My Top Five Tips to Keep the Cold/Flu Away!

Cold/flu season is well on it’s way.

The stuffy nose, the annoying cough, sleepless nights, watering eyes…  I feel miserable just thinking about it.  

The good news – I put together a list of my top five tips to prevent the cold/flu all year long!

#1: Hydrate

Water aids in the removal of toxins from your body.  If you are dehydrated your ability to remove toxins is impaired and the toxins build up, which puts additional unnecessary pressure on your immune system.

  • A good starting point is 50% of your weight in ounces (ex: if you weight 150 lbs, aim for 75 oz or 9 cups).  
  • If you’re active you’ll need to increase water intake to compensate for the fluids you lose when you sweat.
  • Tea and broth/soup also count towards fluid intake!
hydration cold prevention water

#2: Keep Your Gut in Check

80% of your immune system is housed in your gut!  If the gut microbiome is imbalanced, your ability to fight off the cold and flu (and any other virus) is impaired.

  • Incorporate probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut, kefir, fermented vegetables, unsweetened yogurt, and low-sugar kombucha.  Food sources of probiotics provide a wide variety of bacterial strains that won’t fit in a tiny probiotic capsule!
  • Incorporate sources of prebiotics: onions, garlic, leeks, apples, jicama, asparagus, kiwi, artichokes, lentils, almonds, flaxseed and oats.  Prebiotics are a source of fuel for the good bacteria that are already in your gut.

#3: Diffuse Essential Oils

  • Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is a natural antimicrobial.
  • Tea Tree: This has antimicrobial, antifungal, AND antiviral properties!
  • Clove: High antioxidant content aids the immune system in fighting off oxidative damage.
  • OnGuard: My personal favorite – an immune-boosting blend of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower.  You can even add a few drops of tea tree oil to take it to the next level!

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essential oils cold prevention

#4: Immune Support Supplements

Support the immune system with:

  • Zinc (Can prevent the rhinovirus from multiplying):15-30 mg per day
  • Vitamin C (Supports immune system function): 500 – 2000 mcg per day
  • N-Acetyl-Cysteine (Supports cellular antioxidant defense system) : 600 mg per day
  • Vitamin D (Critical for the immune system; only supplement if deficient)
  • Bovine colostrum (research shows it is three times more effective than the flu shot): 2 tsps twice per day.  NOTE: Do not supplement with colostrum if you are pregnant or you have received an organ transplant.

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#5: Sleep

If you’re doing all the right things with diet, supplements and exercise but you’re sleep-deprived, it all goes out the window.

  • Get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night.
  • Start the day with 10 minutes of outside light to set your circadian rhythm.
  • Avoid blue light exposure at least 60 minutes before bed (phone, TV, computer, etc.)
  • Avoid caffeine after noon.
  • Wind down with a cup of tea and a good book.