No one wants to get ill no matter what time of year it is, but if you’re experiencing colder weather at the moment, you’re at a higher risk of illness. Things like cold and flu go around during autumn and winter, which can leave you feeling rubbish for extended periods of time as your body fights off the virus.

While there is no real way to avoid getting sick, you can reduce your chances of catching a cold and improve your ability to fight off any illness you catch by strengthening your immune system.

There are a lot of things that can affect your immune system, from stress to lack of sleep. However, one of the biggest impacts to it is what you eat. Not eating the right foods and maintaining a good diet can mean that your immune system is weakened, so you’ll be more likely to catch illnesses and it will take you longer to fight them off.

Luckily, there are a few different foods that you can add to your diet to help you improve your immune system and keep you healthy. Try eating some of these more regularly and you could see good results:


Garlic is more than a delicious ingredient you can add to pasta dishes or bread, it is also great at helping to fight infections and bacteria due to its active ingredient allicin. This is why many people use garlic in skincare to help deal with spots, but it can also be beneficial when added to your diet.

Eating garlic regularly or taking garlic tablets can help your immune system to become stronger, leaving you better able to fight off colds and flu. If you don’t fancy eating raw garlic, try adding a couple of cloves to a meal a few times a week.


Healthy bacteria called probiotics live in yoghurt and do more than help look after your digestive system. The live active cultures also help look out for your immune system, as it seems that they stimulate white blood cells to better be able to tackle any viruses present in your body.

You can take a probiotic supplement or enriched drink daily, but natural yoghurt is just as beneficial so long as it contains probiotics. Try adding some to your breakfast each day to keep you healthy.

Sweet potatoes

Did you know that your skin is an important part of your immune health? Your skin stops bacteria and viruses from entering your body, which can make you incredibly ill. This means you need to keep it healthy. To do this, you need to eat plenty of vitamin A.

Sweet potatoes contain high levels of beta-carotene, which your body actually turns into vitamin A. Swapping standard white potatoes for the sweet variety isn’t just healthier, it will also keep your immune system working properly.


They may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but mushrooms have been a tried and tested immune system booster for centuries. They’ve been found to actually increase white blood cell production, as well as their activity in order to make them more aggressive when it comes to dealing with viruses.

Including mushrooms in your diet every day, which can be raw or cooked, will help to keep you healthy and also provide a good source of protein.