It’s cold season! 🙁 Unless you’re going to lock yourself away for the next 4+ months, chances are, you’re going to run into some nasty germs. So, assuming you’d like to still leave your house, here are my top 5 recommendations to help boost your immune system, both to help hopefully prevent getting sick, and to get you over your cold as quickly and painlessly as possible should you catch one!

1) Probiotic – your gut has a HUGE impact on your immune system and immune response. Keeping your gut flora happy and healthy is critical to keeping YOU healthy. I personally take and recommend BIOHM.

2) Antioxidants – when your body is stressed, this can further exacerbate low levels of inflammation and leave the body more susceptible to infection (like the flu and colds!). Your best source of antioxidants? Fruits and veggies, and lots of them!

3) Garlic – shown to boost the immune system and help fight off bacteria, garlic is a great addition to any diet, but especially your winter, cold-fighting one! Add it to pasta, roasted veggies, or make a delicious garlic soup, like the one below. I PROMISE, it’s delicious!

4) Bone Broth – you’ve likely heard this one come up before. Bone broth has a healing, soothing quality, and it’s a great way to stay hydrated during the winter, too! Here’s a good base recipe for some broth. Add some ginger and turmeric to boost your anti-inflammatory profile and sip by a warm fire.

5) SLEEP – I know this isn’t a food or nutrition recommendation, but as a holistic nutritionist, I look at more than just the food you put in your body. Sleep is critical to keep your immune system working well and prepared to fight off a sudden infection. Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep increases cortisol levels, which increases inflammation, and consequently stifles the immune system, making it run on low and often leaving it incapable of responding to a cold-attack.

Try incorporating these tips into your daily routine this cold season and perhaps you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays just a bit more!

Aubrey Phelps MS RDN LDN