5 Easy Ways To Boost Your Immune System Naturally During Cold And Flu Season

by | Jan 18, 2019 | Headline News | 63 comments

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    This article was originally published by Sara Tipton at Tess Pennington’s ReadyNutrition.com

    Tess is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint: How To Survive ANY Disaster

    Not everyone is on board with the flu shot once winter rolls around. If you are one of those who doesn’t want to get the shot, this guide is for you! It is possible to boost your immune system naturally and give your body the extra edge this cold and flu season without getting the controversial shot.

    1. Cut Back On The Booze And Smoking

    The first thing to do to get your body ready to fight off all those germs is to cut back on alcoholic drinks. Excessive consumption of alcohol impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to lung infections. Consider cutting back or quitting smoking too if you enjoy this indulgence. Tobacco smoke undermines basic immune defenses and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia in everyone including in those around you who breathe in the second-hand smoke. It’s been known to aggravate and increase the likelihood of middle ear infections in kids.

    2. Eat More Citrus Fruits, Veggies, Nuts, and Seeds

    You can also begin eating healthier. Even if dieting is not your thing, having a well-balanced and vitamin and mineral rich diet will benefit your body in several ways, including that much needed immune system boost. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, and try to get in healthier fats, such as seeds and nuts. On top of feeling better in general, add citrus fruits specifically. Fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons have high vitamin C content, and that’s one of the most powerful vitamins to boost when feeling ill.

    3. Get Plenty Of Sleep

    The next thing you should do is get enough sleep. Americans, in general, are chronically sleep deprived. But during those months when you need your body in tip-top condition in order to fight off those nasty germs. Your body needs sleep to fight off viruses. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick. This is because while you sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation often decreases the production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods in which when you don’t get enough sleep.

    4. Get Some Sun!

    Sunlight triggers the skin’s production of vitamin D. In the summer, a 10-15 minute exposure (minus sunscreen) is enough. However, above 42 degrees latitude (Boston) from November through February, sunlight is too weak and very few foods contain adequate levels of this essential vitamin. Low vitamin D levels correlate with a greater risk of respiratory infection. A 2010 study in kids showed that 1200 IU a day of supplemental vitamin D reduced the risk of influenza A.  This vitamin is essential to managing stress, which too much of can also impact your immune system.

    5. Try An Immune-Boosting Bone Broth

    According to Ready Nutrition, medical experts point out that broth helps to kick-start your immune system through the slow cooking process. The process of slowly simmering bones for up to a period of 24 hours causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds such as collagen, and essential amino acids such as proline, glycine, and glutamine.  These amino acids have the power to transform your health, heal your body, and calm your mind. Further, the minerals in the marrow help build blood cells, which is the healing mechanism in the body. When vegetables are added to the broth you’ll get an even more powerful immune boost! They release dense nutrients, antibiotic, and antiviral properties into the liquid.

    For great recipes and how to make the best most effective bone broth, click here.

    If you follow even a few of these easy and helpful tips you should be putting yourself on the path to having a strong immune system and giving your body the ability to fight off the common cold or the flu!

    The Prepper's Blueprint

    Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

    Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

    Visit her website at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.


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      1. It’s a good standard article, but the readers should understand that when a contagion like H1N1 Influenza type A is going around, it adversely affects the healthy immune system in young people as they have a cytokine storm ie their own immune system overreacts. Their own robust immune system then is what hurts them. So more is not always better.

        • htvtp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2013/08/study-shows-cytokine-storm-fatal-2009-h1n1-cases

          This was the issue in 2009 and 2017.

          ht tps://www.getscience.com/biology-explained/inside-cytokine-storm-when-your-immune-system-too-strong

        • Beer is made from hops. Hops are a feminizing agent. Drinking beer is not manly. Drink clear hard liquors.










        • Have you no life or is this site where you live?

      2. ht tps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lTDraekah0
        Across the entire world, wise people mix apple cider vinegar, lemon, ginger, garlic, and honey as a general go to tonic when sick. That’s backwood mountain people of Chinese or people from India or Italians or the English. Lemon is the hard one to source and is not essential. You could use an onion.

        That is what you would do and likely add tumeric or hot red pepper as well when really worried.

        What typically happened was you overworked and let yourself get run down, didn’t eat, got short of sleep, and got zapped by influenza. The French call it the “grippe. You are snared by the grip of some creeping crud.

        If the SHTF, half the battle is trying to puzzle out what caused the sickness. That’s why a general tonic to boost a depressed immune system so it normalizes. Why? Cause normally your body can fight off some microbes every single day.

        Same thing if it’s parasites as they will not like this tonic…especially when hot red pepper is in there.

        In a worst case situation, and you have cancer, that tumeric is about the best herbal remedy you might have. Tumeric is kind of miraculous.

        • You are 100 per cent correct. I would add eating garlic every day. But the tonic is the business.

          I have experimented with a control group and those who take the tonic, and those who drink the tonic become well again within hours. Turmeric is so important to good health and should be in all your food.

        • Dal Bhat

      3. FWIW, I’ve always found olive leaf extract to be the best treatment for viral respiratory problems, take it at the first sign and it stops it in its tracks, let it develop to a full blown case and it takes a while longer but results in only being sick for days instead of weeks.

        Of course, YMMV.

      4. Using basic kinds of things to be an extreme clean freak — whether that means painting, mopping, or grooming — is definitely more healthy.

        I think that rustic living exposes you to lots of germs, and you have to be careful.

        • I drink blueberry and elderberry wine. It helps and is a superfood!

          • You buying the berries? Or do you have the bushes planted. Are they pretty hardy to cold? Been thinkin’ on getting a few of the bushes. Already have the blueberry.

            • My wife is a wellness advocate and buys the DoTerra supplements. The one we use to prevent catching the flu is the “On Guard+” We take it and have not even had so much as a sniffle when taking them. Ingredients are Orange peel oil, Clove bud oil, Cinnamon leaf oil, Cinnamon bark oil, Eucalyptus leaf oil, Oregano leaf oil, Rosemary leaf oil, and Melissa leaf oil.

            • Repr: I planted 2 tiny bushes of American Elderberry and in 3 years they’re producing more elderberrys than I know what to do with (although I always find uses). I live in the NE, and they a super-cold-hardy. Very hands-off as well (idiot-proof as I call it). Self-pollinating. Highly recommend!

              • Many thanks, G Mac!

                • Elderberries grow well in the mountains here at 7000 feet and -20 extreme cold. I tried some bluberries from home depot and they died but then their plants suck anyway. My blackberry plant is still goin though!

                  • I’ve got several of the thorn-less blackberry canes going now. You can take the canes and bow them over and place them in the dirt and they’ll take off and make a new plant.

          • You can buy elderberries and make your own syrup. It’s amazing what you can buy online and then save money. There really is nothing better to treat influenza…and in syrup form, it’s safe for everyone.

      5. 6. Avoid other people. Especially those invaders from the south.

        • This would normally mean not to use public transport or go into busy businesses, but homeless encampments are on the outskirts. I have never walked through one of their areas without getting sick for a month and a half.

          • You are puny!

      6. Hygiene goes as pride goes. What comes next is stink and then skin boils. Then come furuncles and carbuncles and they are NASTY.

        As long as you have a pinch of wood ash and can take a dip later to TOTALLY rinse off, then you can avoid getting skin boils. Your health will run down RAPIDLY when they start appearing. What happens is a tiny puncture ir scrape gets infected with Staph or Strep and the surrounding tissue gets a pocket of pus inside. It’s revolting.

        When it happens on the face, it can cause scarring. The most likely place is on your behind. So that is very embarrassing as you need someone to lance and clean it. Very nasty so people are depressed and homeless and neglect it gets AWFUL.

        • The most effective way to fight colds and flu is to take a shower every day and then pour cold water on it. Start gradually and in a short time.

      7. Hey fellow wide awakeans:
        Food grade peroxide- get it at health food store. it keeps in fridge for long time. long enough for you to learn how to use it.
        dilute it and use in ear canal for “nipping a cold in the bud” lay on side, fill canal of ear. let it bubble for 3-5 minutes. dry canal. do other ear. . be amazed. we’ve been. thank you to all the nice smart people that visit here.
        this site is great-hope everyone votes for them as #! site!!!!

      8. Vitamin D3 5000 IU One a day.

      9. Kefir and other ferments, moringa capsules, powders,or leaves, and turmeric with pepper and ginger are other supplements to consider.

      10. I think the CDC has lost their minds. The influenza actity is widespread through most of the states BUT docs are no longer bothering to order flu identification tests as they know it’s peak flu season.

        So what that means is that there IS MORE FLU but IT ISN’T IDENTIFIED OFFICIALLLY, so government officials pretend that there are less cases???

        It’s garbage in, garbage out data.

        • When stunts like this happen, then when folks die from pneumonia, then since the original infection wasn’t identified, then even though they have influenza, then the death report just says pneumonia. Heck it might just say respratory failure or they might go into cardiac arrest. It’s nuts how this is being managed. It’s obfuscation and a total cattywampus way of managing a contagion.

          • At a time when hospitals are seeing peak cases of flu, it’s not being officially acknowledged as flu, yet WHO is declaring they fear a world wide pandemic, the CDC says, “well the data shows less officialy identified cases so maybe it’s not that severe.”

            It’s full scale craziness by a bunch of nitwits. If you fail to order the test to prove it’s influenza, then the flu can slam a hospital but officially it ain’t the flu.

      11. Meanwhile 160 childcare facilities in Hong Kong close due to influenza. But hey, pay no attention.

      12. Meanwhile Japan, China, Mongolia are getting slamed. London is spiking. A spokesperson from UMass Med states that there is no question it’s an epidemic.

        It’s an epidemic that is not officially identified so it doesn’t officially exist.

      13. XpDsTAtMuBI
        Think about this.

        We have a government shutdown.

        We have the two parties completely at odd

        We have an issue with halting of EBT cards looming

        We have an issue with halting Section 8 housing payments.

        Winter is in full swing with the worst storms ahead.

        And then WHO declares a pandemic.

        And now the hospitals are warning people to stay away from ERs so they don’t also acquire influenza from all the sick patients.

        And hospitals already won’t allow patient visitors across the nation.

        Yet the CDC can’t or won’t get their sh_t together because of the combined shutdown and not pushing physicians to positively identify the virus so they have good data.

        So you know that people will be unprepared especially the poor.

        Sick people will get on flights and we have TSA calling in sick when they are not so they are short-staffed.

        It’s a recipe for disaster.

        • OFF TOPIC: Rain Water Collection from the roof and by tarps into buckets and bins STILL needs to be filtered and purified?

          In a grid down situation I plan on collection rain water by roof and by tarps and buckets/plastic bins. It is my understanding that this water still needs to be treated and/or filtered. Rain water that come into contact with non-sterile containers/objects then becomes contaminated which gets worse with time and sunlight. Therefore this collected rainwater STILL needs to be filtered and purified.

          My brother is a real prepper and he was not aware that collected rain water is not safe to drink! Can rainwater be made safe to drink? Yes. How safe? As safe as your well or tap water. How do you make it safe for indoor use? By filtering and purifying it.

          Contaminants in water may include algae, air pollution, bird excrement, and leaves, sand, and dust. Local wells have dealt with these problems for decades. Using filtration and purification equipment can remove these contaminants at home as well.

          So we need to use something like a Lifestraw, Sawyer Water Filter or Burkley type filter on rain water that is collected. Am I correct? If my brother was not clear (and I’m not 100% certain) maybe others are confused as well.

          • Rain water that is collected and THEN STORED (for a period of time) I would filter it AND I would also treat with Bleach or Purification Tablets?

          • No, Hoss. What you posted is VERY ON TOPIC and an OUTSTANDING POST! You are right. If the SHTF, people don’t think about how to do rainwater cachement and so all the foul gunk (fowl get it?) will also be in the water plus asbestos from the tiles.

            That will cause horrible public heath issues.

          • When filtering, you prefilter first when there is a lot of debris because otherwise you vastly shorten the filter’s lifespan.

            The average person would funnel with a plastic tarp into a reservoir, and of course this is winter so a very poor time t catch rain. In the spring and autumn you have expected rains, and you rig up some poles and stout rope to channel via the tarp. Bt realistically based upon your state rainfall in winter, then how much could you reasonably collect?

            The smartest and cheapest would be slow sand filtering as it takes a month to get a Bio-sand filter working with adequate microbial action.

            A slow sand filter could be rigged up and help the most people but only if rain be reasonably be expected to fall.

            Snow notoriously is a terrible way to get adequate water and since the humidity is slow, is apt to be lost to evaporation effects.

            • FcWwEWxxwZU
              Like this but they messed up since it’s a forest and so bird activity from above is going to be concentrated plus debris from the trees.

              • hWBNI4EfPQI
                Slow sand filtration typically has baked river sand so it’s clear of microbes (make sure it’s not ocean sand obviously due to salt), then pea gravel that had similarly been treated, then larger gravel.

                Finally this collected water THEN goes through pulverized charcoal,not fireplace burnt wood but real charcoal.

                Charcoal is wood that is heated in a fire that is starved of adequate oxygen. The best charcoal typically is a hardwood unless you have coconut husks which is ideal and what is in a Brita filter.

                Preppers typically have water purfication gear, but if were organizing a neighborhood, you would do as above.

                • If you go get a clean paint can that has not been treated, or heck take a Christmas butter cookie tin, then here is a standard way to make charcoal.


                  The wood “off gases fumes” which is wood-gas and flammable, so that will ignite as it does this. Old timers collected the wood gas to operate cars and trucks during WW2. If you had enough, you operate a generator with it.

                  Then you pulverize this charcoal to get the maximum surface area. So that means a mortar and pestle.

            • For example, in Western Kentucky, in January we get 3.2 inches of rain but that might turn to snow or freezing rain. Februrary is the same, then in March jumps up.

              Falling temps is going to mess up your system.

      14. ht tp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2019/01/experts-watch-resistance-new-flu-drug

        Japanese researchers are reporting that H3N2, the kind most prevalent in Arizona, is now drug resistant to certain antivirals.

        • The CDC had already reminded docs that amantadine and rimantadine were already largely ineffective. That leaves only oseltamavir (Tamiflu) as the only drug worth dispensing and that is a decade old drug. It’s a miracle it works at all on symptoms.

      15. People always worry about what will happen when there are no more food stamps ie EBT cards. Why? Because people are not used to hunger and will likely freak out and start thieving. That’s why they say we’re nine meals from anarchy.

        BUT a bigger issue is no city water for three days as that is deadly. If say you had mass contagion and the entire public waterworks was understaffed or had zero staff, people would do CRAZY things and then most likely infect others and turn a bad situation into a HORRENDOUS situation.

        Congress has gotten expert opinion as well as military assessments that what would happen as things start getting sketchy, then public utilities would be forced to keep workers on site or risk losing Rule of Law. And then be forced to have inventory of materials like chlorine at much higher amounts and securely protected as it crossed state lines.

        The same is true for natural gas and electricity.

        • The average city water utilities has 7-14 days of chlorine and thus this is the major red flag event for any collapse scenario. When that manager starts ordering higher amounts, they all will, and create a massive clusterfrack as there is no way to keep up with demand. If there is ever any hint that is going on, and or workers are told they may have to live on site, that’s your last chance to top off supplies.

          • htt ps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_tower

            You should know where the water tower is versus your elevation as that helps pressurize the line plus is a small reservoir.

            You would expect degredation of water safety as chlorine ran out. The best way (try this) to determine safety is to pour a cup of water back and forth between two cups. The chlorine in the water will off gas and you can smell it. If you do it and there is little to no chlorine smell, they are losing the ability to treat water is some village,town,city, or metro area.

            • Tis why you have a 5 pound bottle of calcium hypochlorite,i.e. pool shock at 65% or better with no other algecides ect.,all other ingredients inert,will treat 1000’s of gallons of water when boiling unable or unsafe due to attention of say a fire.This is just homemade bleach,which loses it’s potency so make just what you need,a lot of info. on net how to do this.A 5 pound bottle will cost you less then 20 dollars at a bargain pool store supply.

      16. How many schools are closed across the nation due to influenza? I’m seeing scattered reports of this is several states. Plus issues in nursing homes.

        • So school them at home and quit taxing me for your shit!

      17. In 1918, Native Americans were highly suscepible to H1N1 influenza A.

        Now due to the government shortage, not only is food being resticted by also medication distribution on reservations. And now 800 Indian Health Servces workers have been furloughed too. That is a horrible situation which could turn into a contagion situation on the reservations.
        ht tp://www.mtpr.org/post/government-shutdown-leads-program-cuts-native-americans

      18. I know how to boost one’s immune system. Stop chem-trailing the skies with heavy metals and chemicals (which is killing trees and plant life all over the world), stop heavy fluoridation of drinking water, stop allowing GMO food products (which are also depleted of of most of its natural nutritional value), stop allowing glyphosate herbicides being sprayed on crops (it is a cancer-causing compound and showing up in large concentrations in food products), stop pumping livestock full of hormones to make them mature quickly (these hormones are synthetically manufactured and are found in meat products), stop adding nitrates to meat products, stop importing food products from China where much of it has been deemed to be chemically unsafe to eat, stop putting so much preservatives (chemicals) in food so that is will be ‘safe’ to eat for a long time, stop processing all the nutritional value out of food products so that the manufacturers see no need to add chemically produced synthetic vitamins, and there are plenty more examples.
        We are being poisoned yet the fed. gov’t won’t even compel food processing companies and corporations to show if something is GMO on the label. So you see, big business and gov’t have colluded against the people.

      19. Thought I’d share this. My wife brought home this air fryer appliance. Now me being a skeptic and believing most shit out there for sale is a gimick I figured it’s a waste of $. She says it works its not bullshit. I said alright prove it. She puts it on the counter and plugs it in puts frozen fries into it sets the timer for 10 mins at 400f. Ten mins later she turns the fries by shaking the basket puts it in for another 5mins. When it was finished the fries were better than putting them on a cookie sheet in the oven they were cooked even and tasted almost fried despite there being no oil used. This thing plugs into a regular outlet and cooks like a commercial flash cooker like they use at subway or dunkin for sangwiches. She paid $42 at Jc penny for it. There is no preheating it and I think the timer isn’t accurate cus it seems to work faster than normal. I’ve used this thing for chicken nuggets pattys pizzas fish sticks you name it. No oil no preheating a oven that runs on 220 fried tasting food. This thing is what it says it is and that is rare these days. Haven’t used the oven since we got this thing and used the microwave less too.

      20. Most cities are being filled with people dumped from the third world. Most live on welfare and have brought with them their filthy habits from home: spitting, not washing properly, promiscuous unprotected sex with many migrant women and baby mammas.

        Absent health checks, many carry multiple communicable diseases. These include AIDS, hepatitis, TB, schistosomes, parasites. One survey found African women carried the most diseases and passed these along to their sex partners (so don’t be tempted to grind with the darker ladies).

      21. How I avoid flu,me juicer with a couple times a week a clove of garlic,do juice daily,not just with garlic daily!

        To keep your home germ free use Genius’s home made brew,great for killing germs ect.!It’s not just for cleaning brushes with oil based paint!

        • So says the man that hasn’t even tried it. Yet I have tried your brew many times. More of my friends by far like mine over JD. Ha!

          • Actually ALL of them do!

      22. Echinacea tea, vitamin C, Selenium tablets and Tumeric capsules.

        Wear gloves when out (it’s winter!), use the cart wipes, and carry hand wipes.

        Three years of doing this – no flu shots – and I have had no colds or flu!

      23. When you have a bad sore throat, slippery elm tea is just about the best natural cure as it coats the throat. It often is flavored with anise root but anyone on heart medication should avoid the latter as it can interact.

        A long time ago, irritiable bowel syndrome didn’t exist and they think it’s stress related, but slippery elm coats the troublesome area in the same way.

        When you have a sore throat and mucus, you are supposed to aoid menthol as that encourages menthol production. But if it’s a dry cough (non-productive), then menthol is okay.

        When my sinuses are blocked, eating a teaspoon of very hot Chinese mustard opens it up as it’s full of horseraddish.

      24. Test

        • Taiwan is closing kindergarden and schools early to try to control influenza contagion.

          The Mongolian Red Cross is calling the influenza a “kid crisis”.

          Cakifornia and Idaho are seeing a big uptick in cases. It’s difficult to assess how far it’s spreading, what varieties, how severe it is, etc as docs have stopped testing for it.

          There have been several recent deaths of health young people who catch influenza, then suddenly die. There have been several severe adverse reactions as well just after getting vaccinated. They approved a quadravalent version of the most versions for use on a wide range of folks from young children to senior citizens,but again the effective rate is very low. They remain very concerned about pregnant ladies who get influenza and adverse outcomes…which historically has been the case with H1N1 influenza A.

          • Meanwhile there is a measles outbreak in NY and Japan has curtailed pork shipments from China due to swine flu. China also has ongoing issues with Avian flu. Of course there are now over 700 of Ebola in the DRC as well.

      25. Every year, some hapless individual stumbles upon a mouse or rat nest and they are sick with the Hantavirus. Its transmission is linked to exposure to their fecal matter. The case numbers are typically small and usually in the American Southwest.

        There is an odd outbreak of 11 Argentines. It’s too early to tell if the infected patients number more than that. I wouldn’t go to Argentina right now.

      26. ht tps://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/disease-at-border-puts-migrants-at-risk-theres-a-crisis-here
        More contagion at the Southern Border.

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