’s main lines of defence. The NHS recommends aiming to drink 6-8 cups or glasses of fluid a day.

6. Avoiding smoking

Smoking has many negative impacts on your mental and physical health, including your immune system. Many of the chemicals and compounds found in cigarettes are known to suppress the functioning of your immune system and reduce its ability to fight off pathogens. This means that the body’s ability to fight viruses and bacteria will be impaired.

7. Maintain a healthy weight

Being underweight can contribute to a weakened immune system, making you more susceptible to catching a virus, such as cold or flu.

On the other hand, being overweight or obese can also disturb the usual balance of your immune system. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise, therefore, is a great way to support your immune system.

8. Staying physically active

Exercise has many health benefits such as helping you sleep better, decreasing your risk of diseases, improving your mental health, and increasing circulation – all of which can support your immune system. Your circulatory system, for example, is responsible for transporting some types of immune cells around your body, so that they are better able to defend you and detect threats earlier.

The amount of exercise you should be getting can vary depending on your individual circumstances, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults aged between 18 and 64 years old should do at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week.

9. Destress

Okay, this one is perhaps a little easier said than done. But when your body is consistently in a heightened state of stress, it can disrupt the regular processes of your immune system.

For example, when you’re stressed out your body produces cortisol, the hormone that puts your body into the stress response commonly known as fight-or-flight. This can alter your immune response and over time, chronic stress can impede its ability to function normally.

In all, leading a healthy lifestyle is ultimately a great way to support and help strengthen your immune system and maintain the delicate balance of functions that help to ward off harmful pathogens.


Vitamins C & D and zinc contribute to the normal function of the immune system.
**Biotin contributes to the maintenance of normal mucous membranes.
***Water contributes to the maintenance of normal physical and cognitive functions.

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