Keeping well in winter

Keen to keep your immune system strong? Here are Claire Turnbull's top tips from Breakfast recently and, as always, some extra notes and reading for you too.


Food first is the way to go where possible. There is no great value in swallowing down heaps of supplements when you are already sick. Supplements have their place, but you need to be taking the right type and dose based on you and your needs. More isn’t always better.



  • This is VITAL for a healthy immune system. It is estimated 1 in 14 women in NZ are low in iron and 8/10 toddlers are short on iron too.

  • If you are vegetarian or vegan, you are at higher risk of not getting enough iron so that’s something to be mindful of so you are able to get what you need. If you are tired all the time and/or get sick a lot, it is well worth getting your iron tested when you next go to the GP.

  • Vitamin C enhances the absorption of non-haem iron (the type found in plant foods), so look to have foods rich in Vitamin C when you have plant sources of iron.

  • More on that here.  And keep your tea drinking away from your meals as this can compromise the absorption of iron.

  • Find a guide to iron here.

  • How much iron is in that food? 


  • Another mineral that is super important for a healthy immune system that isn’t stored in the body so needs to be replaced daily.
  • Many kiwis don’t get enough, particularly men! Low zinc can also affect fertility too as it plays a very important role in sperm health!
  • Shop for more zinc
  • A guide to zinc


  • This has a HUGE impact on your immune system, a lot of kiwis don’t get enough over these winter months!

  • Your body is able to make Vitamin D when you exposure you skin to light, so be sure to GET OUTSIDE even over the colder months and expose your more of your skin if you can! Roll up your sleeves.


  • Good quality sleep is super important to keep your immune system strong!

Need help to get your immune system sorted? Looking for individualised advice on supplements? Sick of getting sick?

The team at Mission Nutrition can help! We have 18 Dietitians and Nutritionists who work in clinics throughout NZ as well as being able to help on the phone or via a video call. If you have health insurance, check your policy as you might be able to claim back the cost of any appointment too!

Meet the team and find who is right for you here.




Published By

Claire Turnbull



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