Supporting Your Immune System - Top tips from Dr Rabia Malik


  • Try to stick to an anti-inflammatory diet where possible. This means reducing your intake of (or avoiding!) gluten, dairy and sugar. We know that reducing internal inflammation helps support the immune system, as does keeping blood sugar levels stable, so try to follow a low GI diet as well.
  • Try to choose complex carbohydrates where possible, as they do not increase blood sugar levels as rapidly. Good examples are wild rice, red quinoa, black beans, and grains such as farro and amaranth.
  • Eat good quality protein (grass fed and/or wild where possible), plenty of green vegetables and garlic, onions and herbs, which are known to have anti-viral properties

Alcohol and beverages

  • Avoid alcohol and if you are going to have a drink, try to find wines with a lower alcohol percentage (around 12%) as alcohol metabolises to sugar, so this is better for blood sugar levels.
  • Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juices
  • Vegetable based juices full of greens are a good base to add in powder protein or green supplements if required
  • Try to switch to caffeine free herbal teas in the afternoon


  • Exercise is great for improving circulation, lifting mood and reducing stress and anxiety levels, all of which is vital for boosting your immune system
  • Aim for 3-4 times a week and try to get into an at- home exercise routine where possible. I like the ‘7 minute workout’ app which is quick and easy to fit in daily as well as aptiv which has a great range of longer workouts, many of which can be done at home.

Some Supplements to Optimise Immune Function

  • Vitamin D – aim for a high dose of 3000-5000 iu/day depending on your current level. Optimal vitamin D levels are vital for supporting the immune system
  • L-lysine – an amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. It’s known to be good for preventing and treating certain viral illnesses, so it’s good to take if you think you may have corona virus (or have come into contact with someone who has it)
  • Liposomal vitamin C – antioxidant – choose liposomal if possible due to its increased absorption – I like the altrient-c sachets
  • Probiotic – good bacteria for the gut, which is essential for supporting the immune system. There are many options but I like optibac as it is easy to take and easily available on amazon – take 1 capsule/day with food
  • Zinc – activates enzymes that break down proteins in viruses and bacteria so they are less able to spread. Zinc also helps activate cells that fight off infections.
  • Curcumin – anti-inflammatory and helps increase the immunomodulating capacity of the body