Tips to Boost Your Immune System


Flu and Cold Season

Fall is a beautiful time of year. But Fall makes many people nervous because it’s a reminder that flu season is upon us. But there are things we can do to strengthen our immune system so we can be better prepared to face the flu head on. Even though there are no guarantees that we won’t succumb to one of the many strains of viruses out there, this is a great time to make healthy choices in our lives. Our immune system will benefit and it’s possible we might just be able to avoid the flu or at least reduce its symptoms. What have we got to lose?

Healthy Tips

Here are tips I have compiled over the years from a variety of sources. These can easily be incorporated into our daily lives. Some will look like common tips for maintaining good health and indeed they are. If you are looking at boosting your immune system you need to look at the various components that effect it: Foods, Fluids, Exercise, Sleep, and Supplements.


A. Eat your Vitamins/Vegetables
Our best source of nutrients and vitamins is food! Research is abundant about the various vitamins that may help us improve our immune system. Those same vitamins are useful for overall wellness and are generally found in nutrient-dense foods.

Here are some of the vitamins associated with a healthy immune system and some food sources for those vitamins:

  • Vitamin C-rich foods: If you think oranges are the best source of this vitamin think again. Here are 7 foods with more Vitamin C than oranges: Papaya, Red Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Kale, Strawberries, Kiwi, and Cauliflower.
  • Zinc-rich foods: cooked oysters, wheat germ, beef, pumpkin seeds, beans, dark chocolate.
  • Vitamin E-rich foods: Wheat Germ, seeds, nuts, whole grains.
  • Bioflavanoids:Fruits and Vegetables (Bioflavanoids have a positive effect on health because studies show they have anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, activities)
  • Carotenoid-rich foods: Think orange-colored fruits and vegetables like carrots and yams. Some carotenoids are also antioxidants and for them to be absorbed into your system they need fat.“A recent study from Iowa State University found that without dietary fat, your body doesn’t absorb some of the disease-fighting nutrients in vegetables.” Since we tend to eat a lot of these carotenoids in salads it’s important not to use Fat-Free Dressing. See my previous post for more on healthy salad dressing and a creamy balsamic dressing recipe.
  • Macrophage-rich foods: steel cut oats. (Macrophage is a killer white cell produced in our bone marrow that seeks out and destroys viruses and bacteria.)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids:nuts, salmon, tuna, flaxseed.
  • Vitamin D-rich foods: Eggs are a great source of vitamin D so you can enjoy a triple whammy by making an immune boosting Spinach Omelet with a side of salsa. The eggs will give you Vitamin D and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. The spinach will give you Vitamin C and A and Iron and the salsa will give you Vitamin C and Lycopene and wonderful anti-oxidants. Great way to start the day.
  • B.Tomato Soup for the Soul
    Chicken soup may be your go-to comfort food when you have the flu but to strengthen your immune system, ladle out the tomato soup. The antioxidants in tomatoes, “help white blood cells resist the damaging effects of free radicals.” Here is my favorite recipe for Healthy Tomato Soup for Busy Cooks.

    C. Lose Weight
    Women’s Health recently reported that according to research done at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, obesity affects our immune system and prevents it from functioning properly. Adopting a healthy lifestyle with a focus on lean and clean eating is particularly beneficial in helping the body ward off disease. So why not start now? Flu season is as good a time as any. For more on healthy eating see my post Eat Yourself Healthy elsewhere on this blog.


    Our body thrives on fluids so give it plenty.

    Water: An easy rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces daily. So for example, if you weigh 120 pounds drinking 60 ounces of water a day would be an average guide for you. Not only does it hydrate, but it flushes out toxins which promote disease.

    Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV has had its fans for centuries. ACV is said to have all kinds of health benefits and while there is little research to back that up it has been referred to as a folk remedy for years for everything from sore throats, flu, colds, weight loss and many more. I take it every morning as soon as I wake up. Why? Because it helps get rid of my morning stiffness and I feel better within minutes. I find it energizing so that is how I hydrate after a night’s sleep. Here is my tonic: In 1 cup of warm water I stir in: 1 TBS of ACV, 2 TBS of Lemon Juice, 1 TBS of honey, a dash of cinnamon. If you’re new to ACV phase in the amount gradually. Give it a try and see what it does for you.

    Teas:There are lots of herbal teas that may help boost the immune system.

  • Green Tea is a favorite since it is high in phytochemicals which are anti-oxidants that help fight inflammation. If you are caffeine sensitive, look for decaf varieties.
  • Chamomile is a great source of the plant-based compound called Polyphenol. According to research done by London’s Imperial College these polyphenols are associated with increased antibacterial activity. Chamomile tea is also a great de-stressor and one that can be enjoyed in the evening and may help you sleep.
  • Echinacea appears to have a positive effect on the immune system but research is conflicted as to whether or not it is helpful before or after the onset of a cold or flu. There are still insufficient data available regarding the long term use of echinacea. I find that drinking echinacea tea when I feel run down has positive benefits for me. But like everything else, I do believe moderation is important until more research is available.
  • Exercise

    Research shows that people who exercise daily use up less sick days. So get out there and move your mass.
    A daily routine may be your ticket to better health. Draining toxins from your lymphatic system strengthens the immune system. Weight bearing exercise like brisk walking, running or rebounding on a mini trampoline are great ways to detox the lymph nodes. But if you are under the weather, take it easy. Rest and moderation are your friends when you have the flu.


    Get enough sleep. For most people that’s 7 to 8 hours a night. Some people can get by with less so listen to your body and be aware that sleep deprivation compromises your immune system.

    Manage Stress

    Many of us have stressful lives and the common response is that we are just too busy to deal with it.
    According to The National Institutes of Health high levels of stress can put us at risk for a variety of diseases. So why not deal with some of that stress since flu season makes us even more susceptible to disease. After all isn’t it better to find the time to deal with stress than to have to deal with a resulting disease later on? See a related post on stress here: Stress, Weight Gain and Belly Fat.

    Neti Pot

    The use of a neti pot is highly recommended in the Ayurveda Tradition as nasal irrigation. While this might seem a bit odd to newcomers, using a neti pot can prove very beneficial in dealing with airborne allergens and germs that make their way into our bodies through our nasal passages. If you have concerns about the proper use of a neti pot here is a video link on how best to use a neti pot from the TV Show The Drs. Neti Pot Safety.


    Many people believe supplementation is the way to go to fill the nutrient gaps that our nutrition choices don’t provide. If you have a hard time eating healthy and if you know your food choices are not providing you with all the essential nutrients you need to combat the daily stress and challenges which your immune system faces on a daily basis then supplementation becomes necessary. Even if you follow a healthy eating lifestyle added supplementation can be very beneficial.

    Supplementation is a very personal choice. But no matter what you decide to take for vitamins your supplements are only as good as their ability to be absorbed. If you are taking vitamins in pill form consider how much or how little of the vitamin is actually being absorbed by your body given the fillers and binders that interfere with that absorption.


    In comparison, consider Isotonix Supplements. These naturally derived supplements are delivered to our bodies in the most natural way…using the isotonic delivery system which allows for maximized absorption. Because Isotonix solutions do not linger in the stomach, many gastrointestinal discomforts can be avoided. The word isotonic means “same pressure” which in this case is referring to the fact that it has the same osmotic pressure as bodily fluids. Why does this matter? Because faster and more efficient absorption into the bloodstream increases the value of taking nutritional supplements. To see how the isotonic delivery system works check out this video: Isotonix Delivery System

    Many different supplements are available in an isotonic form. Here is a link to the many Isotonix supplements you can choose from.

    Isotonix OPC-3


    My favorite Isotonix supplement is Isotonix OPC-3 which is a powerful antioxidant with many benefits. Check out the list of benefits and the science behind the product. This is one product I’m never without especially during flu and cold season. OPC-3 is also available for children as an isotonic in DNA Miracles OPC-3. For children who prefer gummies, DNA Miracles OPC-3 is also available in a tasty chew. DNA Miracles  OPC3

    If Vitamin C is one of your favorites, Isotonix Vitamin C can also be mixed with Isotonix OPC-3 as a cocktail for added antioxidant protection.


    During flu season doctors often prescribe a series of antibiotics. Once you are through your course of antibiotics make sure you add healthy flora to your system to rebuild your immunity.

    Here are 2 products for adults and children that can help replenish that flora:
    Nutriclean Probiotics for Adults and DNA Miracles Probiotics Extra for children.

    Complete Greens:50 Ingredients including Probiotics

    If eating nutrient-dense foods is not your forte then consider a daily dose of
    Nutriclean Complete Greens. Not only does this supplement include 50 natural vegetable and grass powders but it also provides your system with healthy probiotics all of which helps support your immune system, as well as your digestive tract. Nutriclean Complete Greens is a great energizing supplement that helps perk you up in the afternoon. Be sure to check out the long list of ingredients in this powerful supplement which has become one of my daily favorites.

    Healthy Recipes


    Mushing in Ocean City MD