Tips to Help Strengthen Your Immune System

A Vitamin D deficit can lead to tiredness and chronic fatigue. Learn about the importance of this and other nutrients for the immune system.
Tips to Help Strengthen Your Immune System

Last update: 17 May, 2020

Diet has a very significant impact on how well your immune system functions. A lack of certain nutrients can directly affect how efficiently your body stops you from getting sick. This is why today we’re going to give you a series of dietary tips to help strengthen your immune system.

However, please remember that if you find yourself suffering from any symptoms of nutritional deficiency, you should consult a professional. It’s not a good idea to make big dietary changes without first speaking with a dietitian.

Eat more yogurt

Yogurts contain bacteria called probiotics that can be very positive for your health. These bacteria colonize the gastrointestinal tract, improving nutrient absorption, and thus strengthening your body’s natural defenses.

In fact, an article published in the journal Revista Médica de Chile links the health of microbiota with the correct functioning of the immune system. Therefore, consuming plenty of yogurts and fermented milk can stimulate the growth of the right microorganisms.

Furthermore, you can supplement this with dietary fiber. Fiber ferments in the intestines, thus improving the quality and variety of the microflora.

Vitamin D to strengthen the immune system

Another nutrient that’s directly linked to your immune system performance is vitamin D. This can be synthesized by the body as a result of exposure to the sun. However, you can also find it in oily fish, whole dairy products, and eggs.

A table full of dairy products that strengthen your immune system.

However, despite the best efforts to get enough through these food products, vitamin D deficiencies are common. As a result, supplements are normally a good idea. Not enough vitamin D is associated with tiredness and chronic fatigue.

According to an article published in the journal Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America, vitamin D plays an important role in modulating autoimmunity. It also helps to fight infections.

Eating fewer processed foods will strengthen your immune system

Simple sugars, trans-fats, and additives all have inflammatory properties. This inflammation can lead to other conditions in the medium and long term.

Many of these conditions are linked to obesity and being overweight. Others, however, are associated with a poorly functioning immune system caused by a nutritional deficiency.

This is why you should look to keep your intake of processed foods down to a minimum. Instead, try eating more fresh products, such as fruits and vegetables, fish, or dairy products.

These foods contain a lot of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which will improve your health in general and strengthen your immune system.

Exercise regularly

Physical activity is fantastic for the body’s natural defenses. Despite the fact that sporadic and high-intensity sports can have some negative consequences for your immune system, studies show that regular exercise improves immune function.

The journal Biochemical Society Transactions has reported on the beneficial effects of exercise on improving the body’s defenses. In fact, the publication establishes the link between exercise and reduced inflammation, as well as protection against sickness in the medium and long term.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to exercise with supervision from a professional to avoid injuries and adapt your regime to your needs.

A man running on a treadmill.

Things to remember!

Diet plays a role in a large number of bodily processes, and the immune system is no exception. So, getting the right amount of nutrients will improve your body’s defenses against threats and sickness.

In recent years, research has attached great importance to the microbiota with regard to these processes. As we explained before, several clinical trials have recently demonstrated the importance of a healthy microbiota in improving immunity and preventing disease.

Furthermore, there are plenty of micronutrient deficits that lead to poor health and increased sickness. One example would be vitamin D, where nearly one billion people are estimated to have a vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. This is why supplements are often a good choice.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Alarcón P., González M., Castro É., The role of gut microbiota in the regulation of the immune response. Rev Med Chil, 2016. 144 (7): 910-6.
  • Vanherwegen AS., Gysemans C., Mathieu C., Regulation of immune function by vitamin D and its use in diseases of immunity. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am, 2017. 46 (4): 1061-1094.
  • Hojman P., Exercise protects from cancer through regulation of immune function and inflammation. Biochem Soc Trans, 2017. 45 (5): 905-11.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.