Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System for Winter

Keeping healthy during the winter months can be challenging, as cold weather brings with it an increase in germs and susceptibility to illness. However, there are various natural ways to boost your immune system. Continue reading to discover seven simple lifestyle adjustments you can make to improve your health over winter. 

1. Prioritise Your Sleep

Getting enough sleep is a must for a healthy immune system. Sleep aids in the production of immune cells that combat infections and helps your body repair and regenerate. Generally, professionals recommend seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night. 

Establishing a regular sleep schedule, and creating a calming bedtime routine can significantly improve your sleep quality and, subsequently, your winter immune system. 

Take the time to wind down before bed for an improved night’s sleep. Remove any distractions from your room such as your phone or other devices, ensure you are warm enough, and use blackout curtains to block any outside light from interfering with your sleep. 

A warm nighttime drink, such as cacao, can also aid your night-time slumber as it helps to relax your body and mind. 

2. Eat a Balanced Diet

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in improving and sustaining your winter immune system. Focus on a diet rich in seasonal foods, including fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Here are some specific foods that can help boost your immune system:

Citrus fruits

Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes are high in vitamin C, which is known to boost immunity. These fruits are in abundance during the winter months. Buying locally can help to ensure your fruits contain the maximum number of vitamins, plus it’s better for the environment.

Leafy greens

Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are rich in vitamins A, C, and E. Eat them raw, sautéd, roasted or steamed and serve alongside protein, nuts, and a lemon-based dressing.


Known for its immune-boosting properties due to its high concentration of sulphur-containing compounds, this powerhouse should be a part of your daily meal plan. Use it in soups and roast it along with your protein or winter vegetables for a hearty kick of goodness.


Ginger contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help to boost immunity. Add a slice of ginger to your morning smoothie or add a one-inch knob to a cup of hot water, honey, and lemon to soothe a sore throat. 


Yoghurt contains probiotics, which supports gut health and immune function. Use yoghurt on your morning oats or porridge, in a smoothie, or even on a warm, winter salad as a dressing.


Almonds are high in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps the body fight off infections. Roast slivered almonds and sprinkle over your salad or roast vegetables. Make a habit of keeping a bag of almonds in your car to help ward off hunger pains and improve your immune system when you’re on the go.

Eating seasonally also ensures that you get the freshest and most nutrient-dense produce. Seasonal foods like winter squash, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that support your immune system in winter.

3. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential, even in the cooler months. Being well-hydrated is important for a strong and functional lymphatic system, which works alongside the immune system. Aim for at least eight glasses of filtered water daily. 

You can improve your water intake by enjoying herbal teas. Some herbal teas, such as peppermint, ginger, rosehip, and liquorice are deliciously soothing and contribute to your overall winter immune system health.

4. Exercise Regularly

As the temperature drops, it’s not unusual to feel inclined to exercise. However, regular exercise, throughout the year is important for maintaining a healthy immune system. 

Regular physical activity can help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways, reducing the risk of colds, flu, and other illnesses. Exercise also helps to improve your circulation, allowing immune cells to move through the body more effectively. 

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week, such as a walk, gentle jog, outdoor stretch class or bushwalk. 

One key benefit of daily outdoor walks is exposure to sunlight. Spending time walking outdoors each day during the cooler months will help to improve your fitness levels, mood and improve your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is important for bone health and overall vitality. (Check the UV Index for guidance on sun protection required during these months.)

5. Manage Stress

Another natural way to boost your immune system is by reducing your stress levels. Chronic stress can weaken your winter immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses such as colds and flu. Make time for regular stress-reducing activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga to help you manage stress levels and improve your winter immune system. 

An easy way to introduce stress-reducing meditations into your life is to listen to a guided meditation before going to sleep. 

6. Embrace Aromatherapy

Essential oils such as eucalyptus, tea tree, and peppermint have antimicrobial properties and may support respiratory health. Using a diffuser with these essential oils can purify the air in your home, which is a great natural way to boost your immune system. 

7. Practice Good Hygiene

Simple hygiene practices like washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your face can prevent the spread of germs. Using hand sanitisers and keeping surfaces clean are also effective measures to reduce the risk of infections, ensuring a stronger winter immune system.

Boosting your winter immune system involves small, consistent actions that can make a big difference. By implementing these health habits during the colder months you’ll be ready to welcome summer feeling healthy, strong, and well-balanced. 

A restorative stay at Eden Health Retreat is a great natural way to boost your immune system during the cooler months. If you’re interested in learning more, you can contact our team or fill out the form on our Reservations Page.