Is there anything worse than that winter cold that just won’t seem to go away?  You’ve gotten the flu shot, you eat your fruits and veggies, but is that enough to ward off the sniffles?  Is there anything else you can do to fight bacteria and viruses before they strike?

Why actually, there is!

While a healthy diet is imperative to protecting yourself from winter germs, there are certain things you need to make sure you consume to really give your body that boost it needs. Slightly changing your habits can totally improve your ability to fight against winter cold. Nutritionists and scientists both say that there are nutrients specifically designed by nature to help strengthen our immune system and fight the many viruses and bacteria lingering this time of year.

The best thing about these nutrients is that they are easy to find, low cost, and all around good for your entire body.

Here are 4 essential nutrients to consume to keep that winter cold at bay:

Vitamin C

You have probably heard of this immune booster since you were little, and that’s for good reason. Vitamin C is such a powerful tool in keeping us healthy that doctors will actually prescribe it as a first line of defense against colds!

Oranges and lemons are great sources of vitamin C and make its consumption rather easy. Remember your mom telling you to drink orange juice when you had a scratchy throat? That’s why. While carrots and other seasonal veggies like beetroots also contain vitamin C, the citrus fruits are great because you can drink them.

Try this recipe for a warm, soothing, immune booster you can drink in the comfort of your home:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey

It not only tastes great, but will give you a nutritional boost. Already have a cold? Up your Vitamin C by 200mg to help fight it off faster. As the additional benefit it will naturally whiten your teeth!


These little things reap big benefits! Probiotics help support and heal your digestive system which is vital since 60% of your immune system resides in your gut. Regularly consuming active probiotics in the winter can help keep you healthy.

Probiotics help digest our foods, yes, but did you know they also help our bodies synthesize vitamins? That means if you take probiotics in addition to Vitamin C, they will increase its effectiveness.

You can either take a capsule (probiotics are sold almost everywhere these days), or go the old school easy route and eat yogurt every day. A good, high quality container of yogurt should contain several strains of active probiotic cultures. Kombucha is another great way to ingest probiotics. This fermented drink has grown in popularity recently due to its incredible healing properties.


Yes, we know, it makes your breath smell, but having to chew gum is a small price to pay for the huge health benefits garlic boasts. Besides adding flavor to dishes it’s prepared with, garlic contains both potassium and calcium. Additional bonus for men: garlic is a well known male enhancement food which can naturally boost your testoserone.

Garlic also contains sulfuric compounds which have been shown to boost the disease fighting response of white blood cells in our bodies. This explains why it is such a powerful immune booster and why even general physicians will advise garlic as a regular part of your winter diet.

The great news is that if you’re not a big fan of garlic in your food, you can take in via capsules. It’s as easy as swallowing a pill with some water and letting this powerful antioxidant do its work while you get on with your day. You know what the doctors say, a clove (or capsule) of garlic a day keeps the winter sniffles away!

Omega 3 Fatty Acid

If you enjoy salmon, you are in luck! It just happens to be packed with Omega 3s which are incredibly beneficial to help. These fatty acids are so good for you that they have been proven to help with everything from autoimmune diseases to ADHD! It’s no wonder then that they are also a great nutrient to incorporate into your diet when you are trying to fight off a winter cold.

Scientists discovered years ago that Omega 3s activate our T-cell production and the higher your t-cells, the less chance you have of getting an infection. With this knowledge it only makes sense to add Omega 3s to your diet as soon as possible. And salmon is not the only food containing this nutrient. You can also get it by consuming:

  • Chia Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Soy beans
  • Flax seed

If you aren’t a fan of the above foods, Omega 3s are readily available in capsule form and not only pretty cheap, but easy to take.

Kiss those winter sniffles goodby

We often wait until the first sign of a cold to start fighting it. A cough comes on and suddenly we’re reaching for medicine, tissues and any remedy we can find on the internet.

Nature, however, provides incredible nutrients for us to be consuming before illness hits so that we can fight it before it takes it toll.  Many people who consume a healthy diet of cold fighting nutrients claim to have less than two colds for all of winter if that! And when they do get a cold, its duration and symptoms are much less.

Be sure to put on the armor of good nutrients and protect yourself from the dreaded cold that’s lurking around every corner (and on every shopping cart – yikes!). These easy to incorporate nutrients are a great preventative way to stay healthy all season long.

About the author

Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams is a Berlin based lifestyle writer passionate about psychology, dating and nutrition. She regularly contributes to Wingman Magazine.

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