How to get your immune system ready for the cold and flu season

immune system

Importance of the Immune System

Winter is around the corner, and so is the flu season. But fear not we have your back. Cold and flu are not that big an issue if your immune system is strong enough to fight them. And the good news is that there are numerous ways to boost the body’s natural ability to protect itself by maintaining optimal immunological health.

Building your Immune System

Below are a few easy tips to strengthen your immune system for the cold and flu season.

Reduce Stress

Regulating stress is important in keeping your immune system in optimal condition. Cortisol, the body’s built-in stress management hormone, works with the brain and bodily system to adjust bodily functions to address stress. Long-term stress leads to raised cortisol levels, which makes the body concentrate all its energies on the stressor, leaving other bodily defenses vulnerable. Engage in stress-management activities to keep stress and cortisol in check.

Sleep Well

Sleep is when our body’s repair and rejuvenation systems kick into action, repairing muscles, removing waste products from our cells, and regenerating white blood cells that have been lost while fighting infections and foreign substances. Conversely, lack of sleep increases levels of inflammatory mediators and decreases T cells, consequently making us prone to catching infections. So get some sleep!


Water makes up 70 percent of our body, helping to carry oxygen to the body cells and removing toxins from the body. By reducing toxin buildup within, there is no doubt adequate hydration is essential to maintaining a healthy immune system to ward off infections.


Exercise improves body metabolism, strengthens muscles, decreases the levels of stress hormones, promotes better mental health as well as better sleep. All these contribute to strengthening our immune system. In addition, exercise also reduces risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases.


A balanced diet with increased emphasis on foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals can help to strengthen the immune system. Increased intake of whole foods including vegetables, nuts, legumes and seafood while avoiding ultra-processed foods can reduce disease risk and promote healthy immune function. Citrus fruits rich in Vitamin C are also a great help, as they are a known immunity booster.


Zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin E supplementation helps with strengthening immunity. Latest research has shown garlic to reduce the incidence of cold by almost 30 percent.

Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Explore more tips for a healthier lifestyle with ForaCare here.