Staff Picks for Cold & Flu Season!

Boy do we all know that the cold and flu season has arrived. The Immune Support section of our Supplements aisle has been a high traffic area at the stores! We thought in lieu of this you might like to hear some of the staff favorites here at the Grain Train for immune support. These are just the things some of us like. As always, we recommend working with your healthcare provider to find the right support for you.

Starting any day well rested, hydrated and with a nutrient packed meal is always a plus. This becomes especially important when you are feeling under the weather. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in their article, “Protect Your Health for Immune Boosting Nutrition,” shares tips on foods that help support the immune system. A few that stand out are proteins such as lean meats, poultry, eggs, and beans. Not only does protein support healing and recovery in the body, these foods are also typically high in zinc. You can find vitamin C in more than just oranges—don’t forget the rest of the citrus family, plus strawberries, broccoli, kiwi fruits, and green and red bell peppers. Speaking of red bell peppers, they are a good source of vitamin A that also supports the immune system. Another article from eatright.org reminds us that fresh fruits, when consumed raw or lightly steamed as soon after purchase as possible, are at their peak nutritional value. Chelsea, our Operations Manager and long time Health and Beauty superstar, can often be heard suggesting the produce department as a great place to start looking for immune boosting allies.

Bailey, our Administrative Assistant and member of our Receiving Team, looks to Emergen-C, Elderberry, and Apple Cider Vinegar for her immune support. Regarding Apple Cider Vinegar, she says, “There are lots of recipes online for fire cider which you can make with ingredients we sell at the Grain Train!”

Laura, a member of our Replenishment and Management Team, looks to Wishgarden Herbs’ Kick Ass Immune or Kick Ass Biotic for immune support. She also is a fan of My Kind Elderberry Immune Gummies and Zand Elderberry Zinc HerbaLozenge.

Liz, our Financial Manager, says “Knock on wood, my ritual for prevention has been Host Defence Mushrooms MyCommunity and Garden of Life Elderberry Syrup/Gummies, plus EO hand sanitizer. And if I come down with a cold, nothing beats a Lemon Throat Coat hot toddy.”

Sarah, from our Customer Service Team, who has been a Health and Beauty Associate for many years, also looks to the Kick Ass Immune, MyKind Elderberry Gummies or Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup for Immune Support. In addition, she calls out Olbas Cough Drops, Naturade Herbal Expec and Traditional Medicinals Original Throat Coat Tea. In fact, whatever product you are looking for in the supplement aisle, Sarah can point you in the right direction.

Both Andrew and Jack from our Boyne City store called out Boiron Oscillococcinum, often called Oscillo, when it comes to the onset of flu-like symptoms. 

You don’t get to hear from me very often in my own voice. I’m Mindy, our Events and Outreach Coordinator, and I too love elderberry syrup. Gaia is my tried and true brand. I made some elderberry syrup at home this fall and I’ll be honest, it is still in the fridge and I have gone back to Gaia. My two year old will NOT take the one I made, but happily waits for his Gaia Elderberry Syrup. One thing we do at our house at the first sign of a sniffle, is whip up a couple batches of Onion Syrup. I found the recipe years ago in my very favorite herb book, “A Kid’s Herb Book for Children of All Ages.” My husband adds A LOT more cayenne pepper and some wild-crafted Bergamot, but I tend to follow the recipe. We each have our own batch in the fridge.


Well, we hope there might be something in this week’s blog that sparks an interest for you, but most of all we hope that you and your family are able to stay healthy and happy this cold and flu season. We will say it again—the supplements and recipes shared here are staff favorites but we know that each one of us is different. We always come from the place that your health is something between you and your health care provider. We are here to help you find what you are looking for, and look forward to seeing you at the stores and the Cafe!

January 20, 2020 by Mindy Taylor
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