8 easy, simple tips to nourish yourself, your family and improve immunity this winter…

We’ve just passed mid winter here in the southern hemisphere and I’m already patiently awaiting the return of the warmth and blue skies…

I thought it fitting to share some winter remedies to help us through the remainder of the season and ward off any unwanted viruses that may come knocking at the door. I definitely like to be prepared with a pantry full of cold and flu busters…

Side note// I’ve included mostly food items in the list to make it accessible for everyone. Supplements and herbal products definitely have their place in building immunity and have deeper therapeutic actions, but sometimes it’s nice to know you can still nourish yourself and your family with simple ingredients and timeless tricks from the pantry. I will do a follow up post on the best supplements I find useful for immunity. 

Some of the things I like to have on hand to boost my family’s immunity and to dose up on, in case we do come down with something..include;


I’ve recently rediscovered the power of garlic and now I’m adding it to everything! Garlic is a great cold and flu fighter with its antiviral compounds. Add garlic to all types of foods, stir frys, curries, soups, salad dressing etc. And for the brave hearted, some people eat a crushed whole clove to fight any acute viruses, followed by a spoonful of honey or rice syrup. I’m not brave enough to do this yet. But even in less extreme doses, garlic can work wonders. 

2. Vitamin C rich foods 

Make sure to include lots of Vitamin C filled fruits and vegetables in your diet, such as citrus of all kinds, mandarins are delicious this time of year, sweet potatoes, carrots, berries, kiwi fruit, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage…. Load up on a range of these daily.

3. Fresh ginger root

Add a few slices to your cuppa, or it’s great in soups or curries for extra warmth. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, aids digestion and helps clear the sinuses. Its a very warming pungent herb so don’t overdo it. A little goes a long way.

4. Sauerkraut and other fermented foods

Our gut plays a big role in our immune system, and one way we can improve gut health and therefore immunity is including more fermented foods in our diet. Sauerkraut is a great addition, it is also high in Vitamin C as well as beneficial bacteria. There are numerous store bought options that are wonderful, or you can very easily make your own. I love a beetroot and ginger one.

5. Herbal teas 

Staying hydrated is super important, especially when you are sick. And a good way to do this, along with drinking water, is to consume a few cups or more of herbal teas a day. There are some great blends out there or you could make your own using dried or fresh herbs and loose leaf teas. And there are some great teabag options too, just try and choose plastic free.

Here are some of my favourites

~Hibiscus and rosehip for the vitamin C content

~Lemon, ginger and honey, great when actually sick, helps soothe the throat and clear up those sinuses

~Peppermint, a great antiviral herb but also great for digestion

~Turmeric and ginger, anti inflammatory

6. Easily digested warm foods

It’s so nourishing to eat warm foods, especially in the cooler months. Warming soups, miso and veggie broth, filled with garlic, ginger and spices like turmeric, work wonders for keeping our insides happy and toasty warm. Curries or dahl are great too. Nothing better than a warm nourishing soup or broth on a cold winter’s night.

7.*Eucalyptus oil 

Eucalyptus oil can be used in a number of ways such as, adding a few drops to the diffuser to clear the air when sick, or putting a few drops on a tissue and tuck in a pillow case, or even making a chest rub. All these do wonders for clearing the sinuses and airways. You could also do a steam inhalation. The refreshing and uplifting smell of eucalyptus also makes the air feel less buggy especially if the whole family is sick..

*Please note// you should never ingest eucalyptus oil, for external use only.

8. Sunshine!

Last but not least, when that sun does finally shine, get yourself into it, try and expose your belly or the inside of your arms for at least 20 minutes for best absorption. And if you are recovering from the flu already, it just feels so healing to sit in the sun…Vitamin D from the sunshine is superior to any supplement, but for those who are indoors or who have minimal sunshine, its the one supplement I would recommend here. Note//always consult your health care practitioner before starting any new supplements.

I hope this list is helpful, and may you stay well during this inward season. It will be spring before long…

Disclaimer//The information here is for educational use only, it is not intended to diagnose, treat or replace medical advice.