Your immune system is your body’s ultimate defence system against attacks from bacteria, viruses, and other infections. 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 strong immune system, therefore, is highly beneficial. It can make you less susceptible to illness and infection, any wounds will heal faster than if your immune health is weaker, and you’ll be less likely to feel fatigued (2). In short, a robust 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 immunity 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 functioning of your immune system.

If you want to learn more about the health benefits of sleep and what natural supplements you can use, read our article all about it here.

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 a healthy immune system. For example, vitamin C (4) has an important role in helping to maintain your skin – an external barrier to bacteria that can cause infections.

Limiting less healthy foods is also important, as prolonged intake leads to a less healthy state overall and can even have a ripple effect on things like your immune system. For example, excessive sugar in your diet can put you at a higher risk of consuming too many calories, which can lead to excessive weight gain or obesity and, in turn, increases your risk of conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Excessive weight gain itself can also alter the normal immune system responses.

3. Spend time outdoors

Exposure to the UVB rays of sunlight encourages your body to produce the all-important vitamin D. Vitamin D can help to temper the inflammatory response of your immune system which can otherwise be damaging.

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. Wearing sunscreen can lower the amount of vitamin D your body will make, but you should always follow appropriate recommendations regarding applying sunscreen/SPF, especially in the summer.

In colder and duller months, on the other hand, the sun’s rays may not be strong be 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 supplements

You might consider taking supplements for immune system support as well – particularly in those months of the year when spending time outside may not produce the vitamin D you need.

All our Immune Support syrups contain vitamin D to support your immune health as well as biotin, which contributes to the health of your mucus membranes – such as those in your throat and airways. It’s this mucus that helps to protect your body from infection and irritants you may breathe in.

Our Adult Immune Support and Children’s Multi-Vits + Immune Support also contain both vitamin C and zinc which also helps to healthy functioning of your immune system.

Our Adult Immune Support is also formulated with echinacea extract, which can help to support your body’s immune defence.

5. Honey

Honey contains vitamins and minerals in small amounts, and these can be linked to antioxidative properties. When it comes to food, the additional nutrients found in honey offer a more nutritious profile than regular sugar. Just remember that honey still counts as an added sugar, so if you’re putting it on your food, try to keep it to a minimum.

These are some of the many reasons why we love honey so much, and if you want to learn more about the benefits of honey, we’ve written all about it here.

6. Staying hydrated

Staying hydrated and getting plenty of fluids helps to keep all the functions of your body working normally – including your immune system. It helps to maintain the health of your mucus membranes, one of your body’s main lines of defence that are mostly made up of water.

7. 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 resistance to infection and disease will be impaired.

8. Try to 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 (13; 14).

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 for you to support your immune system.

9. 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 19 and 64 years old should do at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.

10. 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 your immune system and maintain the delicate balance of functions that help to ward off harmful pathogens. Research into the relationship between lifestyle and your immune system is still ongoing, but it’s clear that supporting your immune system will improve your physical and mental health.


1. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Healthcare (IQWiG). (2020) ‘How Does The Immune System Work?’ Available at: (Accessed: 23 March 2023).

2. Marshall et al. (2018) ‘An introduction to immunology and immunopathology’ Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, 14 (49). Available at: (Accessed: 14 March 2023).

3. Irwin, M. R. (2019) ‘Sleep And Inflammation: Partners In Sickness And In Health’, Nature reviews. Immunology, 19(11), 702–715. Available at: (Accessed 23 February 2023).

4. Carr A.C., Maggini S. (2017) ‘Vitamin C And Immune Function’, Nutrients, 3;9(11), 1211. Available at: DOI: 10.3390/nu9111211. (Accessed 23 February 2023).

5. Williams E.P., Mesidor, M., Winters, K. et al. (2015) ‘Overweight And Obesity: Prevalence, Consequences, And Causes Of A Growing Public Health Problem’, Current Obesity Report, 4, 363–370. Available at: (Accessed 23 February 2023).

6. The Nutrition Source, Harvard T.H. Chan. (2023) ‘Vitamin D’. Available at: (Accessed: 23 March 2023).

7. Ehre C., Rushton Z.L., Wang B., et al. (2019) ‘An Improved Inhaled Mucolytic to Treat Airway Muco-obstructive Diseases’, Respir Crit Care Med, 199(2), 171-180. Available at: doi: 10.1164/rccm.201802-0245OC. (Accessed 23 March 2023).

8. Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. (2001) ‘Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc: A Report of the Panel on Micronutrients’. Available at: (Accessed 17 October 2019).

9. Barrett, B. (2003) ‘Medicinal properties of Echinacea: A Critical Review’, Phytomedicine, 10(1), 66-86. Available at: DOI: 10.1078/094471103321648692. (Accessed 23 March 2023).

10. Ajibola, A., Chamunorwa, JP., Erlwanger, KH. (2012) ‘Nutraceutical Values Of Natural Honey And Its Contribution To Human Health And Wealth’, Nutr Metab (Lond), 9(61). doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-9-61. (Accessed 23 March 2023).

11. NIH News in Health. (2020). ‘Marvels of Mucus and Phlegm’. Available at: (Accessed 23 march 2023).

12. Qiu, F., Liang, C.-L., Liu, H. et al. (2016) ‘Impacts Of Cigarette Smoking On Immune Responsiveness: Up and Down Or Upside Down?’ Oncotarget, 8(1). Available at: (Accessed 23 March 2023).

13. Beisel, W.R. (1996) ‘Nutrition and Immune Function: Overview’, The Journal of Nutrition, 126(10), 2611S-2615S. Available at: (Accessed 23 March 2023).

14. Stephensen, C.B. (2021) ‘Primer on Immune Response and Interface with Malnutrition’. In: Humphries, D.L., Scott, M.E., Vermund, S.H. (eds) Nutrition and Infectious Diseases. Nutrition and Health. Humana, Cham. (Accessed 23 March 2023).

15. de Heredia, F.P., Gómez-Martínez, S. and Marcos, A. (2012) ‘Obesity, Inflammation and the Immune System’, Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 71(2), 332–338. Available at: (Accessed 23 March 2023).

16. World Health Organization. (2022) ‘Physical activity’. Available at: (Accessed 23 February 2023).

17. Charles A Janeway, J., Travers, P., Walport, M. and Shlomchik, M.J. (2001). ‘The Components Of The Immune System’. In Immunobiology: The Immune System in Health and Disease. 5th edition. Available at: (Accessed 15 Mar. 2022).

18. Seiler, A., Fagundes, C.P. and Christian, L.M. (2019) ‘The Impact of Everyday Stressors on the Immune System and Health’, Stress Challenges and Immunity in Space, [online] pp.71–92. Available at: (Accessed 23 February 2023).

19. Morey, J.N., Boggero, I.A., Scott, A.B. and Segerstrom, S.C. (2015) ‘Current Directions in Stress and Human Immune Function’, Current Opinion in Psychology, 5(1), 13–17. Available at: (Accessed 23 February 2023).