Are you prone to colds and flus?

As fall is here, so is the dreaded cold and flu season.  We wanted to share some tips and tricks to help boost your immune system and ward off colds and flu. Below are 10 helpful tips to ensure a healthy, happy fall and winter season!

1)Eat fresh whole foods: Eating a variety of fresh whole foods including plenty of colourful fruits and vegetables is essential to proper immune function.  A good diet provides your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay well.  

2)Avoid refined sugars, trans fats and salt: These foods are known to weaken the immune system and make you more prone to colds and the flu.

3)Increase your consumption of vitamin C containing foods: Vitamin C is known to boost immune function and help prevent colds and the flu. Increase vitamin C containing foods such as: oranges, lemons, grapefruit, strawberries, raspberries, black currents, peppers, spring greens, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

4)Eat more garlic and onions: Garlic and onions both have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties helping the body to fight off any germs it may come into contact with. (Raw consumption provides a greater benefit than cooked).  

5)Drink up: Ensuring you are adequately hydrated will help enhance your immune system. Aim for half your weight in fluid ounces. (ex. If you weight 150lbs, you should consume 75oz. of water a day)

6)Sleep, Sleep, Sleep: Ensure you are getting around 8 hrs of sleep per night and you are sleeping soundly. Too little, non-restorative sleep is known to weaken the immune system.

7)Exercise: Engage in at least 20 minutes of physical activity per day. Exercise helps to increase circulation and lymphatic flow both which help boost the immune system.

8)Breathe: Practice deep breathing exercises to help manage stress. High stress, fear, and worry can increase cortisol levels in the blood which is known to weaken the immune system making you more susceptible to infections.

9)Wash hands: Wash your hands frequently using warm water and a natural anti-bacterial soap to the prevent spread of infection.

10)Cover your Cough: Cough or sneeze into your sleeve to prevent spreading infection and avoid touching your nose, mouth, eyes until hands are washed.

If you are prone to frequent colds and flus speak with your Naturopathic Doctor for a more comprehensive treatment plan.  Please visit for more information.

– Article provided by Dr. Natalie McCulloch H.BKin, ND at Durham Natural Health Centre.