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By Latoya Cruz

In a Nutshell

  • Focus on year-round immune system support through diet and lifestyle changes, not just when sick.
  • Prioritize a nutritious diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, lean protein, and probiotics to support gut health.
  • Manage illness by continuing immune support with these nutrients, reducing inflammatory foods.
  • Prevention is better than cure, but proper nutrition can help manage illness too.


As the cooler seasons set in, we start to look for ways to protect our immune system in hope of avoiding sickness. We now know that nutrition can help to prevent and manage illness. So, what exactly should we be doing to avoid falling ill and how can we manage it if we do come down with something this winter? 

In this article, we look at prevention vs management, how best to support our immune system and what nutrients we should be turning to for support. 

Prevention VS Management

It’s a fact that prevention is better than cure. However, that’s not to say we cannot manage illness through nutrition. When it comes to preventing illness and supporting our immune system, it’s something we should be looking to do all year round.

Rather, most people focus on trying to support their immune system once they become ill.  This should be when we switch to management strategies. 

How to support our immune system

We can support our immune system through simple and practical ways. Consuming a nutritious diet is a great place to start. Ensuring we are eating a variety of foods that help to support gut health, as our gut creates 70% of our immune system. Think different coloured fruits and vegetables, probiotic rich foods like kimchi, kombucha and yoghurt, legumes, lean meats, eggs and poultry.

Implementing walks out in the sunshine for vitamin d exposure, getting fresh air, drinking plenty of water, getting quality sleep every night and a balanced diet will assist your immune system function. 

Nutrients to support the immune system

Vitamin c, vitamin d and zinc are the most researched and backed nutrients known to support the immune system. We can source these nutrients through foods like oranges, broccoli, strawberries, eggs, sardines, salmon, oysters, red meat and poultry.

We can also choose to supplement with these nutrients if diet intake is inadequate or there is a nutrient deficiency present. Newer research also supports the intake of lactoferrin for immune support, due to its immune modulating properties.

How to manage illness

We can manage illness through continuing to support our immune system with vitamin c, vitamin d, zinc and lactoferrin. Adding a supplement into your regime that contains these nutrients will be of benefit and may help to overcome the illness sooner rather than later.

Whilst unwell, we should not only look to increase nutrition rich foods but also look to reduce inflammatory driving foods. During bouts of sickness, it’s vital to decrease foods such as processed sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol and excessive caffeine consumption as this can increase inflammation, resulting in a weakened immune system.

This can then cause illness to spread, last longer or worsen.


When it comes to managing your health, prevention is always key. Looking after your immune system is a consistent commitment that can be implemented through simple diet and lifestyle modifications.

Adequate intake of vitamin c, vitamin d, zinc and lactoferrin have been proven to support the immune system and lessen the likelihood of illness occurring. The management of illness can be done so through immune supporting nutrients and avoiding inflammatory foods.

Looking to boost your immune system while breastfeeding?

Perdays Breastfeeding Immune Boost + Lactoferrin has been formulated to support healthy immune system function and maternal health. Each capsule Bovine lactoferrin 50mg, Zinc (as zinc citrate dihydrate) 7.5mg, Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) 30mg, and Colecalciferol (Vitamin D3 500IU) 12.5 micrograms.

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Latoya Cruz is a qualified nutritionist, registered with the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS). Latoya has an interest in women’s health including fertility, pre and postnatal, hormonal health and supporting busy, burnt out mums.


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