The turn towards colder weather marks the start of cold and flu season. We take all kinds of precautions to avoid colds and flus. Because really, no-one wants to get sick and have to stay home coughing, sneezing, sniffling with body aches and a fever.

Our Oakville Naturopaths make tailored plans to help your immune system from the cold and flu viruses. Along with herb to support immunity, healthy nutrition and gut support are at the top of the list when if comes to bolstering your immunity.

Believe it or not, your ability to combat viruses and bacteria are directly affected by your nutrition. So what better time than the start of cold and flu season to start building up a healthy meal plan for you and your family?

According to an Australian study, about 70-80% of your body’s immunity lives in your gut.

Wow! We know the expression “Mind over Matter” but in this case it’s really “Gut over Matter” because the better care we take of our gut health, the more likely we will be to fortify our immune system and stave off potential sickness this season.

There are areas all along your small intestine called “Peyer’s Patches” that are responsible for building up your immune systems and developing the antigens that fight off disease. These Peyer’s Patches also help to regulate good and bad gut flora which are the bacteria we house to maintain our health. You can see already why it’s so important to take good care of our gut to protect ourselves from illness!

So what can you do to build up your immunity this Fall and Winter? It can be as simple as adding a few of these into your nutrition every day:

Immunity Enhancing Foods:

Perhaps the most important nutrient for fighting off viruses and bacteria is zinc! This mineral is abundant and is easily found in multiple food sources including:

  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Oysters
  • Whole grains
  • Beans and nuts

If you choose to add supplements to your diet, it’s best to take them with food as to avoid stomach irritation. Be careful though as you can get too much of a good thing. Excess zinc can cause adverse effects particularly, in pregnant women, those with zinc allergies, and those with HIV. It can also induce other mineral deficiencies so it’s best to assess your zinc status before beginning. Our Naturopathic Doctors will be happy to connect with you to access your ideal dose.

Other well known immunity boosting foods to add to your recipes this season include garlic, onions, mushrooms, and raw, unpasteurized honey.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods:

Foods that fight inflammation keep our tissues in virus-fighting shape. Your food can help your immune system keep tissue healthy and even help to calm down any inflammation that might be taxing it.

Try omega-3 rich anti-inflammatory foods like:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseed
  • Hemp seeds
  • Olive Oil

Green leafy vegetables, berries, turmeric and green tea are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, so be sure to eat plenty of these too!

It’s easy to add these foods into your everyday menus in any meal of the day.

  • For breakfast, try oatmeal + flaxseed porridge sprinkled with walnuts, cinnamon and blueberries to get a boost of immunity enhancing and anti-inflammatory foods at the start of your day.
  • A mug of green tea instead of coffee is a great way to warm up to the day ahead
  • For lunch, how about sliced grilled chicken with sauteed spinach and mushrooms with some fresh garlic?
  • Or for dinner, why not baked salmon fillets with a red pepper stuffed with brown rice and broccoli florets?

Reduce Sugar:

While the relationship between sugar and viral/bacterial illness is still largely unknown, we do know that overconsumption of sugar has negative effects on gut health. For that reason, reducing your intake of sugar particularly during cold and flu season is a good idea because it will allow all of the positive steps you’re taking towards better gut health and immunity to shine through!


Taking a good probiotic is always a good idea but, it’s particularly important at this time of year when an increase of viruses and bacteria require us to be more vigilant about protecting our gut health. It’s even more essential after taking a course of antibiotics since they kill good bacteria in the gut as while fighting infection. Not all probiotics are created equal so check with your naturopathic doctor to ensure you have the right one for you.

Intravenous Vitamin C:

An intravenous infusion of Vitamin C and other immune boosting vitamins and minerals done once every 3-4 weeks during the fall and winter months will help your immune system fight hard and can help you can avoid that downtime a cold or flu causes!

This cold and flu season, keep up with your warm wooly knits, your cozy nesting habits, your enjoyment of Fall’s outdoor activities! But remember to add the most unexpected way of beating cold and flu season – by upping how you nourish your gut!

The Naturopathic Doctors at Bronte Wellness Boutique want to be a part of your personal care team. Book your fall immune boost appointment to help you stay healthy this season. We are committed to helping you get healthy, look good and feel amazing.


1) Wu, E., and Wu, HJ (2012). The role of microbiota in immune homeostasis and autoimmunity. Gut Microbes 3 (1): 4-14.