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According to The National Institute of Health, there are over 1 billion colds suffered every year in the Unites States alone, and the average cold is estimated to last slightly more than a week. We don’t need to do the math to see that an amazing amount of our lives are wasted away enduring and recovering from this common illness. What if we never had to suffer from a cold again? Here is a strategy that may help you to do just that.

Some sources recommend tips like washing your hands frequently, sanitizing, and, most humorously, avoiding large groups of children. While these actions may reduce your frequency of contact with cold viruses, it is virtually impossible to completely avoid them. We need additional defenses if we are to defeat these invaders.

It is worth noting that, provided your immune system is strong, you should be able to easily fight off a cold virus. So the question is, what is the easiest and most effective way to strengthen our immune system?

While some people may suggest downing mega doses of vitamin C, D and other micronutrients, the more likely truth is to follow the advise of Hippocrates and “Let food be thy medicine.” Consuming a variety of foods that provide you with a broad base of healthful nutrients will provide your body with the resources it needs to knock down the invaders.  Many experts are now saying that individual nutrients like vitamin C may help but they will do their jobs best when working together with other important nutrients. In other words, you are better off eating a kiwi than taking a single vitamin C pill.

There is evidence to suggest that keeping the body pH levels slightly alkaline creates a physical environment that is inhospitable to cold viruses. This can be also be achieved by feeding your body the right foods. In general terms, most fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes will provide the right things your body needs to attain balance, while meat and dairy are likely to create an acidic environment leaving you susceptible to attacks. Avoiding unnatural, processed foods, smoking, and excessive stress will also help to create an immune system that will easily fend off attackers.

Mounting evidence from those choosing a plant-based diet is indicating that subscribers to this way of eating are avoiding colds altogether. While switching completely off meat and dairy may be an extreme move for many, it is likely a wise move to maximize natural, plant-based items in your meal plan, while minimizing those items contributing to a more acidic bodily environment.

As a bonus, eating a broad based diet with a full range of nutrients designed to avoid an acidic body will not only help you to avoid colds, but will likely help you fight off a multitude of other illnesses and keep you looking and feeling better. It’s simply a winning approach to health.