The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released these startling statistics on the flu on February 16, 2204, in which it estimates that the United States has had at least 24 million illnesses, 260,000 hospitalizations, and 16,000 deaths from flu this season.   

A strong defense against the flu is a strong immune system. But boosting our immune system isn’t just good for flu prevention; it’s also important when you plan to use certain forms of transportation, like flying on an airplane or when your kids start school, and bugs tend to spread through the class.

Here are three simple things you can do daily to boost your immune system to protect yourself against the flu and other viruses.

Eat Plenty of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables 

Healthy food fuels your body with the disease-fighting nutrients needed to prevent disease and stay healthy. 

While eating a whole foods-based diet consisting of fresh fruit and vegetables is always good, it’s essential during cold and flu season.

If you suspect you might have been in contact with someone sick or feel under the weather, consider increasing your Vitamin C intake. Eat citrus fruits. And add some broccoli, cauliflower, and kale to your menu to help fortify your immune system.

Avoid or reduce eating processed foods because digesting them takes your body extra time and effort. Why is this important? You don’t want to overwork your body when it needs that energy to reinforce your immune system to help keep you from getting sick or getting well quicker.

Get Physical Activity 

In addition to eating well, try to get some physical activity on most days of the week, even if it’s going for a walk. And do it outside, weather permitting, because the negative ions in fresh air positively affect the immune system. Walking is amazing for reducing stress, which weakens the immune system. Use physical activity to destress and stay well. 


Getting the sleep you need is one of the absolute best things you can do to maintain a healthy immune system. According to some studies, losing hours of sleep each night can compromise your immune system by half. 

You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth stressing: get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Make yourself a priority at bedtime by turning off your phone and screens, keeping your bedroom dark, quiet, and calm, and lowering the temperature to encourage deep, restful sleep. Sleep will restore your mind and body and resupply your energy reserves. 

You deserve to be strong, healthy, and well. And if there was ever a time of year to take extra special care of yourself, it’s now. So even though these three tips might not be exciting, they work. Increase your odds of staying healthy this cold and flu season by eating healthy, getting physical activity (outside if possible), and getting the sleep your body needs every night to repair itself and stay strong.

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