Anti-Aging Health Immune System Health

The real science behind cold and flu prevention all year round

By Kim Crawford, M.D. Last updated: March 6, 2020
tips to prevent cold and flu

tips to prevent cold and fluCold and Flu Prevention

Preventing illness is not about getting a flu shot. “Real” cold and flu prevention techniques should be used year-roundImmune system functioning isn’t quite up to par in cold weather, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to prevent cold and flu in warmer weather too.

The real reason I’d like you to read about preventing these two common but short-lived illnesses is simple. If the conditions in your body are such that you get every virus “going around,” you are also more likely to “get” plaquing in your coronary arteries and are even more likely to develop cancer.

Of course, there are cold and flu transmission issues which have nothing to do with getting cancer. However, it’s basically all about having a well-functioning immune system. In this article, I’ll reveal “avoidance tricks” and health tips to amp up your immune system so that your body can battle cold and flu symptoms even if exposed. These same tips also apply to the prevention of serious health conditions such as heart disease and cancer.

Tips to Prevent Cold and Flu

How To Avoid Colds:

The rhinovirus has thousands of forms. For this reason, you can easily catch a cold. If your immune system isn’t up to the task, you can catch another one on top of it. Be aware the “cold virus” is transmitted mainly hand to hand. Presumably, you then take the inoculated hand and touch your face. The general rule of thumb is to stop touching your face. Keep your hands away from all mucous membranes which are the areas where you “catch” the cold. This includes your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you stop touching your face, your skin will reap the benefits as well. Note some transmission of colds is in respiratory droplets meaning someone sneezes in your face; which is less common.

If you have a fever, it’s not a cold. See a doctor if your temperature is higher than 101.5 or you have other severe symptoms. If you have a run-of-the-mill cold, there is no need to see a doctor unless you want to share your cold with the doctor and her staff. Yes, hand sanitizer works, but I’m not a fan of commercially available brands due to the massive amounts of chemicals. I prefer essential oils.

cold and flu preventionAs a footnote, many people think they get frequent colds when, in reality, they have allergies.

Unless you have an immune system issue (such as an IgA deficiency), no one gets colds every month. If this is the case, see an Allergist.

Check your AC filters and even your ducts. You might have mold or dust mite overgrowth if you are having symptoms of colds every month or more frequently. This is all repairable, but first, you need to figure out the problem. If you are catching colds monthly, then you should see your doctor to determine the cause.

How To Avoid Flu:

Ecologically friendly hand sanitizer isn’t enough, but it still helps prevent cold and flu. Preventing the flu is more difficult though. The same transmission rules apply, but when people have the real flu (and GI bugs are not “the flu!”) they cough, have aches, pains, and fever. When individuals cough, they are quite contagious.

Avoid people or households with people who have an active case of the flu and make sure you have a strong immune system. I’m not going to get into the debate about flu shots, but I’ll tell you that there are guidelines as to who should get them. I see a lot of “get your flu shot” type ads targeting low-risk people. Even if you’re “on the list” it’s getting quite political, meaning financially driven. Next, let’s discuss the steps that help prevent the big time diseases as well as being crucial for cold and flu prevention.

Immune Boosting

Fix Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress is an imbalance between “reactive oxygen species” and our body’s ability to detoxify the reactive intermediates or to repair the resulting damage. ROS (free radicals) are basically unpaired electrons and are even made when we exercise! In humans, oxidative stress is thought to be involved in the development of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, and more. This is the first thing I’ll discuss which makes you more susceptible to viruses, bacteria, colds, and flu. So, get rid of oxidative stress.

One way is to switch to burning fat for fuel with a nutritional ketosis diet. This is a “higher-octane” fuel than glucose, producing less cellular waste and free radicals. In addition, if you’re vigilant, you can increase intake of organic fruits and veggies to 15 servings. This is usually very hard to do. I recommend (depending on risks) drinking the AWS Red/Green Superfood drinks 1-2x daily.

Reduce Systemic Inflammation

The first way to reduce inflammation is to eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Our eating plan provides an abundance of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants) yet gives you food choices which promote a moderate calorie intake without making you stay hungry. It is more about how to eat than how much to eat. Aim for 25% protein / 50% healthy fat / 25% carbs which is a departure from what you might have been taught previously.

Eat organic as much as possible and avoid GMO’s (Genetically Modified foods). Most processed foods contain GMO corn products and are not labeled. Also, please note in the U.S. just about all corn, soy and wheat products are GMO unless labeled otherwise. Your “plate” should be 1/3 low-carb veggies, 1/3 higher-carb veggies (such a sweet potatoes), and 1/3 lean protein. Grains are used sparingly. Grains must be sprouted, and no more than 1/3 of a plate once daily is allowed. Foods to avoid include sugar, fruit juice, refined carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, pasta), “low-fat” labeled foods, high starch vegetables, white potatoes (white flesh), corn, and processed meats (bacon, hot dogs, etc.) as well as all processed foods.

Being overweight promotes inflammation so please use the weight loss solutions on this website. Try to maintain a normal weight for life as well. Get inflammatory markers measured (CRP, Ferritin, Insulin), if possible. If not, simply take curcumin, fish oils and ECGC.

Get rid of glycation

Are you aware of the term “glycation”? If not, you’ll hear more about it as doctors learn to realize their “normal” lab slip numbers are dead wrong. A normal blood sugar level is not “99.”  Not only is that level of blood sugar documented to put you at a greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and heart disease but likely cancer too! In addition, “cellular glycation,” which is the stiffening and aging of cells in a high-glucose environment, occurs at a fasting blood sugars level as low as 85 mg/dL. If your blood sugar “runs on the high side” please read the referenced article and try to lower it.

Lower your stress and cortisol levels

If you are chronically stressed, with chronically elevated levels of cortisol, this reduces your resistance to all infections. It’s also proven to be associated with other health issues such as Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.

Sleep well

Sleep is mandatory for health. It is needed for “everything” including a strong immune system and a healthy brain. A great way to strengthen your immune system is to have great sleep.

Great sleep means you fall asleep easily, stay asleep, sleep soundly and awaken refreshed. If this is not the case, you are not alone. If you need help falling asleep or staying asleep, search this site for sleep articles including the popular best natural sleep aid.

Avoid chemicals and detox!

You can filter all of the water coming into your home including your drinking water. Make sure to read all labels. If you eat out, stay in hotels, live in a city, or fly more than on occasion, you need protection; use a detoxification product. The world is toxic.  If you have work, home, or travel exposures or even still have mercury fillings, you can protect yourself by using detox sprays. Use a colloidal silver and a zeolite spray.

Optimize your GI tract

If you have unexplained GI symptoms, food intolerances or other symptoms of leaky gut, please check it out. Leaky gut can lead to a host of medical problems but is completely reversible if caught in time. If you are “fine” from a GI standpoint and health standpoint, just make sure you have adequate prebiotics and probiotics on board. At least 80% of your immune system “lives” in your gut so optimizing your gut health will boost your immune system.

Extra Immune boosting

To further prevent cold and flu, add direct and indirect immune boosters to your regimen. You can take “germicidal” odorless garlic capsules during cold and flu season—direct prevention. You can also take colostrum capsules to enhance immune function—indirect prevention. There are other immune boosters if you need them, too. However, most people can avoid getting the sniffles by simply following the recommendations in this article.



  1. I get so many colds and doctors tell me there is nothing wrong. Will the colostrum help me?

    • Connie, make sure you don’t have allergies or an IGA or any auto-immune issue. Then if not, yes it will.

  2. What about taking garcillin all the time? Will my body get used to it? Will I have garlic breath?

  3. Funny, I was going to ask if eating garlic cloves would do the trick-so please answer me and Nancy Dr.Kim

    • To Nancy and Alex-
      You would need to eat 30 garlic cloves for the potency of one garlicillin caplet. When you open the bottle, it smells like garlic but no, you don’t get garlic breath. I take these all year round so I “never get anything.” But remember, if you don’t do the rest of the things I discuss in this article, you will not have a good strong immune system. Best, Dr.Kim

  4. What a great blog! I enjoy them all but this is one I will put into practice and am scheduling a consult with you, Dr.Kim!

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