Farrah Minnich is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Wellness Coach, who owns Food First Nutritional Therapy, and a Wilton parent. 

While cases of the flu increase in our area, and with at least 10 weeks of flu season still to go, you can use this simple, five-step plan to protect yourself and boost immunity starting today. I have also included a plan of action in the case that you do contract the flu. I highly recommend making an “emergency kit” to have on hand so you can put the plan of action into place at the first signs of sickness, to diminish the severity and duration of your symptoms. Boosting your immune system on a daily basis is an important step in avoiding the flu all together!

The immune system is your body’s “department of defense” and works to protect you against pathogens, bacteria, and viruses such as the flu. The immune system functions by identifying bacteria, mounting an attack to destroy it, and then, remarkably, educates itself to respond to the threat more quickly the next time we encounter it (by building antibodies). In order to do all of this amazing work, the immune system relies on a wide range of nutrients that come directly from the foods we eat. This is why a high quality, nutrient-dense diet is always your first line of defense against colds and flu.

These five steps below, in addition to a high quality diet, will help to boost immunity on a daily basis so you can be proactive in your fight against the flu.

Simple Ways to Support The Immune System–Before You Feel Sick

  1. Improve Gut Health
    • increase stomach acid with Fire Cider or apple cider vinegar
    • eat fermented foods like Kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso soup, and unsweetened  yogurts
    • take probiotics
    • use collagen peptides daily in coffee or smoothies
  2. Reduce Sugar
    • replace processed carbs and refined sugar with real, whole foods
    • sugar increases inflammation and reduces white blood cell activity
    • sugar diminishes immune response for a period of time after consuming it
  3. Optimize Vitamin D Levels
    • take Vitamin D daily with a healthy fat (it is a fat soluble vitamin). I recommend 5,000 IU daily during the winter months
    • get some sunlight whenever you can
    • be wary of sugary foods fortified with vitamin D like orange juice
  4. Increase essential fatty acids 3, 6, 9  to reduce inflammation which decreases immunity
    • eat more salmon, flax seeds, albacore tuna, white fish, sardines, hemp seeds, egg yolks, anchovies, fish oil, cod liver oil, walnuts, chia seeds, herring, mackerel
  5. Manage stress/sleep – stress also reduces immune function
    • practice things like yoga, meditation, self-care, journaling, music, etc. to help calm your body’s stress response and improve sleep

What to do Once You Feel Sick–Plan of Action

  1. Vitamin C  1,000 mg 3, 4x day
  2. Zinc 50  one 100 mg, 1x day
  3. Colloidal Silver
  4. Essential oils  rosemary, oregano, lemon (oregano pills work well too)
  5. Elderberry syrup  a teaspoon several times/day

Also remember to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, sweat it out in a warm bath or sauna once you are sick, and stay hydrated. Fasting for 12-16 hours can also help your immune system function optimally when you are sick.

If you have questions about anything in this article, stop in to The Well (33 Danbury Rd.) on Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. to see me. When you do stop in, mention this article and receive a free Wellness shot at the juice bar! Also, all of these products mentioned above in both the five steps to boost immunity and the plan of action are available at The Well. Come on by and stay well!