Natural Ways to Fight the Flu

Researched and written by Jody Moss.

Eat lots of fruits and veggies, exercise regularly, avoid sugar and highly processed foods, and get more sleep. You hear this immune-boosting advice frequently and try your best to follow it. What else can you do to keep the flu at bay?

Water supplies your organs and muscle fibers with oxygen, flushes toxins and waste out of your kidneys, and helps your lymphatic system destroy bacteria. Aim to drink half your body weight in H20 each day – about 70 ounces for a 140-pound person. If plain water is too boring, try adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or herbal tea.

Vitamin D is crucial for a well-functioning immune system. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to respiratory infections in both adults and children, and research shows that supplementing with Vitamin D3 can reduce the incidence of influenza. LINK: Aim for about 2,000 IUs daily. READ MORE about Vitamin D here. LINK:

Vitamin C is a proven immune booster. You need at least 1,000 milligrams daily to fend off flu viruses. If you’re sick with the flu, increase your daily intake to 4,000 milligrams. Consume lots of citrus fruits, kiwi, kale, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, green and red bell peppers, broccoli, and other vitamin C-rich foods, or pop a supplement. A water-soluble vitamin, vitamin C will be excreted in your urine if you take more than your body needs.


My favorite way to fight the flu! Elderberry syrup tastes divine; the hardest thing is not drinking the whole bottle at once. Elderberries are a natural remedy containing hemagglutinin, a protein that prevents the flu virus from penetrating cell walls, stopping it from replicating. Taken before exposure, they can prevent the virus from causing infection and have been shown to boost the production of inflammatory cytokines that energize a healthy immune system. If you already have the flu, elderberry extract or syrup could help lessen the duration and severity of your illness. Try Sylvie’s Elderberry Elixir made with local elderberries – available at NourishMe in Ketchum.

Remember, the flu virus spreads through the air or from person to person. So wash your hands thoroughly and often with warm water and soap.

Health Coach Jody Moss is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Medicine and a student at Nutritional Therapy Institute.