Advise needed about boosting immune system - Healthy Eating

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Advise needed about boosting immune system


Hi, I am looking for some advise about boosting my immune system. Over the last few years, I have had endless bouts of cold / flu, I was hospitalised with pneumonia last year and I have had two episodes of shingles in the last 6 months! I am only 31!!! This can not be normal.

I already take a high strength multivitamin and mineral supplement daily and last year completed a course of vitamin D supplements from my GP. Is there anything else people can suggest I try to boost my immune system? Willing to try anything!

Thank you!

10 Replies

Hi Jemmy

This article has some useful advice on boosting your immune system with various foods.

Make sure that you get enough sleep and find ways to cope with stress, if you can, as they can both affect the immune system.

Sadly research has shown that multivitamins are associated with reduced longevity. I think this is in part because the use of multivitamins is like a splatter gun way of solving a problem, yes it might correct some problems but it might just as easily cause others.

For instance some multivitamins contain iron. Iron you need to live. You don't want too little iron, however iron is also a nutrient you most definitely do not want too much of. I could go further and say you want the right type of iron. Heme iron which is in animal products is very easily absorbed, in fact so easily the body cannot stop absorbing it. On the other hand iron from plants is less easily absorbed, unless some vitamin C is added to the meal in which case it is easily absorbed, and has the extra advantage of the body being able to reject surplus.

So the problem with a multivitamin with iron is that you have no control and possibly little knowledge of how well it is going to be absorbed and wether your body is getting too much. Of course you could get blood tests to check whether you have sufficient iron to avoid anemia. But then most people take supplements as quick fixes to problems and taking the effort of getting a blood test might seem counter productive!

What I would argue you need is a good dose of berries and omega-3 rich foods like ground flax and chia seds. Research has shown these are very good for the immune system.

But - and this is a bug but - troubleshooting an immune system can be a complex thing. Essentially your immune system is the bacteria in your gut. If your bacteria are significantly of the wrong sort then it is going to take a lot more than just a few chia seeds, or a multivitamin tablet.

My gut was in a very bad way. I put that badness at the root of my rheumatoid arthritis. Sorting out my gut took at least six months. It involved focusing on alkalising foods (cucumber, celery, onions etc), pro and pre-biotics incl miso and saurkraut.

These days there are novel (and expensive) ways of sorting out your gut such as re-using someone else's stool!

Assuming your system is not too bad then I cannot recommend a whole-food plant based diet highly enough. It is easy to follow, has no calorie counting except to ensure you get enough calories for your body.

I'll finish off on a note on oils. I am one of those people who go for a "no refined oils" extension of a whole food approach. One reason I do this is the caldwell esseltyn research showing that all oils damage the epithelials. The epithelials which are part of your DNA define your longevity. Above the age of 30 epithelials production slows so that damaged ones are not replaced, excepting on a whole food lifestyle.

Hi Jemmy

I agree about multi vitamins, it's best to get your nutrients from your food.

I've been keeping a food diary for 2 years now and really take care about what I eat. Since trying to get enough nutrients into my system naturally I've seen a great improvement with my health. Not only do I rarely get ill now, when I do get a bug it's over with in a couple of days, unlike in the past when I'd be out of action for at least a week.

Check out this blog about boosting your immune system.

I hope you feel better soon



Have you had any blood tests to see if you have any immunity deficiencies? There are different ones, usually genetic. there are treatments available if this is the case. Good luck 😀

Hi Jemmy - with thanks to Cooper who posted this link elsewhere on this forum -

It might be helpful to find an accredited nutritionist to analyse your diet - just pop in your postcode to search for a local practitioner - have my first appointment booked for early July. I also agree with other posters re: supplements - that they are synthetic substitutes and probably not as effective as eating a varied diet. Good luck! x

Cooper27Administrator in reply to rachelleigh73

Think I just cross posted the same link :D glad it's catching on ;)

Brilliant lol - thank you so much for sharing that link - it popped up at just the right time for me. I've answered loads of questions from my nutritionist already and I'm really looking forward to my appointment and pinpointing what I could be doing better - cheers Cooper 😊 x

Cooper27Administrator in reply to rachelleigh73

Glad it helped :)


I've heard multivitamins aren't that great - some vitamins prevent you from absorbing others, when taken at the same time, so often you don't get the full benefit.

I'm a big fan of going to see a nutritionist (make sure to find someone BANT registered ), who can can help pin down what's causing your illnesses.

If that's not something you're interested in, I would suggest you look into a gut healing diet though (like gut makeover or clever guts) as gut health is increasingly being linked to our general health.

Hi Jemmy,

Here are a few tips and healthy ways to strengthen your immune system

1. Avoid smoking and drinking as smoking kills and drink in moderation.

2. Include and eat a diet full of nutrients, vitamins found in fruits and vegetables.

3. Regular exercise is a must not an option.

4. Getting a good night’s sleep is a necessity for a healthy body.

5. A healthy lifestyle can do wonders if lifestyle changes are adhered to.

6. Take care of hygiene to avoid any type of infection.

Also, there are many herbs that can help you strengthen your immune system. Herbs have been known from ancient times for its medicinal properties. Herbs have antioxidant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties which help boost our immune system. Some of these herbs are Indian Gooseberry (Amla), Ginger, Aloe vera, Terminalia Chebula (Harad), Neem, and many more.

You can get more details in the article "Herbs at Your Rescue to Strengthen Your Immune System" -

I hope it's helpful!

Best Wishes to you!

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