Balance Your Immune System

Winter can be a challenging time of year for our immune system. The thermostat is set on a higher setting to combat the cold temperature, and more time is spent indoors where we are close enough for germs to spread quickly.  Our immune system is a vast, complicated network of cells, tissues, proteins, and organs found throughout the body. It defends us from harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, toxins, parasites, and more.

Different factors influence our immune system, and like with most things in our body, a healthy diet is key to a robust immune response. Our lifestyle can affect how well your immune system can protect you from viruses and chronic illnesses. Vitamins and minerals provide a general defense throughout the cold season and rejuvenate an aging immune system.


Factors That Affect Your Immunity

    • Sleep Deprivation

Lack of sleep can be crucial for our immune systems. When we sleep, our bodies rest from the long day and release cytokines (peptides), vital for fighting infections.  Sleep has powerful effects on immune functioning. To avoid a compromised immune system, make sleep a priority; getting six to eight hours of sleep is vital to your health and productivity. 

    • Aging

The aging immune system loses the ability to protect against infections due to the reduced production of cells needed to fight off an illness, resulting in micronutrient deficiencies or dietary deficiencies. A lack of iron, folate, and vitamins B12 and vitamin A can lead to anemia. Get nutrients from whole foods, including legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and even animal protein.

    • Bad Eating Habits

Diets lacking macronutrients or micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals can be detrimental to our immune system—a poor diet results in a decrease in the production of immune cells. If our diet lacks nutrients, it can impair the production of cells and antibodies. Start a healthy regime of eating whole foods, including nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 

    • Low Physical Activity

Moderate physical exercise stimulates cells and strengthens the immune system. Low-impact workouts can enhance blood flow, reduce stress and help you stay healthy. Many studies show that regular long-term exercise can improve our immune system and reduce the risk of infections.

Improving your immune system

Foods containing vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin e, iron, zinc, and selenium are crucial to our well-being. A high-fiber diet with plenty of fruits, veggies, and whole grains, supports healthy bacteria growth. 

Studies have indicated that prebiotics and probiotics have beneficial effects in improving the immune system and support helpful bacteria and other organisms in the gut. 

Prebiotic foods are:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas


Probiotic foods are:

  • Yogurt
  • Kimchi
  • Fermented vegetables
  • Sauerkraut

Living a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a nutritious diet, and washing your hands throughout the day help build a healthy and balanced immune system.  Remember, if you are thinking of starting a new vitamin or supplement routine? Talk with your doctor first.


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* FDA Disclaimer

The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. Please consult your health care professional before using any product.