Since the start of the first lockdown back in March 2020, our lives have changed in so many ways.
With the cold weather coming fast and summer disappearing from view, snooty noses and tickly coughs are in sight.
We'll go through three of the best ways to make sure your immune system is at its best.
Whether it's through supplements, sleep or exercise - we've got the tips you need to stay healthy.
Emily Rollason, Holland & Barrett’s Expert Nutritionist comments:
“Due to spending so much time indoors, especially in comparison to what we were used to in a pre-Covid world, we may have missed out on some important nutrients that contribute to the normal functioning of our immune systems.
“Habits some of us may have started to slip into during lockdown such as poor diet choices, can contribute to a weakened immune system.
"While it’s absolutely understandable that we’ve been more tempted to opt for a takeaway, the result of indulging in unhealthy meals too often can lead to a low intake of nutrients that support immune system functioning, such as Vitamin A and C.
"Couple this with a lack of exposure to the sun which can lead to low Vitamin D levels, alongside disturbed sleep and reduced exercise – it’s easy to see how our immune system may have been impacted over the past year.”
With this in mind, Emily has shared three ways to help supercharge your immune system as we head into autumn.
“Supplements can play a big role in supporting our immune system.
"Vitamin D is a really important nutrient, as it contributes to the normal function of your immune system and helps maintain normal bone and muscle function.
"We can usually synthesise our own vitamin D naturally from our exposure to the sun, but even with the summer sun approaching, some people may still be at risk of low vitamin D, such as those spending lots of time indoors, individuals that may cover up when going outside, or individuals with darker skin tones, as larger amounts of melanin may reduce the ability to produce vitamin D as efficiently.
"I would recommend Holland & Barrett’s Vitamin D3 250 Tablets.”
“Vitamin C also plays a key role in supporting our immune system. Vitamin C is also an important nutrient for normal energy yielding metabolism and reduction in tiredness and fatigue.
"This is especially key with the end of lockdown in sight and many of us organising more things with our friends and family - we need to keep our body energised and healthy to enjoy this post-lockdown lifestyle!
I would recommend Holland & Barrett’s Vitamin C with Wild Rose Hips 100 caplets.”
To find out more about Vitamin C's role in the body, have a read of our article, Vitamin C: functions, foods, deficiency and supplements.
Keep your body moving
“Exercise is really important for maintaining the immune system, whether that be a brisk walk to the shops instead of driving, or a swim in the sea, lake or river.
"Research reveals that regular and appropriate exercise can act as a modulator to the immune system, by increasing the circulation of lymphocytes.
"This is a type of white blood cell, some of which can produce antibodies that can destroy certain pathogens and also promote the release of cytokines, small proteins that influence immune cell activity.
“If you’ve started to hit the gym again, I would recommend PE Nutrition’s Simply Whey Chocolate 600g.
"It‘s a great way to help aid muscle growth, so you can keep your body fit, whilst hitting your fitness goals.”
Get those ZZZs
“As many of us will begin to have a more active lifestyle again, it’s important that we allow our body enough time to rest and recover, allowing us to feel re-energised for the following day.
“If you’re feeling tired or struggling with fatigue, I would recommend adding a superfood such as Bioglan Supergreens, 70g, to your daily smoothie or water.
"Fortified with vitamins such as B12, C and E, it’s also a source of iron which contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
"Alternatively you could try a B12 supplement such as Holland & Barrett Timed Release B12, 100 tablets."
"Known as one of the most important vitamins for normal energy-yielding metabolism, it also helps to maintain normal nervous system functioning.”
For more advice on how to improve your sleep quality, check out our guide to sleeping better.
Other immune support supplements
Here are some further Holland & Barrett top picks to help support your immune system as we enter a post-lockdown world.
Holland & Barrett Cod Liver Oil 200mg 360 Capsules
- Rapid release soft gel capsules
- Contains 36mg of active Omega 3
- Supports the maintenance of normal bones, immune system function and normal skin
Nature's Way Sambucus Immune Support Kids 60 Berry Flavour Gummies
- Sambucus Black Elderberry Immune Support Gummies for children
- With vitamin C to help support normal functioning of the immune system. Also contains Zinc
- Suitable for vegetarians and with a deliciously fruity natural berry flavor
Holland & Barrett Ultimate Immune Support 60 Capsules
- The ultimate combination of evidence-based active ingredients in the most easily absorbed forms in one product
- Essential vitamins & minerals to support immunity plus powerful natural active ingredients and live friendly bacteria
- Suitable for vegetarians
Understand and support your immune system
Immunity. It’s more important now than ever. Yet many of us don’t understand our immune system or know how to look after it. In this episode, our host Dr Gemma Newman, we’ll be discussing:
- Understanding what immunity is
- The basics of immune system maintenance
- Everyday tips for immunity support.
Understand and support your immune system
Last updated: 27 September 2022