Diane May Nutrition Blog

How To Boost Your Immune System

August 7th, 2020

Many people are very interested in how to boost their immune system.  Our immune system is very efficient, but there are things you can do to make it as effective as possible.  In uncertain tomes, everything and anything we can to do make ourselves stronger is important. It’s important to understand there are many unfounded and unsafe products on the market and always check with your physician or RD before you take a new supplement/treatment. The most important ways to boost your immune system have to do with lifestyle.

  • Get good quality sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. Have a cut off times for fluids and food, optimally 2-3 hours before your bedtime. Keep your room cool and very dark. If you have electronics in your room, turn the lights away. DO not do any mentally stimulating  activities right before bed. Sleep is critical to immune function.
  • Get up and move: we not only need to get our 30-45 minutes of exercise a day and at least 2 times a week of strength training. We also should move all throughout the day. Stretch, take a walk, garden, clean the house. Every little bit counts. Exercise changes antibodies and white blood cells. 
  • Reduce that stress: Although we are in very challenging times, we need to find ways to reduce stress. Chronic stress leaves your body vulnerable to infection (and can increase your waistline). Try meditation, pay attention to your breathing, take a virtual yoga class, treat yourself to a relaxing bubble bath. If things feel too overwhelming, Reach out for support. There is no shame in getting help when you need it, and we all do at some point or another.
  • Eat for health: Consume cold water fish at least 2 times a week for those Omega 3 acids that can reduce inflammation. Those include, salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies. Make sure you consume at least 5 servings of anti inflammatory vegetables a day such as onions, celery, apples, citrus and tomatoes. Eat whole foods as much as possible. Reduce refines, white sugar. Make sure to stay well hydrated with 64 ounces of water a day.Food has the power to impact immune function as well as inflammation in the body.
  • Probiotics: 70% of our immune function is in our gut lining. an unhappy microbiome can lead to a host of problems, including a weaker immune system. Consume pre and probiotic foods. These include fermented foods such as (probiotic) yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso. Prebiotic-Garlic, artichokes, onions, leeks, asparagus and bananas. your gut with thank you. If you want to add an extra boost you can supplement with a probiotic that contains Bifidobacterium animalis.
  • Supplements: There is little evidence to support that immune boosting supplements actually can strengthen immune function. With that said, if you feel you are not meeting all your nutritional needs through food, consider a multi vitamin. With all that said, there are current studies underway on the utilization of Vitamin D and C as well as Zinc and elderberry. Do not start any vitamin or supplement protocol without talking to your medical practitioner first.

We all can benefit from these practices, but don’t forget to wash your hands-20 seconds, wear your mask for your and your community, socially distance and be kind! We are all in this together.


Grilled salmon and veggies make for a colorful and balanced seafood dinner that’s ready in just minutes. The grill turns the salmon flaky and moist while tenderizing the crispy pepper and onion pieces. Round out the meal with brown rice or quinoa. Source: EatingWell.com, July 2018


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat grill to medium-high.

  • Brush zucchini, peppers and onion with oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle salmon with pepper and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

  • Place the vegetables and the salmon pieces, skin-side down, on the grill. Cook the vegetables, turning once or twice, until just tender and grill marks appear, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Cook the salmon, without turning, until it flakes when tested with a fork, 8 to 10 minutes.

  • When cool enough to handle, roughly chop the vegetables and toss together in a large bowl. Remove the skin from the salmon fillets (if desired) and serve alongside the vegetables. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon basil and serve with a lemon wedge.

Nutrition Facts

281 calories; 12.7 g total fat; 2.3 g saturated fat; 66 mg cholesterol; 369 mg sodium. 896 mg potassium; 10.6 g carbohydrates; 3.1 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 30.2 g protein; 3014 IU vitamin a iu; 125 mg vitamin c; 74 mcg folate; 84 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 65 mg magnesium