A Guide To Boosting Your Immunity

A Guide To Boosting Your Immunity

A Guide To Boosting Your Immunity
By Stephanie Gobbo
Clinical Naturopath & Nutritionist


Although the spring is in sight, and the beautiful winter sunshine is out, now is still a critical time to focus on strengthening and boosting your immune system. Your immune system is the foundation of your health. 

As a naturopath, we always advocate to be proactively working on immunity- all year round. This is to lay a good foundation for a robust immune system which will not only help your overall health and wellbeing, but will also help to lessen the severity and duration of any colds and viruses you may come into contact with. A well functioning immune system acts like a powerful, well regulated army that protects and defends you.

Below are my top tips to strengthen your immune system. 

  • Ensure you have optimal levels of Vitamin D and Zinc. Deficiencies in these nutrients can weaken your immunity, making you more susceptible to catching viruses and prolonging recovery time. These can be checked through a blood test and we are aiming for upper range results. For Vitamin D a fantastic result is above 80-100 and for Zinc aiming for above 15 ideally. 
  • Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep decreases the activity of our powerful immune system protective T-cells. Every adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep for optimal health, as a priority. Your immune system does its repair and rebuilding when we are asleep. When you are sleep deprived your protective immune cells go down and inflammation goes up. 
  • Move your body and get into the sunshine. Regular, moderate exercise has been shown to improve overall immunity and enhances your lymphatic system to flow freely, helping to remove toxins and carry immune cells around the body to do their job. Regular exercise, exposure to safe sunlight and time in nature all enhance your vitality, mood, resilience and immunity. 
  • Stay hydrated. 8 glasses of water per day is essential for all aspects of good health. For your immune system to benefit from nutrients you’re eating, they need to be transported around your body via your bloodstream and lymphatic system, which is made up of water! 
  • If you are immune compromised or prone to getting sick often, make an appointment with your healthcare practitioner now to work on preventative health. Reevaluating your diet, lifestyle and being prescribed immunity supplements can help fight viruses, reduce symptoms, speed up your recovery time and prevent lasting symptoms or illness. 
  • Enjoy weekly infrared sauna sessions to promote sweating and enhance your lymphatic system functioning and toxin clearance. 
  • Support your gut immunity by supporting and building a healthy microbiome. Up to 70% of your immune system resides in your gut! Include an abundance of plant fibres, prebiotic foods and fermented foods into your diet to build diversity. Certain probiotic strains have also been shown to support a healthy immune system. 
  • Manage your stress levels. This is really important so that critical immune system nutrients such as Magnesium, B Vitamins, Zinc and Vitamin C are not getting depleted. Stress can worsen all immune states. Include additional stress management techniques into your daily life such as gentle exercise, practising mindfulness, meditation and yin yoga. 
  • Take steps to reduce exposure to bugs, infections and viruses eg: hand hygiene. 
  • My final tip and most important is eating enough nourishing nutrients. This is required for the holistic health of your whole body. Eating a diet of fresh, colourful fruits and vegetables should be a priority as it boosts your antioxidant defence for your immune system. Include the below top immune boosting foods + liquids into your diet as these all have active properties that strengthen your immunity:

Zinc Rich Foods: Oysters, Mussels, Red Meat, Poultry, Eggs, Beans & Lentils, Pine Nuts, Almonds, Cashews, Sunflower Seeds, Tahini, Spinach, Mushrooms, Green Peas

Vitamin C Rich Foods: Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberries, Guava, Red Capsicum, Kiwi fruit, Oranges, Lemons, Camu Camu Powder, Beetroot, Parsley, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts 

Vitamin A Rich Foods: Eggs, Cod Liver Oil, Carrots, Papaya, Tomatoes, Cantaloupe, Apricots, Mango, Peaches, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Spinach

Gut Immunity Foods: Bone Broth, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Kombucha, Apple Cider Vinegar, Kefir, Miso, Natural Yoghurt, Leek, Lentils, Garlic, Onion 

Immunity Herbs & Spices: Garlic, Onion, Ginger, Turmeric, Thyme, Oregano, Cumin, Cinnamon, Chilli, Cloves, Rosemary 

Essential Fatty Acids: All seafood especially Salmon, Sardines, Mackerel, Ocean Trout, Flaxseeds, Flaxseed oil, Walnuts, Sesame Seeds, Tahini, Brazil Nuts, Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds 

Immunity Superfoods: Shiitake mushrooms, Organic Bone Broth, Manuka Honey, Coconut Oil, Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, Lemon 

Warming Meals: Casseroles, Soups, Stews, Congee, Bone Broth, Pho, Slow cooked meats

Herbal Tea Blends: Echinacea, Rosehip, Elderberry, Marshmallow leaf, Licorice, Chamomile, Nettle, Ginger, Lemongrass, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Olive Leaf, Yarrow, Matcha Green Tea

Immunity Pumpkin Soup:

This soup is filled with anti-inflammatory and immune boosting nutrients. It is naturally gluten and dairy free. 


2 Cups of diced sweet potato (approx 325 grams) 

1 Cup of diced carrot (approx 125 grams) 

3 Cups diced pumpkin (approx 390 grams) 

3 garlic cloves- peeled 

1 brown onion chopped 

1 cup of chopped leek 

1 tin of coconut milk 

1 tin of coconut cream 

2 cups of chicken bone broth 

1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root 

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin 

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon 

1 teaspoon of powdered turmeric 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle 

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh coriander, pumpkin seeds and lime juice to serve. 

*You will need a large pot


Preheat oven to 160 degrees. On a large baking tray, add pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, leek, onion and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 1/2 an hour or until vegetables are soft. 

Once finished, add all vegetables to a large pot on the stove and add coconut products, bone broth and spices. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Using a stick blender, blend soup into a smooth liquid. Simmer for a further 10 minutes and then it is ready to serve.

Sprinkle servings with freshly chopped coriander, pumpkin seeds and a squeeze of lime.

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