Winter Gut Health Guide

As the winter months roll in, our immune system takes centre stage in keeping us well. Did you know that a whopping 70% of our immune cells live in our gut? Introducing the gut microbiota, your immune system’s trusty ‘gatekeepers’. They make sure that the good bacteria stay while the bad bacteria are kept at bay.

Boost your gut health with these small but mighty tips to your daily rituals! Dietitian Lucy Kerrison and our inhouse Nutritionist and Science Manager Dr Emily Prpa share their tips on how to give your gut some love and supercharge your immune system. Embrace a season of wellness today!

Vitamins for Immune System

What vitamins should I take, you may ask? Lucy recommends both vitamin C and vitamin D for a healthy lifestyle. And actually, even on a very sunny day in Autumn or Winter, you can’t make vitamin D from the sun due to UV rays (wavelength 280-315 nm) needed for vitamin D production.


Exercise and Immune System

Emily suggests to get active for a happier, healthier you! According to the NHS, every week we should aim for: 2 days of strength training, 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly, spread activity over 4-5 days, less sitting and more moving.


Staying active aids the transit of food through the digestive system to support gut function – in turn supporting immune health. It also boosts mood with endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline. So, whether it’s a brisk walk or a full-blown workout, your body’s chemical orchestra springs into action, giving you a fantastic mood makeover.

Don't forget to drink water

Lucy explains, sufficient water intake is crucial to help food move smoothly through your digestive system, ensure nutrient absorption, and food breakdown for easy absorption into the bloodstream. During the festive season when drinks are flowing, it’s easy to forget about staying hydrated. Try to be mindful of your drinking habits and consider alternating between an alcoholic beverage and water. It’s all about finding the right balance.

Why is Sleep Imporant?

Our gut bacteria love routine, so much so that they have their own “biological clock” known as the circadian rhythm, comments Lucy. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule to keep your gut bacteria happy and healthy!

Good Gut Foods

In the colder months, a balanced diet is your best ally. Lucy suggests, loading up on fruits, veggies, and healthy fibres to boost your gut and immune function. Winter offers a treasure trove of foods that nurture your gut health. Ginger packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers, and garlic, which releases allicin—a secret weapon that rallies your white blood cells to fend off viruses, are great options. Turkey, a tasty source of selenium, can support your immune system and dark chocolate, a sweet treat loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals, is another excellent choice.

Stress and Immune System

Emily emphasises that stress doesn’t just affect our mental well-being but also weakens our body’s ability to fend off illnesses. High stress levels can lead to the overproduction of hormones like cortisol, which can harm our gut health. As we gear up for the busy festive season, it’s crucial to prioritise both our mental and physical health. One effective tool to try to manage stress is mindfulness.

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