How to Kickstart Your Immune System In Winter

Posted on 17th January 2019 by Gavin in News, Nutrition. comment(s).
How to Kickstart Your Immune System In Winter

For the last few weeks, there’s been a real nip in the air. Early mornings are starting to feel cold and frosty, while the nights are definitely drawing in – winter is definitely here! 

Sadly, with the cooler weather come plenty of bugs, too. From pesky sniffles to full-on colds and even the dreaded flu, very few of us will escape the winter unscathed. However, there are a few handy weapons you can have up your sleeve to help your body fight off any unwanted nasties. Here’s our guide to kick starting your immune system this winter.

Do you have any tips or advice? Drop us a line @rizopia on Twitter, or share them on our Facebook page - we’d love to hear from you!

Arm Yourself With Probiotics

Probiotics are the friendly, wonderful bacteria that help to keep our guts happy and fight off any nasty, invading bacteria. It goes without saying that they can work miracles at keeping our immune systems strong, so consider adding a supplement (we recommend Optibac) to your diet. However, natural and authentic Greek yoghurts are also full of probiotics, so try adding spoonfuls of delicious yoghurt to your breakfasts, smoothies or even pasta bakes!

It’s also worth feeding those happy bacteria with prebiotics, too! To keep them thriving, add plenty of raw garlic, bananas, onions, leeks and artichoke to your diet.



Selenium is a clever little mineral which is found in nearly every cell in the body, and works as an antioxidant to protect the body by warding off harmful free radicals. Happily, our very own Rizopia is high in selenium (hurrah!), and you can also find it in brazil nuts, too. We recommend getting a double boost with homemade brazil nut pesto and our brown rice pasta…


Load Up on Garlic

Not just one to ward off vampires – garlic can also put off bugs, too! It’s all down to a handy active ingredient known as allicin, which helps the body to fight bacteria and infections. In fact, some studies have even shown that those who regularly eat garlic were up to two-thirds less likely to catch a cold.


Boost Your Zinc Levels

Zinc is another important mineral when it comes to a healthy and happy immune system. This is because it helps to build up white blood cells, which act like immune system soldiers by recognising and destroying invading bacteria and other baddies. Unfortunately, many of us are deficient in zinc. You can find it in good-quality supplements, as well as beef (what more of an excuse do you need for a good Bolognese?), cashews, crab, chickpeas and poultry.


Go Crazy For Mushrooms

Mushrooms have been a medicinal wonder for centuries – and for good reason! You see, various studies show that mushrooms are another handy ingredient in helping to boost the production (and even the activity) of white blood cells, which is crucial in helping us to fight off infections.


Catch Up On Sleep

With our hectic lives and busy social calendars, it’s no surprise that sleep is a luxury to many of us. However, it’s a luxury which many of us need to prioritise – especially if you want a strong immune system! Poor sleep is associated with a lowered immune system, and smaller numbers of killer T-Cells, which have the helpful job of fighting off germs. Next time you want to pull an all-nighter, or stay up late watching TV, remember that…


Drink Bone Broth

Chicken soup is one of those tried and tested flu remedies that have been passed down for generations. Recently, it’s seen something of a revival, too (in the form of bone broth) – and both can give your body super healing powers. Not only do these broths help to keep you hydrated, but they’re also rich in all sorts of minerals, including magnesium and phosphorus. These homemade broths are also rich in amino acids which have an anti-inflammatory effect. Try drinking a mug of broth (make it homemade vegetable broth, if you’re a veggie!) a few times a week for an extra boost.

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