Follow Club Fashionista by Email

Join the Club Fashionista Newsletter and Giveaways

Join the Club Fashionista Newsletter and Giveaways.

* indicates required

How to Build Your Immune System This Winter

By Rachel Burt

While there is no proven cure for the cold and flu, there are a number of foods that are vital for an optimal immune system and that do help to avoid the cold. Additionally, Many of the foods, which help fight off the cold, are packed with nutrients that help stay young and fresh longer!

Me (left)

Here are the top 7 foods to help you stay healthy this winter:

(Please note that I am NOT a doctor and this is not medical advice. My conclusions are based on my own experience and basic research.) 

1. Garlic:

Garlic is a phytonutrient, particularly known as allylic sulfides, which are similar to antioxidants because allylic sulfides offer protection from diseases. It is an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti parasitic, immune boosting and cancer fighting super food!

We all may have had those winter cold sores on our lips and freak out not knowing how to cover them up. Well, you can buy all the topical treatments you desire but the truth is when you break out in cold sores, it is because of what is taking place internally. In another words, your immune system needs a boost. 

Garlic has one of the best anti-viral fighting properties.  What I do for cold and flue prevention or cold sore treatments is chop a whole raw clove of garlic and swallow the pieces without chewing. Be careful not to chew because garlic is extremely potent and will have a huge impact on your breath. Garlic works immediately to kick start your immune system, both for cold prevention and a quick recovery.

2. Bee Pollen:

One of my favorite quick fixes for breakfast is a quick spoonful of bee pollen. I take the bee pollen right before I head off for a run or a yoga class. Often, it is really all I need. 

Bee pollen contains all the essential amino acids—it the masculine part of the bee and a complete protein. It contains vitamins and the trace minerals our body needs for good health. Also, bee pollen has the enzymes and co-enzymes necessary for its digestion. 

Bee pollen contains only 90 calories per ounce; it is made of tiny yellow grains. 

In fact, you can add bee pollen to a morning shake, sprinkle it on yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, or even a toast. In Chinese medicine, bee pollen is used to improve endurance, reduce cravings and prevent the cold and flu due to its antibiotic properties. It has also been found to fight against stress properties and helps with skin conditions. I notice a decrease in appetite after a dose of bee pollen too!

3. Honey:

"A spoonful of honey keeps the cold and flues away." What is sweeter and more satisfying than a spoonful of pure locally made honey? 100% raw honey is known for its amazing anti-bacterial properties. Honey can be used to improve energy levels, as well fight off the cold, flu and sore throat. Also, honey can be applied topically to treat conditions like sore, rashes, insect bites, and chronic wounds.

When you feel you are catching a cold or have sore throat, take one teaspoon of honey and let it slowly melt in your mouth and down your throat; do not drink liquids after. Try this a couple times a day for as long as you need. Try to get your honey from a local farmer's market or Whole Foods to ensure a good quality product. Honey that has been highly processed will not contain the same properties.

4. Cod Liver Oil:

We definitely are not exposed to the sun in the wintertime, which is our main source of Vitamin D.  And what does Vitamin D do for us that is so important? There are two key factors to consider: firstly, it keeps us happy, secondly, without adequate levels of vitamin D, immune cells produce fewer antibacterial proteins and are less efficient at killing viruses and bacteria. In turn, the lack of Vitamin D weakens our immune system, causes poor hair growth, and wakens our muscles and bones.  

You can find Vitamin D in your fatty fishes such as salmon and mackerel, in pure fortified yogurts filled with probiotics, fortified cereals, and by taking Vitamin D supplements like Cod fish oil.

5. Lemon:

We all probably have heard that lemon is the number one most powerful antioxidant and cleanser. It is on top of the list of Alkalizing foods. What are alkalizing foods? They are extremely cleansing, detoxify, and help stabilize your PH level. When your body is alkalized, your skin is more radiant, your digestive system is better, and you literally feel happier and more energized, and give you a natural glow. 

As a great fluid choice, try drinking warm water with a lemon; this provides you with your necessary water intake plus the antioxidants you need. In turn, your metabolism is boosted in the morning, your body cleansed, and hydrated. 

6. Clementines:

Especially when in season, clementines are the top source of Vitamin C. Most know that Vitamin C is on the top of the list as an immune booster. There has been more research about the immune boosting effects of Vitamin C than any other nutrient. Unlike most animals that produce their own Vitamin C, the human body does not synthesize any. Vitamin C has substantial antiviral and antibacterial benefits though it is known for its protective aspects in creating host resistance. One clementine is known to contain your entire daily requirement of Vitamin C.

7. Pure Cacao:

There has to be a reason why we ladies so often crave that piece of chocolate. One secret I have found to do wonders this year is hot chocolate! Now, most people would think “how can that be healthy?” 

Here is the trick: Pure Cacao hot chocolate made with almond milk makes a pretty delicious hot chocolate drink. Instead of waking up with your morning cup of coffee, try hot cacao for a boost, and you will be amazed at the benefits.  

Pure Cacao, which you can find sold in most nutrition stores, is known as a super food for health and vitality, and contains high antioxidant flavanoids, sulfur and magnesium.  Benefits of raw Cacao include alleviating stress and depression, improving heart function, raising good cholesterol, and of course giving us that euphoric happy sensation!

Don’t Forget to Exercise, Hydrate and Sleep

Sleep, hydration, and exercise are other major factors (besides food) that help fight off the cold and maintain a youthful and fresh look.


Short days and frigid weather make it harder to go to the gym. However, blowing off those workouts, you cause your immune system to suffer. People who exercise at least four days a week have 43 percent less of a chance of enduring a cold during the fall and winter than those who break a sweat less often. 

So think about it, not only are you in shape but you are increasing your metabolism and digestive system as well. Think, every time you work out, you are protecting yourself from becoming sick. Therefore, there is no excuse, whether it is a stroll in the park, a yoga class, a vigorous boot-camp class or a bike ride, from sweating it out. 


This is the number one rule that cannot be stressed enough when it comes to wellness: drink water. Dehydration not only makes cough and flu symptoms much worse, but it is not good for your digestion in general.  Water makes up 70% of our body. By drinking plenty of it, you are helping to replenish your blood flow, hydrate your skin, strengthen your digestive system, metabolism and fueling your body with exactly what it needs. If you find yourself not drinking enough water, try green tea; green tea is packed with antioxidants and helps to increase your metabolism. If you find yourself drinking too much coffee, why not switch to green tea?


You have probably heard of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty: it is as easy to grasp as the title of the beloved tale: sleep=beauty. Poor sleep habits are as destructive as poor nutrition. Adults need on an average of 8 hours of sleep per day. Any less, or too much more, and you are asking for an illness. Remember, beautiful sleep = beautiful skin, which means a beautiful you!

Treat your skin and your winter cold naturally this winter by allowing food to be your preventive medicine. Until next time, xoxo. 


wa111111111 said...

very nice lady...nice blog..

Alice Lee said...

Excellent tips. Really useful stuff .Never had an idea about this, will look for more of such informative posts from your side... Good job...Keep it up. Sierrasil Winnipeg


09 10