Do you find yourself easily catching colds or do you often feel run down after a stressful week at the office or a big night out?

If so, it sounds like you need to build your immune resilience. But don’t panic, there’s lots you can do nutrition wise.

Firstly, research shows that foods rich in flavonoids are perfect for building immune resilience thanks to their antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Leafy green veggies, avocado, sweet potato, red onions, capsicums, guava, strawberries, oranges and pineapple as well as herbs and spices such as dill, fennel, oregano, pepper, and cinnamon are excellent sources of flavonoids.

Studies also show that healthy fats are key to building the immune system. Fish and fish oils as well as nuts and seeds and coconut oil are great sources and should be added to the diet, for their anti-inflammatory properties.

Research also has found that good quality proteins such as beans, lentils and quinoa contain anti-viral and antioxidant properties ideal for building immune resilience.

Another scientifically proven method to building your immune system is to feed your gut microbiome with foods such as onion, garlic, flaxseeds and root vegetables or foods with prebiotic fibres such as kimchi, fermented vegetables, kefir and kombucha.

When you feed your gut microbiome, these exert influence over your immune system and ultimately strengthen your immunity.

Research shows that we should also avoid sugars and sweeteners to protect our gut microbiome as too much can erode this balance and in turn have a negative effect on our immune system.

“Both our diet and the bacteria in our gut are critically linked in regulating how our immune cells behave,” Shipra Vaishnava, an assistant professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Brown said.

“Finding what those links are at a molecular level is important to figuring out how we could use either diet or bacteria, or both of them together, to have a therapeutic effect in inflammatory or infectious diseases,” Vaishnava added.

In summary, your diet is crucial to building your immune system. If you find yourself feeling run down more times than often, try adding these foods to your meal plans.