Boosting your immunity ahead of flu season

June 2, 2023

Winter brings with it beautiful crisp mornings, long snuggly nights and hearty, warming meals. Unfortunately, it also usually brings coughs, colds and cases of flu.

As we head into the flu season, most of us start thinking about how to best support our immune system and avoid that common cough or cold. But did you know that your diet and nutrition can play an important role in keeping your immune system working optimally?

Our immune system is powered by our gut, with up to 70% of our immune cells livings in the gut.

That’s why supporting your gut health with a variety of high-fibre plant foods is key to supporting your immunity. You can check out our previous post on gut health to learn how to nourish your gut microbiome here.

Our immune system also needs some key nutrients to function at its best. These include:


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important in supporting the production of white blood cells that help us fight infections. Unfortunately, Vitamin C cannot be stored easily in the body, so it’s important that we consume some every day.

Our top foods for Vitamin C include:

  • Kiwi fruit
  • Citrus foods like oranges and grapefruits
  • Red fruits and vegetables like capsicums, strawberries, and tomatoes
  • Dark green vegetables like broccoli and spinach 


Vitamin D

We make Vitamin D in our skin when it’s exposed to sunlight. Often in the Winter months however we cover our skin and spend more time indoors which can put us at risk of Vitamin D deficiency. Studies show that people with Vitamin D deficiency are more likely to catch the flu.

Our top foods for Vitamin D include:

  • Eggs
  • Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines
  • Mushrooms – put them in the sun for 15 minutes



Zinc is a key mineral required for immune system processes. Not eating enough zinc in your diet can mean you are more likely to get an infection – and it will take you longer to recover from the infection as well.

Our top foods for zinc include:

  • Shellfish e.g., oysters, mussels
  • Red meat
  • Nuts especially cashews, pine nuts, and pecans
  • Wholegrains such as black rice, rye bread and wholewheat pasta



Selenium is a key mineral that has been shown to strengthen immune system function.

Our top foods for selenium include:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Eggs


Vitamin E

Vitamin E works hand in hand with Vitamin C. Having adequate amounts of Vitamin E has been shown to be important for fighting infections.

Our top foods for Vitamin E include:

  • Almonds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sunflower and sesame seeds
  • Avocado

MindChamps Global Chief Nutrition Officer Mandy Sacher is Australia’s leading Paediatric Nutritionist, best-selling Author, child nutrition expert, blogger, and mother of two! She is also known for co-developing MEND (Mind Exercise Nutrition Do It!), the world’s largest and most researched childhood obesity prevention and treatment program based in the UK that was developed with over ten years of research. 

Mandy and her Nutrition Team believe in the well-being of all our MindChamps children and that their nutritional needs should be fulfilled in our centres. Mandy’s philosophy is simple – teach children’s taste buds to enjoy nourishing, nutritionally beneficial foods as early as possible to ensure optimal development and establishment of lifelong healthy eating behaviours. Bridging the gaps in food and nutrition, this first-of-its-kind partnership is our commitment to creating and elevating a positive and lasting impact on childhood nutrition on a global level.

You can learn more about this program here. For more inspiration and tips to help boost your childs immunity, follow Mandy on Facebook and Instagram.