5 Immune Boosting Foods for Cold & Flu

by | Nov 27, 2016 | Herbal Medicine, Nutrition Articles

Food really is medicine. When it comes to sickness or cold and flu, there are a number of foods we can rely on to help boost our immune system, ward off infection, or promote healing. Here are 5 immune boosting foods for cold and flu!

Cold and flu season may be upon us, but that doesn’t mean we have to get sick! There’s no better time than the fall and winter to boost our immune system and strengthen our body. Here are 5 immune boosting foods that can help to prevent – or overcome – cold and flu!





Garlic is very antibacterial and can also help prevent infection from other microbes including yeast and fungi. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, chopping or crushing it and allowing it to sit helps to activate certain enzymes within the cells to help with the conversion of allicin – the highly antibacterial, anti-fungal component of garlic!
Mince 1-2 garlic cloves and drink with small amount of water.



Ginger is naturally spicy and warming. Its heat-producing properties not only help stimulate immune function, but can also help to promote sweating, which can be helpful during cold or flu to ward off infection. Ginger also contains gingerols, an anti-inflammatory compound shown to reduce pain.

Not only can ginger boost our immune system and reduce inflammation, it’s also great for nausea or an upset stomach. Ginger tea, freshly grated ginger in hot lemon water, or a coconut milk elixir with turmeric, cinnamon and ginger make excellent soothing remedies for cold and flu!



Fermented foods make an extraordinary addition to your diet, and even more so if you’re feeling under the weather. Sauerkraut, a fermented cabbage product, is rich in probiotic bacteria thereby supporting our digestion and strengthening our immune system.

After all, 80% of our immune system is found in our gut!

Look for an unpasteurized sauerkraut at the store if you aren’t making it homemade.


Bone Broth

If you’ve been active in the health community for a while now, you’ve probably heard about bone broth and its multitude of benefits and uses. Bone broth is made by simmering any variety of animal bones with or without the addition of a few vegetables or herbs, to extract the various healing properties within the bone and marrow. This includes nutrients such as collagen and a vast array of minerals and protein, together helping to improve immunity, digestion, allergies, and more.

It’s true that our grandparents knew a thing or two about healing from a cold: even a traditional bowl of chicken soup has been shown to nourish and support a tired body.


Raw Local Honey

Honey is a must-have in every pantry, not only for its great uses in the kitchen, but because it’s highly antibacterial, not to mention excellent for infections and wounds!


Be sure to opt for local, unpasteurized honey to ensure the various enzymes, nutrients, and antibacterial properties are intact.


Local honey allows you to be exposed to pollens in your area which can help boost our immune system. If you can get your hands on Manuka honey, it packs an additional antibacterial punch and is a great option, too!

For a quick soothing drink, add a spoonful of honey to a glass of hot lemon water.



Do you ever eat any of these foods when you’re under the weather? What helps you when you’re sick?

Check out these 5 supplements to boost your immune system for cold and flu season, and my video below:



by Meghan Livingstone

Note: this post may contain affiliate links. Learn more here.

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Hi, I’m Meghan. I’m a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, blogger, and YouTuber with a passion for healthy, simple living. I’m here to inspire you to listen to your body, eat mindfully and wholesomely, and create a fulfilling life that’s completely unique to you.