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Showing flu symptoms? Here's what you can do

By Joshua Gaudry 1 min read
Monday, August 05, 2019

7 tips to boost your immune system and fight the common cold and flu.

If we are tired, run down, stressed, and are working and/or commuting in high density areas, or running after children all day, we are more prone to catching colds and the dreaded influenza.

It seems that at lower temperatures, our body produces less antiviral immune signals to fight off viruses entering through the airways. Stock up on fruits and vegetables, vitamin C and hearty foods such as gut- and immune-boosting broths.

Ginger is great for lowering inflammation and supporting illnesses. It helps with nausea, chronic pain and cholesterol; it’s also full of really good vitamins that support the immune system.

7 top immune boosters to stay healthy:

It’s important to boost your immune system now to stay fighting fit and keep flu and cold symptoms at bay. Here are some suggestions:

1. Fire tonic

Apple cider vinegar on steroids, fire tonic has a perfect array of warming ingredients, such as cayenne pepper, that’ll be sure to light your inner fire this winter.

2. Vitamin C and zinc

These are important immunity boosters. Citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, broccoli, kiwi fruit, bell peppers and capsicum are good sources of vitamin C and beta carotene. Zinc can be found in pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts and mung beans.

3. Herbs

Astragalus, Siberian ginseng and reishi mushrooms have been found to boost immunity. 

4. Fermented foods

Kefir, kimchi or sauerkraut are great because they contain lots of vitamins which help fight bacteria and inflammation. They’re also filled with antioxidants, so they’re an easy way to get a lot of the good stuff into you as well.


5. Golden milk mix

The ingredients in this drink contain anti-inflammatory properties and warming ingredients.

6. Herbal teas

There's a hot tea for just about everything.

7. Cacao

A powerhouse superfood packed with benefits, grab a bag of cacao powder and you’re good to go for a delicious hot chocolate.

Already suffering from cold and flu symptoms? 

If you're fighting off a sore throat, sinus, head cold, congestion or chills:

Increase vitamin C intake

The most tried and tested method for decreasing the duration and severity of colds. When choosing a vitamin C powder or tablet, a good quality one should have bioflavonoids (the higher the better). These will be either rutin or hesperidin, as these are co-factors essential for the absorption of vitamin C. They will usually contain zinc as well.


Licorice root can help with coughs and sore throats due to its anti-spasmodic effect, meaning it can suppress that involuntary coughing we sometimes get. Lozenges with Manuka honey can help as the Manuka has antibacterial-properties. 

Joshua Gaudry is a food scientist at Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market.