Supporting Your Immune System

Mushroom extracts: Look for labels that say "live and active cultures" and for added Vitamin D as individuals with low Vitamin D levels may be more likely to get the cold or flu. On top of that, using vitamin and mineral supplements provide the necessary nutrients for a strong immune system. But this bright yellow, bitter spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. But experts say to cook the leafy green as little as possible so it retains its nutrients. You can find zinc in oysters, crab, lean meats and poultry, baked beans (skip the kind with added sugar), yogurt and chickpeas. Animal sources of zinc such as chicken are better absorbed than plant ones such as legumes (chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans) and wholegrains (oat, quinoa, brown rice). The fermentation process black tea goes through destroys a lot of the EGCG.

  • The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all.
  • Although the foods I’ve mentioned are important, eating a wide range of fruit and vegetables will provide your body with a good mix of nutrients.
  • Your body does not produce vitamin C on its own, so be sure to stock up on vitamin C by enjoying the fruits and vegetables—like citrus fruits—which are rich in this immune-boosting vitamin!
  • Animal-based bone broths could be the key reason as to why soups are great for you when you're suffering from sickness.
  • Probiotics aid in digestion and support immunity.
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You can get your recommended daily allowance of antioxidants by taking a multivitamin with minerals. The results have been mixed. It’s also important to know that you build a strong immune system by maintaining healthy eating habits over time. It also cut down the duration of symptoms by eight percent in adults and 14 percent in children.

Most immunizations work by introducing a small, safe amount of the disease to your immune system. A small handful or a quarter of a cup of almonds is a healthful snack that may benefit the immune system. A powerful nutrient, vitamin C can assist in preventing the common cold and help reduce symptoms of sickness. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently. It also contains potent antioxidants, such as sulforaphane. Staying hydrated keeps your immune system working at its best, plus water also helps to flush out any toxins from the body thus helping the immune system do its job.

This nutrient has a heavy impact on your immune system and helps reduce symptoms of the common cold, according to a study published in theCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Garlic contains compounds that have been shown to improve white blood cells’ ability to fight off certain viruses, such as those that cause colds and flu. Good nutrition is essential to a strong immune system, which offers protection from seasonal illness such as the flu and other health problems including arthritis, allergies, abnormal cell development and cancers. Simmer up your own soup and add nutrient-dense foods like carrots, onions and fresh herbs. Try to include some of these foods in your diet on a daily basis to help keep your immune system strong and healthy.

Why not combine ginger and turmeric to give your immune system the extra defense boost!


Journal of Toxicologic Pathology, published online July 10, 2020. But there is evidence that consuming a variety of nutrients throughout the day can help you stay healthy. So, drink water regularly throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated. And if your local supermarket is running low on fresh produce, frozen fruit and veg is just as beneficial.

  • Read on to discover 15 foods that boost the immune system.
  • A study published in BioMed Research International noted that fennel acts as a soothing mechanism for those suffering from conjunctivitis, diarrhea, fevers, and stomachaches due to its abundance of phytochemicals that act as antioxidants.
  • Food safety is especially important for cancer patients in active treatment who may have a weakened immune system.
  • Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant and essential for collagen and other protein synthesis within the body.

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This produces a delicious tea that is soothing for the throat and also is great for helping with any nausea or digestive complaints. Low level of Vitamin D in the body has been termed as one of the major reasons for respiratory problems. You can’t drink a glass of orange juice in the morning and then decide that you don’t have to wash your hands today. What vitamins can boost my immune system? Vitamin C has a reputation for being a feel-good nutrient, so it will come as no surprise that this list is full of foods with high levels of it.

While some people age healthily, the conclusion of many studies is that, compared with younger people, the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases and, even more importantly, more likely to die from them. Wheatgrass is also great for balancing blood pH and promoting healthy, radiant skin. The study also states that honey acts as an antibacterial, killing any germs in the body that can cause you to get sick.

Work with your healthcare team to manage side effects that make eating difficult such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, etc.

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Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics, October 1999. Snack on blueberries for your daily dose of vitamin C and boost your immune system. Good news if you love garlic sourdough bread and dipping veggie sticks in aioli. Since our body’s fluid needs increase when we’re fighting infection, drinking an extra two cups of water plus your daily minimum can fuel regeneration of immune-fighting lymphatic cells to get your body feeling stronger. Most people don’t get enough of it. MEET LEAGUE CITY'S FAT CAT HARVEY: There is no quick-fix for the immune system – genetics, age and exercise are all contributing factors – and no one single addition to your diet will protect you from infection. Before joining the SCMP, she was a television journalist, digital editor and travel writer for a host of well-known publications in the United States.

Furthermore, relying on pills may cause you to overdose without realising it. The body can convert ALA into EPA and DHA, but it's more efficient to consume them in your diet. They’re also a rich source of beta carotene. As well as having vitamin C, spinach harbors a whole spectrum of antioxidants, and like peppers, it’s a good source of beta carotene.

It may be time to rethink the tropical fruit, which has 157 per cent of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C in a single small fruit, according to US-registered dietitian Franziska Spritzler on Healthline.

More Foods for Boosting the Immune System

One tip for getting an easy boost of citrus is to squeeze juices into meals. Does being cold give you a weak immune system? The body turns these carotenoids into vitamin A, and they have an antioxidant effect to help strengthen the immune system against infection. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of Zinc which is a mineral well known for supporting a strong and healthy immune system. People use ginger in a variety of dishes and desserts, as well as in teas. One drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1. Load up on vitamin D.

Vitamin A

A 2020 review noted in a Harvard Health Letter found that consuming 200 milligrams of vitamin C every day cut the risk of getting a cold in half for "extremely active" people. Kiwi fruits and oranges are high in vitamin C for example, which helps to protect and maintain healthy cells and tissues. A 2020 study noted that flavonoids play an essential role in the respiratory tract’s immune defense system. Despite the fact that your world teams with infectious microorganisms, most of the time, you’re reasonable healthy, right? You can also set up reminders to take medications and to eat/drink throughout the day. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, strawberries and papaya are also excellent sources. One study showed that children who took coconut oil recovered from pneumonia much faster than those who did not, and also had reduced fevers, clearer breathing, and normal blood oxygenation.

Instead of taking multivitamins, take these gifts of nature everyday. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these: Holy basil (Tulsi tea): Some overnight oats or a homemade orange oat bar will help you get a good dose of oats, plus they both make great breakfasts that will set you up for the day ahead. But because vitamin D deficiency is relatively common, experts do recommend supplementation if levels are low. Add 1½ cup vodka and stir. Smoking increases the risk for a number of cancers including lung, oral, throat, esophageal, colorectal, and more.

It is so important on so many levels for us to eat enough protein throughout the day. What is known is that the body is continually generating immune cells. In fact, by choosing the Dirty Dozen (the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables) organic, you can reduce your pesticide intake by up to 80%. Now, step beyond gratitude to optimize the function of that system. Numerous researches have shown that excess intake of alcohol can tamper with the immune system and its pathway in a complicated manner. One important question is whether dietary supplements may help older people maintain a healthier immune system.

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As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections and more cancer. Decrease your exposure to bacteria, viruses, and germs. Sleep is an important aspect of health.

She understands how much power they have to harness our health, and improve it when things are going awry. Lycopene is the most potent antioxidant in tomatoes and the same pigment molecule that gives red bell peppers and watermelon their red color. Berries like blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, and strawberries are the top immune-boosting fruits. Soups and stews (which provide immune-boosting amino acids and minerals) can feel soothing, while the heat helps open up congestion. It helps ensure you are getting the minerals and nutrients you need from organic soil, whereas conventional produce is grown on mineral-depleted and nutrient-starved soils. Zinc is found in the human body in all organs, tissues and body fluids.

The flowers contain compounds called flavonoids that may help reduce inflammation and pain. She can be reached at sumathi. Supplements can also cause problems if you have certain health conditions. Not only is it packed with digestion-regulating fiber, but it also contains vitamin C. Making sure your immune system is in tip-top shape by using food to power it. Reduce your stress levels.

Like any fighting force, the immune system army marches on its stomach.

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Apples are great sources of fiber and natural sugars—but you knew that already. When it comes to what you eat, there are foods that can keep your immune system functioning at its best. Not only does it taste great and help your breath feel fresh, but its strong aroma and flavor can help soothe sore throats or provide some much-needed relief from respiratory ailments. Eating it raw keeps the maximum nutrition, but steamed is also a good way to keep its vitamins and minerals intact.

Iron, which helps your body carry oxygen to cells, comes in different forms.

Super Spinach

Cue the coughing and sneezing. Can supplements help your immunity? Sources include nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, beans, and lentils. You already know smoking is bad for your health in so many ways, but it can also wreak havoc and “cause direct damage” to parts of your immune system, Dr. Instead of being pro-inflammatory, the cells turn to anti-inflammatory, healing cells that help the body recover from infection and illness faster. What should we really be doing to help boost our immune systems, anyway?

A study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology found that theobromine is helpful in suppressing cough symptoms for people with bronchitis, but notes that more research needs to be done to confirm the findings fully. Staying hydrated can help loosen trapped mucus, according to The Mayo Clinic. For the most nutritious cuts, choose skinless, lean meats with any visible fat removed. They also contain manganese, magnesium, and fiber. But all year around, you must also nurture your body.


Vitamin B6-rich foods include chicken and cold water fish such as salmon and tuna. There are other ways that foods fight infection and strengthen immune response. Make oranges a regular part of your diet this time of year. Because supplements are regulated as foods, not as drugs, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t evaluate the quality of supplements or assess their effects on the body. Howell, Amy B. Turns out this herbal remedy has some science behind it: Bring immune-system-boosting fruit into your office! “Exercise helps boost the immune system, but we have to be careful not to overexercise because it can weaken your immune system,” she says.

Red Bell Peppers

Zinc can be found in lean meat, poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, beans, seeds and nuts. So just how much sleep are we talking about? Foods high in vitamin B6 include bananas, lean chicken breast, cold-water fish such as tuna, baked potatoes and chickpeas. Oranges are packed with vitamin C, an essential nutrient when you're feeling under the weather. When consumed, carotenoids are converted into vitamin A (a nutrient that helps regulate the immune system). We’ve put together a simple list of your top 10 go to foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals essential to keep you feeling fit and healthy throughout flu season. You may have heard of using garlic to ward off vampires, but how about to ward off colds and flu? Getting the seasonal flu and H1N1 flu vaccines, eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, washing your hands frequently, and getting enough sleep each night are all key to keeping your body’s immune defenses at their best.

If you’re apprehensive about germs in the gym, walk or run outside. We know that if the system is deficient, you’re susceptible to infection. Download the free publication Healthy Behaviors from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) for more healthy lifestyle tips. BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine, Feb. That’s because tea has antioxidant effects but even more promising for the immune system is the fact that green tea has health protective properties in the form of chemicals called phytochemicals. Some research suggests it can also keep your metabolism humming.

This probably comes to no surprise to you, but it is important to get enough of this immune-boosting vitamin.

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As life expectancy in developed countries has increased, so too has the incidence of age-related conditions. The scientist can only measure things that may reflect stress, such as the number of times the heart beats each minute, but such measures also may reflect other factors. Your immune system is actually made up of “multiple layers of defense,” Dr. Low- and moderate-intensity exercise naturally lowers cortisol levels and helps with immune-system function, says Dr. This post was reviewed for medical accuracy by Dr.

Vitamin E

The researchers noted that another trial involving children ages 6. Pineapple is a powerful inflammation fighter, with its potent mix of antioxidants and vitamins. Spinach may boost the immune system, as it contains many essential nutrients and antioxidants, including:

Bananas are known for their calming effect, because of the high concentration of tryptophan. Although vitamin C is integral to proper immune function, citrus fruits have a lot more to offer than just one vitamin. Anti-Viral by Natural Factors is a potent tincture that includes Echinaceato help fight colds in a powerful way. Also, research shows that high concentrations of curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive color, can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage. For vitamin A, go colorful. Berries are a rich source of Vitamin C, antioxidants and polyphenols. Leading an active lifestyle can also support your immune system by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently. Hear all about Deep Immune and its benefits on this radio podcast:

The plant medicine works by reducing swelling in mucus membranes. Despite its potential benefits, dark chocolate is high in calories and saturated fat, so it is important to eat it in moderation. Ginger, which is sometimes recommended to treat nausea, is high in both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Brightly Coloured Vegetables

There are a few general tips to help prevent and shorten colds: According to a review, ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties and is likely to offer health benefits. It’s also great for helping to promote restful sleep, which might seem evasive when you have a cold or the flu. But it plays a critical role in making sure your body functions properly. It also contains immune-system-supporting compounds like beta-carotene and capsaicin. Not sure how much you need?

But balance is important, even when it comes to foods you might consider healthy. In addition to these powerful mushrooms, Immune 7 also contains Nutricol, which is Purica’s own blend of super-strength antioxidants. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables were proven to help boost immunity, according to the study.