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by Tandis Bishop

A plant-based diet is the basis of a healthy, flu-fighting body. To give your immune system an extra boost as flu season arrives, consider the following tips:

  1. Make your diet rich in foods that increase the alkalinity of your body. If you are not familiar with alkalinity, the premise is that certain foods increase your body’s pH level (making it more alkaline) or decrease your pH level (making it more acidic). Bacteria and viruses thrive in an acidic environment, so it is important to maintain proper pH levels (slightly alkaline) in the body. You can raise your pH by increasing your intake of vegetables (especially green vegetables) and fruits. In addition, you should reduce your intake of meat, coffee, alcohol and soda beverages as they are all extremely acidic.
  2. Your diet should be rich in fruits and vegetables, not only to maintain proper pH levels, but also to load up on antioxidants. Berries, kiwi, and grapefruit are especially good sources of antioxidants. Artichoke hearts, spinach and eggplant, are good vegetable sources.1
  3. Take immune boosting supplements such as vitamin C, astragalus, probiotics, colostrum, medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, maitake, royal agaricus. Our friendly and knowledgeable Wellness Team is happy to help find the best supplements for you (including kids) to help maintain a healthy immune system. They can also suggest products to take when you think you’re fighting a cold or flu or even once you’ve got the flu, to help you recover faster.
  4. Exercise regularly! Any amount of exercise you can fit into your day is beneficial. It doesn't have to be intense; go walking along the beach, do yoga, ride a bike or swim. Get your blood flowing and get energy moving throughout your body. Sweating is beneficial as well because it helps release built up toxins from your body.
  5. Drink plenty of water. This is especially important during flu season. Keeping your body hydrated helps it perform all the basic functions of keeping you healthy and makes it easier to flush out viruses, bacteria, and other foreign invaders.
  6. Finally and maybe most importantly, get plenty of rest! A recent study from Carnegie Mellon University concluded that sleeping for under seven hours a night greatly raises the risk of catching a cold. Lack of sleep significantly weakens the immune system, putting a person at risk for colds and flu.2

Filling your life with healthy habits is the best way to stay healthy and strong and keep your immune system in tip-top condition!

  2. Cohen, S., Brissette, I., Skoner, P.D., Doyle, J.W. Social Integration and Health: The Case of the Common Cold. Carnegie Mellon University, JOSS. 2000. Vol.1. Available at