From Home to Dorm: How to Support Your Immune System

Want to learn how optimal nutrition and immune system supplements can help support your overall wellness and immunity? We’ve got you covered! This month, we’re focusing on 5 ways to improve your nutritional intake, focus on lifestyle changes and essential daily habits to support your immunity during those hectic college years.   

A Is for Adjusting

Do you remember your first day walking into your small community college or that large university? For many of you that whole first year was probably one of the biggest adjustments you had to make in your young adult life. There was just so much to process and countless decisions to be made. It’s no wonder that the stress of it all can take its toll on your overall health, including your immune system. So, let’s get started on unveiling some ways to support your health and immunity.

Easy Steps to Ace Nutrition 101

Nutrition certainly plays an important role in your health and well-being. There was a study published in the Journal of American College Health in 2020 that discussed how healthy eating was an important factor in higher academic achievement among college students.

Though there are a limited number of studies concerning college students, the results from the studies all consistently indicated how poor eating habits adversely impacted students’ academic performance, while healthy dietary behaviors were favorable predictors of academic success.1 We know that busy often means poor balance. So, how can you, as a college student, focus on healthy eating in the midst of classes, assignments, and the fact that you are not getting any home cooked meals now?

I know this is not an easy feat, especially since most of your meals may be compliments of the campus cafeteria, however, knowing what to select before you go into the dining hall will make your decisions much easier.     

Check Your Plate

Improving your food selections doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, keeping it simple will make it way easier to sustain. Choosing different foods from each of the food groups with some attention to color such as bright color to complement your grains and protein and dairy is a quick tool for building a great plate.

This means that you can add a hearty salad or ½ cup - 1 cup of veggies to your meal or as a side dish. Just being aware of your plate’s color is a great place to begin building healthy habits. When starting, set a goal for something simple, like, “I will add a serving of brightly colored veggies to my lunch and dinner at least 3 times per week.”

This is a reasonable ask of yourself, without overwhelming or deterring your motivation. Little steps build good habits through consistency. Long-term goals would be to reach for a fruit and vegetable serving at each meal daily.  


Keep an eye on the amount of food that you place on your plate. The portions should be enough to provide you with a sense of satiety. If you need some guidance, check out the recommended amounts and servings sizes according to your personal recommendations set forth by My Plate for Young Adults.2 Here you can also get ideas on how to prepare easy meals and healthy, yummy snacks. If you do happen to catch a drive through meal, try to limit supersizing of the fries, soda and any extras. Also, limit these meals by planning ahead with healthy choices even when you are on the road.


Time constraints and running late can often lead to poor hydration. Try prepping your refillable water bottle the night before and keep it in fridge next to your snacks. Grabbing this and filling it up a few times throughout your busy day will help to keep you hydrated and replace the tendency to reach for a sugary beverage like soda or other sweetened and caffeinated beverages, like that venti caramel latte with the extra whipped cream and caramel drizzle on top.

Immune Supporting Supplements - Backing Up the Basics 

Vitamin C, Zinc & Other Nutrients

Did you know that vitamin C is one of the most well-known sources of dietary antioxidants? It offers a wide range of support for the human body. It supports the body’s defense system by promoting white blood cell function and activity and antibody responses3. Vitamin C also helps your body to absorb iron and plays a key role in the metabolism of folate, also known as vitamin B9.

Striving to eat your daily servings of fruits and vegetables is a great way to add dietary fiber and other essential nutrients like vitamin C to your plate. Vitamin C helps to maintain a healthy balance and supports your immune system. Red peppers, oranges, kiwifruit, broccoli and kale are just a few vitamin C and fiber-rich food choices.

However, if supplementing your dietary intake is warranted, you may want to check out Pure Encapsulations® great-tasting, berry/fruit flavored Vitamin C Gummy. Two of these yummy gummies daily provide 250 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C to help you cover your daily intake or provide immune support your healthcare practitioner may recommend for you. 

If you think zinc is another nutrient that plays an important role in your overall health and immune function, then you are right on! Zinc supports the body’s natural defense system.4-5  Zinc also plays a part in over 300 enzyme processes, some of which support the synthesis of DNA and protein.6‡

Try to fill your plate with foods rich in zinc like fortified breakfast cereals, cooked oat cereals, oysters, beef, pumpkin seeds and lentils to name just a few.7 But if your diet falls short of your daily zinc requirements, the Zinc chewable tablet from Pure Encapsulations® would be an immune system support supplement to consider. It is great tasting and contains the same amount of zinc as you would find in 4 ½ ounces of dried pumpkin seeds! Pretty amazing, huh?

To ensure that you that you get enough of nutrients like vitamin C and zinc and others, an immune supporting dietary supplement like our PureDefense chewables may be another option since it provides support for upper respiratory tract health, which is super important especially with the change of seasons.

As you can see there are many factors that contribute to supporting your immune system and overall health. Now let’s take a look at your sleep hygiene.

Sleep Health

Sleep, sleep and more sleep. It’s essential for maintaining your overall wellness and a healthy immune system. But I am talking about making sure you have a regular sleep routine and try to stick to it. I know - you can ‘do what you want’ now that you are a college student - right? The daily recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-9 hours of quality sleep8. Grabbing a quick nap or sleeping in extra-long on the weekend may help in the short term but may not mend what you missed all week.

Try starting to practice getting ready for bed at the same time each evening. This includes turning off all devices! I know, not an easy ask, but definitely a great starting point to consider.

Did you know that the more time you spend on your computer screen time is associated with increased eye fatigue and eye strain?9-10

It’s true! In fact, this screen time, whether scrolling on your phone or watching a movie on your laptop, can impact your sleep quality. Computer screens emit high-energy blue light that can affect eye tissue. So, consider limiting your exposure to these electronics during the day and turning them off at least a couple of hours before bed! Eye and immune support supplement like our ScreenProtect Gummy include nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin absorb high-energy blue light, as well as support immune function and support eye health.11-12

Stress Relief

Being over-stressed and in a time crunch can often lead you to make some questionable snacking choices. That may sum it up for some of you out there. Many of you may reach for whatever is in sight when you are feeling the tension of meeting a deadline. The response to a situation by eating foods that are usually calorically dense and nutrient sparse, may actually compound the vicious cycle of unhealthy eating.

How to prevent that? Plan ahead with nutritious snacks and meals and tap into your internal cues of hunger and fullness. This will help you to regulate your intake.

Ensuring that you are getting in enough physical activity to release some steam supports both your physical and mental health. Walking the campus or taking a stroll into town, joining a campus sponsored yoga or Pilates class or shooting some hoops with your pals are all awesome ways to get your heart pumping and great ways to manage the day’s stress.

Other ways to decompress are to practice deep breathing or find an app you like where you can follow along with a guided meditation each day.

Carve out time to socialize and hangout with your friends, get a study group together, listen to soothing music and be aware of the professional services your campus offers to help you manage any stress you may be feeling.  

Making the Grade

Keeping your focus and learning how to best organize your day and study habits is something you will learn to master. Your academic, social and overall health is your focus. Reach out to others if you feel that you need help in any way.

Speak with your parents and healthcare practitioners regarding questions you may have about your health and how immune system supplements can help support your overall wellness .

With great intentions, Purely for you!


  1. Peter R. Reuter, Bridget L. Forster & Sierra R. Brister (2020), The Influence of Eating Habits on the Academic Performance of University Student, Journal of American College Health.
  2. Young Adults | MyPlate
  3. Uchio R, et al. Br J Nutr. 2015 Feb 28;113(4):603-9.
  4. Science M, et al. CMAJ. 2012 Jul 10;184(10): E551-61.
  5. Berger MM, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1293-300.
  6. Nowak G, et al. Pol J Pharmacol. 2003 NovDec;55(6):1143).
  7. Zinc - Health Professional Fact Sheet (
  8. How to Keep Your Immune System Healthy (
  9. Salinas-Toro D, et al. Int J Occup Saf Ergon. 2021 Jul 7;1-6. 2.
  10. Emara AK, et al. Current Sports Medicine Reports. Dec 2020 (19) 12: 537-545.
  11. Widomska J, Subczynski WK. Exp Eye Res. 2019 Jan;178:238-246.
  12. Kijlstra A, Tian Y, Kelly ER, Berendschot TTJM. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2012 Jul;31(4):303-15.)