Support Your Immune System This Cold & Flu Season – Jenny Logan DNMed

Cold and flu season is nearly upon us.   In our latest blog, Nutritional Therapist Jenny Logan explains how you can support your immune system – to help keep the bugs at bay this winter.

Written By Jenny Logan DNMed. (Jenny is a Nutritional Therapist who has worked with clients in Health Foods Stores and Private Clinics for over 20 years.)

Cold and flu season tends to start mid-September – just after the kids have gone back to school. The indoor environment, central heating and close contact make school the perfect breeding ground for cold and flu bugs. Children then start to bring the viruses home, spreading them to their parents and grandparents – and so it grows.

To make matters worse, lower levels of vitamin D as the winter progresses reduces our ability to fight these bugs off. Add to this the fact that viruses live longer on surfaces in colder conditions – winter is the perfect time for infections to spread.

So, the question is, what can we do about it? Is there any way to prevent these bugs running rampant through our families, forcing us to take time off work and school? This is particularly relevant for people who work in schools and childcare, nurses and for those who are in air-conditioned offices.

Our immune system is responsible for fighting off these invaders and keep them at bay, so really, the answer lies in how we can best support our immune systems:



 The most common causes of low immune function include:


Poor Diet & Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices

Poor Digestion


Poor Sleep

Major Life Changes

So, the best ways to support and strengthen the immune system are:

  • Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, to provide important immune supporting nutrients.
  • Try and avoid having too much sugar, caffeine and alcohol, as these can all have a suppressive effect on the immune system.
  • As far as possible, limit intake of refined and processed foods – as their nutritional content tends to be quite low. Opt for fresh, unrefined and wholegrain foods instead.
  • It is also worth looking at foods which will support your gut bacteria, such as fermented foods and live yogurt. Failing that, consider using a good strong probiotic supplement – our good bacteria are said to play a vital role in our immune health.
  • Try and limit the effects of stress. Engage with breathing exercises, breathing in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 8 will help to calm and relax your body. Exercises like Yoga and Pilates will also help.
  • Get outside as much as possible to maximise your exposure to vitamin D, which will help to support your immune system.
  • Try to sit down to eat, chew your food properly, and don’t rush around straight afterwards, as this will help support your digestion and absorption of those all-important nutrients.



In the real world, doing all these things is not always possible – is can be a struggle sometimes to fit it all in and even with the best will in the world, life can sometimes be stressful and out of our control.

This is why supplements can be helpful – filling in some of these gaps and providing ingredients which have been shown to help support the immune system.

The best additional supplements to support a healthy immune system include something known as Beta Glucans. There are over 600 studies published on the actions and effectiveness of this wonderful product.

Beta Glucans have been found to have the ability to improve our immune response. One study found that when stressed women took Beta Glucans for 12 weeks they reported fewer Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTI) and better wellbeing when compared to placebo.  Beta Glucans can also reduce the number and severity of cold and flu infections suffered. Another study, which involved 162 patients of all ages (18-70) who had suffered cold infections at least 3 times in the previous 6 months, showed 25% fewer infections in the Beta Glucans group and a reduction in the severity of infections.

A good Beta Glucans supplement could combine this fascinating ingredient with nutrients such as Zinc, Vitamin C and Vitamin D. These nutrients have all be shown to be vital in supporting immune health and many – particularly Vitamin D and Zinc – are often lacking in the diet.


Why not take a look at Natures Aid products to support Immune Health here:


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