Eat These Colorful Foods To Reduce Upper Respiratory Tract Infections By 40%

High Flavonoid foods are a viable choice to decrease the incidence of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections.

Studies have found that the use of flavonols (see list below) year-round may reduce the number of sick-days significantly- as much as 40%.


  • Quercitin or high quercitin foods like citrus fruits, apples, onions, parsley, sage, tea, and red wine; olive oil, grapes, dark cherries, and dark berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and bilberries.
  • Cranberry extracts or juices with and/or supplements or other foods containing proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins, like purple corn or sweet potatoes, black rice, aubergines, red cabbage, red onions, radishes or black beans, and – the obvious – red, blue and purple fruits, like cranberry.
  • Larch extracts and/or dietary or supplemental arabinogalactan which can be found in very small quantities in a wide variety of foods including carrots, radishes, pears, corn, wheat and tomatoes.
  • Green tea and/or supplements containing EGCG and theanine, of which have various benefits, such as increased fat oxidation or improved attention and reaction speed(s).


Sample Meal Plan for A Day


Smoothie: Water or cranberry juice, Organic berries, Greens, Banana, Hemp seeds and whey protein powder (20 g)


Sweet potato Hash

  • Dice a sweet potato and stir fry in olive oil
  • Add fresh herbs, e.g. rosemary, thyme, sage, garlic
  • Season with Herbamare
  • Top with chicken sausages or eggs
  • Boost with Sriracha or salsa

Mid-Morning Snack:

Greek Style Yogurt + Berries + Raw walnuts


Colorful salad- Arugula, radishes, tomatoes, carrots, purple cabbage, black beans.

  • Add tuna or some poultry for protein
  • Top with toasted walnuts or almonds
  • Dressing: Extra-virgin Olive Oil, lemon, honey, Herbamare


Afternoon Snack

  • Berries, cherries, grapes, orange
  • Raw nuts
  • Carrots and radishes with guacamole or a black bean dip


Protein- BBQ/Baked- Salmon, Halibut, poultry, grass-fed beef

Vegetable- Roasted broccoli, cauliflower or brussels sprouts (Toss with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and salt and pepper and bake at 375-400 degrees until crispy)

Starch- Sweet or Purple potato fries  (chop like fries, toss with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and salt and pepper and bake at 375-400 degrees until crispy) or Black Rice with sauteed shiitake mushrooms

Glass of red wine


*Drink Green Tea liberally throughout the day



Middleton Jr, E. (1998). Effect of plant flavonoids on immune and inflammatory cell function. In Flavonoids in the Living System (pp. 175-182). Springer US.

Somerville, Vaughan S., Andrea J. Braakhuis, and Will G. Hopkins. “Effect of Flavonoids on Upper Respiratory Tract Infections and Immune Function: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal 7.3 (2016): 488-497.


About the Author

Dr. Geoff LecovinNaturopathic Physician/Chiropractor/Acupuncturist/Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist/Corrective Exercise Specialist/Performance Enhancement Specialist/Certified Sports Nutritionist/View all posts by Dr. Geoff Lecovin