Unless you have been living under a rock, you may have noticed the huge number of people getting sick in recent weeks.  Cold and flu season has arrived.

How can we support our immune system to shorten or even avoid catching this winter’s bugs?   Here are some vital components to stimulate your immune system and most might be right in your kitchen:

1)   Remove sugar.  As soon as you feel a cold or flu coming on, remove the sugars.  Sugar suppresses your immune system.  Did anyone else note the huge number of kids missing school in the week directly following Halloween?

2)   Bone Broth.  Bone broth is full of easy to digest and assimilate nutrients that are prime for fighting off germs.  Your body needs a huge array of nutrients, particularly minerals, to fight off any sort of bug and bone broth has you covered in spades.

3)   Fat-soluble vitamins, particularly A & D.  Vit D actually works best when in conjunction with Vit. A, which is found naturally combined in foods like liver pate, and (gasp!) that cod liver oil your grandma probably used to keep in the cupboard.

4)   Electrolytes – Instead of reaching for Gatorade or Pedialyte, try adding some coconut water to your water (2-4 ounces for a 16ounce glass) and then a pinch or two of sea salt for a very natural, low sugar electrolyte drink.

5)   Vitamin C – Another beverage to enjoy when sick is some diluted (too much and the sugar outweighs the benefits) fresh-squeezed orange juice for some easy to assimilate vitamin C.  Sauerkraut juice is also loaded with vitamin C.

6)   Probiotics –  Drink kefir, kvass, kombucha or eat sauerkraut or kimchi.  To help banish the nasty germs, you need to have built up a strong army of good bacteria in your gut and throughout your body. Take extra capsules or extra doses of your favorite probiotics when you feel the cold coming on.

7)   Rest – I kept my daughter home one extra day this week as I really want to drive home the point to both of my kids that rest is the best medicine and to NOT feel guilty about it.  Take the time to listen to your body and let it heal and repair in the best way it knows how.

What are some of your favorite immune-boosting foods and methods to recover from illness?