While we can’t prevent the winter chill, there are plenty of ways we can arm our immune system from the inside out to stop ourselves getting sick during the cooler months. Try adding these natural immunity boosters into your family’s daily routine this winter!

Vitamin C

Hearing that you need plenty of Vitamin C to prevent coming down with winter illnesses probably isn’t news to you, but the places you can get Vitamin C might surprise you. Beyond just oranges and citrus fruits, it’s been reported that bell peppers, maitake mushrooms and vegetables like broccoli, sweet and white potatoes and even tomatoes can give you a much-needed Vitamin C boost throughout winter, too. When in doubt, you could also include a Vitamin C supplement in your daily diet.

FUN FACT: strawberries contain more concentrated Vitamin C than oranges – it’s said that if you have at least seven strawberries, you’ll get more Vitamin C than if you’d had one orange.

Root veggies

Foods that are naturally rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants will do your immune system a world of good, and root vegetables are said to be one of the best sources of all of these things. Carrots, potatoes, beetroot, parsnips and onions are just a few examples of immunity-boosting root vegetables – that, coincidentally, are all delicious ingredients in a hearty winter soup! Garlic and turmeric are two root vegetables that can add serious flavour (and, reportedly, major health benefits) to your dishes, too. Get creative with your root vegetables this winter, and your body will thank you for it.

Sleep

Getting the right amount of sleep certainly makes us feel great, but it does your body – and, particularly, your immunity – a world of good, too. Studies show that people who don’t get quality or enough sleep are more likely to get sick if exposed to a virus, and that getting a lack of sleep can prevent a quick recovery. Did you know that all adults over the age of 18 require around seven to nine hours of sleep every night? If you – like many other over-55s – experience insomnia, try getting up and doing something relaxing when you can’t sleep, like having an herbal tea or taking a bath.

A healthy gut

Having good gut health is important all year ‘round, but it’s our guts alleged connection with our immune system that makes this area of our body one to focus on throughout winter. Apparently, the microbes in your gut control what is passed through your body, and what your body holds on to, having an important impact on your overall immune system. Not to mention, your gut wall is said to house 70 per cent of the cells that make up your immune system. Adding gut-friendly foods full of probiotics, like kombucha, Greek yoghurt, sauerkraut and other fermented foods, will allegedly boost your health in more ways than one.