NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - Nutritionist Lindy Ford said that to avoid getting the flu and other illnesses, there are preventative steps you can take in your own kitchen.
First, Ford recommends that people add prebiotics and probiotics to their diet, which can help boost one's immune system.
"Any kind of fermented foods that you can get your hands on, it is going to build you up but along with that, you need prebiotics which are fiber rich foods," she said. "These will actually feed the probiotics in our guts and we know that's where most of our immunity lies."
Ford also said that while vitamin C can provide a boost to the immune system, she recommends that people load up on foods rich in quercetin, like apples, red peppers, broccoli and leafy greens.
She added that if people are feeling under the weather, they could try taking a cooked elderberry syrup.
"There's a really good study out that shows that if you have a cold or flu, if you treat it with elderberry syrup and it has to be cooked, you're actually going to reduce it by 30-40 percent, reduce the duration of it," Ford said.
She stressed that while there are steps you can take once you are sick, prevention is your best line of defense.
"Think about your body as a shield, your immune system as a shield, so that you're not attacked by them and you're able to withstand the germs around you," Ford said. "We can't live in a bubble."