How to Boost Immune System—66 Immune Boosters for Flu Season

If you don’t eat meat, be sure to eat plenty of nuts, eggs, beans, lentils, green leafy vegetables and cereals with added iron. These vitamins support the immune system. Try a new grain such as bulgar wheat or pearl barley. B cell, in mice models for SLE, IL-10 appears to exert mainly its above-discussed anti-inflammatory effect and IL-10-deficient mice develop a more severe disease with increased proinflammatory cytokine levels [152], while transfer of IL-10 producing B cells induced the expansion of regulatory T cells [96]. Not all probiotics are made equal, and products that contain them don't always have enough active cultures to make a real difference.

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, responsible for the distinct yellow colouring and the impressive list of health properties.

In fact, certain types of immune cells, including white blood cells, cannot function without zinc. A 2020 study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, looked at adults 50 and older and found that those who either did a daily exercise routine or performed mindfulness meditation were less likely to get sick with a respiratory infection than subjects in a control group, and if they did get sick, they missed fewer days of work. And remember that the key to laying a healthy foundation for your immune system is a healthy diet, lowered stress levels, and lots of sleep. Other nutrients, including vitamin B6, folate, selenium, iron, as well as prebiotics and probiotics, also may influence immune response and play a role in a healthful eating style. Ginseng tea’s primary health benefits are due to the naturally occurring chemicals called ginsenosides present in the root. Top 10 immune system boosting foods for kids (with ideas and recipes!). This is one of those super foods that you could stand to have in your diet several times per week. Blend a can of chickpeas, juice of two lemons, one garlic clove and a splash of olive oil for a healthy grainy cracker topping or a tasty sandwich filler.

Vitamin C helps protect you from infection by stimulating the formation of antibodies and boosting immunity. Carrots are also rich in vitamins B complex for energy metabolic, C, D, E, K, fibre, potassium, iron, manganese, copper, iodine, silica, sulphur, chromium. Should you take high amounts of Vit C?

Vitamin A helps your body regulate its immune system and can protect against infection. Since we know that being in nature could improve happiness and boost the immune system, we recommend learning more about forest therapy and the ways you can get outside in every season. RA is a chronic autoimmune condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks a healthy part of the body. This is great for your immune system and general health.

  • What’s better when you have a cold or the flu than curling up on the couch with a giant mug of tea?
  • Berries add great colour and a sweet taste to many dishes.

Professional Advice

One way to get more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is to add one to three teaspoons of flax oil to a fruit and yogurt smoothie. Whole blueberries are a choking hazard, but you can blend these sweet-tart beauties up alone (if sweet enough) or mix them with apples, bananas, pears, yogurt, oatmeal, or beef for a heartier baby-friendly meal. Just like vegetables, fruits are more beneficial for our health and immune system when they are grown organically. Oats contain beta glucans, a component of fiber that activates killer cells.

Zinc, a mineral abundant in meats like calf’s liver, beef and lamb, works with the protein found in meat to help to strengthen the immune system. Some examples of foods rich in Vitamin A includes sweet potatoes, broccoli, red bell peppers, and carrots. Wheatgrass us rich in chlorophyll, which helps to alkalise the body and works as a natural anti-inflammatory.

  • It helps to boost immune function and combat cellular damage.
  • Disinfect doorknobs and light switches.
  • Carry hand sanitizer.
  • You can get Vitamin C from citrus fruits like Orange, Grapefruit, Spinach and Strawberries.
  • Vitamin C is well known for its immune boosting properties, while antioxidants and polyphenols play a role in fighting cancer and other chronic diseases.
  • Avoid sugar (to reduce inflammation) and fatty foods, and drink sufficient water to keep hydrated.


Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category. This valuable mineral increases the production of white blood cells that fight infection and helps them fight more aggressively. Be sure to stock up on these foods if you’re in need of a boost. This includes the anti-inflammatory oleocanthal, as well as oleuropein, a substance that protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation.


Research studies have shown that deficiency of high-quality protein can result in depletion of immune cells, the inability of the body to make antibodies, and other immune-related problems. Research suggests maintaining ample levels of vitamin E is crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system, especially among older people. It’s also vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. Instead of being pro-inflammatory, the cells turn to anti-inflammatory, healing cells that help the body recover from infection and illness faster. The omega-3 fatty acids in flax oil and fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) act as immune boosters by increasing the activity of phagocytes, the white blood cells that eat up bacteria. How to boost your child’s immune system, the body absorbs sunlight using cholesterol to convert it to a usable form of vitamin D, and every single cell in your body requires vitamin D—your immune system in particular. For more information contact one of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists at the Torrance Memorial Specialty Center, 2841 Lomita Blvd. Vitamin C supplements are inexpensive to produce, and it’s available naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Sweet potatoes and other orange foods like carrots, squash, and pumpkin, contain the antioxidant beta-carotene.

However, more research is necessary to confirm whether or not it can effectively prevent illness. Manufacturers freeze frozen fruits and veggies at “peak” ripeness, which means they’ll pack a similar nutritional value as their fresh counterparts. It’s safest to stick to getting zinc from your diet and aim for 15 to 25 milligrams a day. Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, which studies have shown to increase the number of white blood cells and increase the activity of killer cells. Your kids will be sure to love this Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal (pictured above). Folate is the natural form, and folic acid is the synthetic form, often added to foods because of its health benefits.

  • Mushrooms contain selenium, deficiency of which may cause increased risk of developing the flu.
  • Garlic can also act as an antioxidant that reduces the build-up of free radicals in the bloodstream.
  • There is some evidence that micronutrient deficiencies such as zinc and folate, as well as Vitamins A, B6 and C, may alter immune responses in lab tests on animals, according to an article by Harvard Medical School.
  • Wash your hands.

Raw Honey

Sambucus nigra, or black elderberry bush, is the version most commonly used to make syrup and lozenges. Though not every brand of kefir uses this specific strain, many Lifeway products do, including their Perfect12 and Lowfat Kefir beverages. Extra virgin olive oil is widely regarded as being a healthy addition to any kitchen, with modest amounts of Vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids. Iron, which helps your body carry oxygen to cells, comes in different forms. We can harness the antibodies of first milk even when we are adult. Dark chocolate’s antioxidants include vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals – helpful plant compounds.

The holidays are fast approaching, and with it comes flu season. You may have heard of using garlic to ward off vampires, but how about to ward off colds and flu? (The mixture of hydrating broth, healing herbs, fiber, protein and antioxidants makes the meal actually therapeutic.)

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When you want some, heat it up and sip it from a mug, like coffee or tea. Researchers claim that sulforaphane, a chemical in the vegetable, turns on antioxidant genes and enzymes in specific immune cells, which combat free radicals in your body and prevent you from getting sick. Get your vitamin D levels checked. All-natural, raw honey not only tastes delicious but can also help soothe some symptoms of a cold. You can make your own ginger tea by grating fresh ginger and steeping it in hot water with some lemon. Don't worry – not all of them are vegetables. Parents, siblings, and caregivers can help prevent spreading sickness to babies by getting a flu shot (babies can get the vaccine, too, after six months), frequently washing their hands, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and distancing themselves from little ones if they do get sick.

Connect with nature. However, moderate consumption of alcohol can be helpful to the overall health of the body. Just one medium tomato contains more than 16 milligrams of vitamin C, which is a proven fuel to your body's immune system. Yes, citrus fruits like oranges are full of vitamin C—but bell peppers, strawberries, mango, kiwi, and broccoli pack a bigger punch. You can also try these Blueberry Oat Breakfast Bars, Berry Coconut Steel Cut Oats, or Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Cups. Omega 3 fatty acids and other healthy fats help increase the activity of white blood cells. A small handful or a quarter of a cup of almonds is a healthful snack that may benefit the immune system. For individuals who are obese, losing even a small amount of weight could play a role in better immune function.

A healthy body is not just about being healthy from the outside but also ensuring a stronger immunity and these 11 natural ways to boost your immune system can help you achieve the goal of a healthy body.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is what many of us associate with boosting immunity, and for good reason. Raw honey contains antioxidants called phenolic compounds, and certain types contain just as many antioxidants as fruits and vegetables. More chocolate, please. It adds a little zing to food and it's a must-have for your health. Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which boasts a variety of medicinal properties. Add spinach to your eggs.

Never add salt or sweeteners.

Kids seem to love salmon with a sweet twist, like this Maple Apple Caramelized Salmon. It’s perfect for this time of year! Namely, the tea has been used as a treatment for upper respiratory tract infections (a. )In the Harvard School of Public Health study of 87,000 nurses, Vitamin E supplementation was shown to cut the risk of heart attacks by fifty percent. A powerful nutrient, vitamin C can assist in preventing the common cold and help reduce symptoms of sickness.

And vitamin C is a powerhouse when it comes to immunity! Next time you visit your local grocery store, consider how ideal blueberries are for your immune system and general health. A recent study also found ginger to be as effective as pharmaceutical agents in relieving PMS pain in women. Vitamin A (which you get from sweet potatoes, carrots, and dark leafy greens) helps white blood cells fight off infections more effectively; it also helps regulate the immune system. Commit to 1000 Hours Outside in 2020. Helping support your adrenals and stress response is a great way to support your immune system!

Water And Hydration

Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. Read on for our top 4 immune-boosting herbs and start using them in your kitchen. Stir-frying and roasting both preserve the nutrient content of red bell peppers better than steaming or boiling, according to a study on cooking methods. Try to get plain yogurts rather than the kinds that are preflavored and loaded with sugar. Tequila sunrise, anyone? Making smoothies with frozen fruit, cooking soups with canned goods, and stocking up on other non-perishables are all especially useful if you want to avoid leaving the house too often (or if you’re fighting off illness).

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Almonds are packed with vitamin E and manganese, a strong immune-boosting duo that both enhance natural killer cell activity. Adaptogens protect the body against various stresses, including physical, mental, and emotional—and yes, the immune system is protected there as well. As a registered dietitian at the Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Lab, I'm here to share more about foods and nutrients that can help you feel your best. For a healthy liver, cruciferous vegetables like Kale, Broccoli and Cabbage should be included in daily diet.

Can't plan to eat yogurt every day? Plain yogurt is a great way to get probiotics, the good bacteria that help your baby fend off harmful bacteria in the digestive system, promote overall immunity, and ease side effects if she ends up needing antibiotics. Salmon contains fish oil Omega-3’s, which protect against developing heart disease and heart attack. But also, don’t forget to rest! Rich in vitamin C and polyphenols that help promote healthy tissues and organs.

Sign up to receive the latest health and science news, plus answers to wellness questions and expert tips. Fire cider, with its garlic, lemon, raw honey, cayenne pepper and apple cider vinegar isn’t for the faint of heart. Such immune-boosting foods include fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C and zinc—which some studies show may prevent viruses like the common cold when consumed together—and foods that are chock-full of other immune-improving substances such as collagen, probiotics, and vitamin A. It contains flavonoids, an antioxidant that boosts immunity, and it has anti-inflammatory properties, according to a study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology. Some studies suggest elderberry extract reduces the duration of the flu. Dark chocolate contains an antioxidant called theobromine, which may help to boost the immune system by protecting the body’s cells from free radicals.