Tasty Ways To Support Your Immune System

As a few coughs and sneezes start being heard around the office, we thought it was a good time to start working on boosting our immune systems ready to fight off those nasty bugs and colds.  And, what better way than by eating some tasty salads!

By getting our bodies prepped and choc full of immunity boosting nutrients now means that we’ll have a much better chance of staying fighting fit through the season.

We spoke with SumoSalad’s Nutritionist, Ashleigh James who gave us 3 great ways to boost our immunity by protecting our internal lines of defence and supporting the key areas of our immune system. 

Winter is just around the corner, which means you should start thinking about how you can boost your immunity and sail through cold and flu season. The great news is, eating some delicious foods now in season is the easiest way to arm your immune system. SumoSalad’s new autumn menu is chock-full of seasonal ingredients that will keep you healthy while you’re on the go.

There are three crucial parts of your immune system; your skin, lymph system and white blood cells. Your immune system works by fighting off invaders which may be bacteria, a virus or even just foreign objects.


The first line of defence is your skin, the largest organ of your body. Your skin is water proof, and acts as a barrier to germs and pathogens. The hair that grows all over your body is designed to support this defence, while the inner layer of your skin, called the dermis, contains several different types of cells that protect you from disease.

As winter approaches, the cold weather is extremely drying, coupled with the indoor heating, it can be a recipe for dry and cracked skin. Your skin must remain moist to stay healthy; if your skin becomes too dry and cracked, bacteria can enter your body.

As well as investing in a nourishing moisturiser, Omega 3 fats help to keep your skin moist and supple to reduce dryness and cracking.

Foods rich in Omega-3’s include:  Fatty fish (such as mackerel, salmon and sardines), cod liver oil, walnuts, and hemp, flax and chia seeds.

  • The Pepper Smoked Salmon leafy salad or a Pesto Chicken, Avocado and Walnut salad and a chia snack pot’s from Sumo are packed with Omega-3’s.

Lymph system

Another major part of the immune system is the lymph system, an extensive drainage network that helps keep bodily fluid levels in balance.

Our lymph system is absolutely crucial for our immunity since it removes bacteria from the body. Citrus is one of the most detoxifying foods you can eat, specifically lemons, limes, navel oranges, tangerines, blood oranges, and grapefruit. These foods all possess powerful enzymes, along with Vitamin C, that support the body and keep digestion flowing.

Greens vegetables remove harmful chemicals and toxins from our body we encounter daily and they also nourish our cells to detoxify the way our body wants to. They also provide nutritional support with Vitamins A, C, and K, along with iron, magnesium, B vitamins, and protein.

Unsaturated fats can also help boost your lymph system’s health. Think nuts, seeds, fish and whole grains; as well as Vitamin D (eggs and fortified dairy).

  • The Commando Nourish Bowls new at Sumo contain all of these healthful ingredients – leafy greens and broccoli, brown rice and quinoa, pumpkin, your choice of protein, boiled egg haloumi and Omega-3 rich pepitas.

    White blood cells

    White blood cells are the primary producers of antibodies, which is your body’s way of fighting against specific bugs.

    To help keep your white cells producing and working against the nasties that may end up inside your system, maximise your vitamin intake, particularly vitamin E and C.

    Vitamin E naturally stimulates the production of white blood cells, also known as “killer cells” and improves the production of B-cells (which produce antibodies that kill bacteria).

    Vitamin E is found in nuts, seeds, avocado, sweet potato, pumpkin and spinach and other plant based oils.

    Meanwhile, Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells and can be found in nearly all fruits and vegetables including citrus fruits, broccoli, leafy greens and sweet potatoes.

    • If you are wondering how to enjoy these superfoods without overindulging in calories, pop into Sumo for a build your own salad,or choose one from the deli that has greens, pumpkin and nuts and seeds.


    By nourishing our bodies with all of these fresh, nutritious foods to support our 3 main lines of defence you’re setting yourself up for a winter free from shivers and sneezes!


    What’s your top cold fighting tip?


    Ashleigh James is SumoSalad’s in-house nutritionist and head of Sumo’s content and media.

    Completing degrees in journalism and communication and working in the UK, Middle East and Australia, Ashleigh then went onto pursue her passion for nutrition with a Masters in Human Nutrition through Deakin University.