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

While there was no difference in the number of illnesses between the groups, those who received garlic had reduced cold and flu severity, fewer symptoms, and a smaller number of missed days of work or school. Berries are naturally high in vitamin C and other powerful antioxidants that can be enjoyed fresh or frozen. While no food or supplement can “cure” or even 100% prevent you from catching a virus like the coronavirus or the flu, some foods have been shown to help bolster immunity. This study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that due to the antioxidant content in soy products, postmenopausal women were able to reduce inflammation in their bodies and boost their immunity. Learn more about how a plant-based diet can lead to better sleep. In a nutshell protein helps repair the body, assists in recovery from illness and sports injuries, pevents muscle wastage, keeps blood sugars stable, supports weight loss and healthy metabolism. Rich in super immune-enhancing compounds and natural plant-based vitamin D that helps boost immune function and bone health.

Compared to the green peppers, reds contain 1. 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. Researchers need to perform additional studies to understand how kefir may prevent disease in humans. Broccoli is another source of vitamin C. Zinc, too, is important and can be found in meat, shellfish, nuts and seeds including pumpkin seeds or pepitas. 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. I always have a reusable water bottle on me that I fill up at every opportunity.

“These proteins are particularly active in the respiratory tract.

If getting to bed earlier isn’t enough for you to sleep well, adopt sleep hygiene practices that will help you get enough sleep, like ditching electronics in the hours leading up to bedtime. According to Routhenstein, probiotics protect the digestive tract, decreasing the chance of bacteria in the intestines entering the bloodstream. Gingerol is responsible for much of its medicinal properties.

There are also studies of the use of vitamin C in the treatment and prevention of the common cold reveals a shorter duration of symptoms and faster recovery.

Coronavirus: U of M confirms one of MN’s COVID cases is a student

An ounce of sunflower seeds, or a quarter cup, supplies about half of the daily recommended target for vitamin E. A small handful or a quarter of a cup of almonds is a healthful snack that may benefit the immune system. Of course, one of the best ways to keep yourself from getting sick is by getting your annual flu shot. Foods high in vitamin B6 include bananas, lean chicken breast, cold-water fish such as tuna, baked potatoes and chickpeas. 10 most inspiring immune system ideas, for something different, try this Breakfast Macaroni and Cheese with eggs! But this crucial organ, covering an impressive 16 square feet, serves as a first-line fortress against bacteria, viruses, and other undesirables. Combine in a high-performance blender with baby spinach, Natural Immune Support and water.

It is so important on so many levels for us to eat enough protein throughout the day. Obtaining these nutrients from foods is preferred, so be sure to speak with your health care provider or a registered dietitian nutritionist before taking any immune-boosting supplements. Zinc also plays an important role in wound healing. Any amount is better than nothing. Reducing stress and giving your immune system a break on the go is possible if you learn to incorporate meditation into the busy parts of your day. The amino acid that’s responsible for this immune boost, L-theanine, is abundant in both black and green tea—decaf versions have it, too.

Soups and stews (which provide immune-boosting amino acids and minerals) can feel soothing, while the heat helps open up congestion. But this bright yellow, bitter spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Here are some tips for getting the top vitamins and minerals your immune system needs to perform. Have a bowl when you’re feeling crummy. Daily intake of vitamin C is essential for good health because your body doesn’t produce or store it.

Fruits and vegetables are going to contain the antioxidants, the vitamins, and the minerals, that all work to help our immune function at its best,” she said.


How else can I avoid getting sick? Connect with nature. These grains contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber with antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities more potent than echinacea, reports a Norwegian study. Most types of tea offer some benefit but white, green or black are the best for your immune system. It’s important to take the proper safety precautions, such as frequently washing your hands, covering your sneezes, and staying home if you feel ill.

These beneficial live microorganisms are the first line of defense for anything you ingest, and they protect all other organs in your body before anything has the chance to circulate through your bloodstream. Run through a mesh strainer and discard pulp. Eggs, and especially the yolks, are packed with immunity-boosting nutrients. What if you improve your diet? If you want to avoid coming down with the flu, here are 65+ immune-boosting tips you can employ to equip you to fight off germs all season long.

One medium cooked sweet potato (roughly 114 grams or 5 inches long) only packs about 100 calories and more than 100 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A. Without a sufficient amount of sleep, we increase our risk for developing serious health problems—like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and obesity. You can also get folic acid in fortified foods (check the label) such as enriched breads, pastas, rice and other 100 percent whole-grain products. Is it possible to intervene in this process and boost your immune system? This golden fruit is so nutritionally rich that it is known as the medicine tree in Africa and the Caribbean. Raw food chef Summer Sanders shares a recipe from her new cookbook, Love Your Body Feed Your Soul, that is meant to fight off illness. You can also blend leafy greens, like kale or spinach, into a smoothie.

Follow Us on Instagram

In fact, they may lack all symptoms, so will never know that they were infected. Practice good sleep hygiene. It does this by fighting off free radicals, which can damage cells. The study found that people who were ingesting at least 75 milligrams of zinc a day were relieved of their cold symptoms in a shorter amount of time in comparison to those who did not. These spinach nuggets (pictured above) are another way to get your kids eating greens!

It’s main function in immune health is as an antioxidant that rids your body of those damaging free radicals bouncing around your system. They also provide vitamin C (you can meet half your daily requirement from one fruit), so adding lemon juice to your meals is an easy strategy for protecting yourself against colds and other infections. Used to treat bacterial infections, high blood pressure and colds for thousands of years it is the organosulfides (naturally occurring chemicals found in garlic and onions), along with vitamin D help to stimulate the production of the immune cells, macrophages. Probiotics reintroduce good bacteria to the gut and are typically found in cultured yoghurts, fermented drinks such as kombucha, fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi, and supplementary products available in pharmacies. You can also get vitamin E from avocados nd��spinach and broccoli.

It is also added to some cereals in order to improve nutrition. It adds a little zing to food and it's a must-have for your health. Help protect yourself against infection and boost your immunity by including these nutrients in your eating plan. Here are five foods to be sure to incorporate in your diet so that you have the strongest immune system this flu season. Respiratory infections, influenza, and particularly pneumonia are a leading cause of death in people over 65 worldwide.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection.

What to Eat This Week

Other than masks, immunity-boosting supplements are probably the next most-coveted items in the pharmacy aisles these days. Add it to cooked veggies, soup, or broth. But adding foods that are rich into zinc into your diet is an incredible way to boost your immune system in a balanced way, Haas says. More great ways to eat berries include this Berries N Cream Chia Pudding or these Frozen Yogurt Raspberries. 10 natural ways to boost your toddler's immunity, place your order AFTER 11 a. For centuries, people around the world have turned to mushrooms for a healthy immune system. This tutorial on how to peel garlic in 7 seconds makes it easier than ever to add garlic to your meals. One cooked pepper has 19 percent of your daily recommended amount of beta carotene. The immune system relies on white blood cells that produce antibodies to combat bacteria, viruses, and other invaders.

Oysters on the Menu

Will my workouts improve? If you’re looking for a nutritious salad topper or snack to eat in the car, sunflower seeds might be just what the nutritionist ordered. This helps keep our immune system fighting!

Obesity has been linked to increased risk for influenza and other infections such as pneumonia. So, the next time you’re out grocery shopping, you may want to throw a few of these foods in your cart — they’re not only delicious, but could help keep you healthy too. Just one cup of sliced red peppers delivers 117 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C—way beyond the recommended 75 mg for most adult women.

Chamomile Tea

Inside this licorice-flavored vegetable are compounds that may help loosen chest mucus and soothe a sore throat. Carrots contain vitamin A precursors called carotenoids (Beta carotene) that help promote vision and support a healthy immune system. 4 Plant-based diets are effective for weight loss, because they are rich in fiber, which helps fill you up, without adding extra calories.

Vitamin E is found primarily in plant foods, but best sources are in oils from plant foods such as canola and safflower oil. What are the best immune-boosting foods? People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to catch the infections they’re exposed to. Weak immune system: symptoms and what to do. Green tea also contains L-theanine, an anti-oxidant which appears to help in the production of T-cells in your body, the killer L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells.

Bradley recommends eating lots of dark green, leafy vegetables and berries, as well as nuts and seeds, and to minimize foods with sugar and trans fats, which aren’t as nutrient-dense. Make elderberry syrup. It’s a line of research that might one day fulfil the empty promises made by immune-boosting supplements.


If you want your family, and especially your children, to avoid a cold this winter season, then you should be giving them zinc-rich foods. Hydrate creatively. Pair either with fresh fruit or whip sunflower seed or almond butter into smoothies. He recommends engaging in activities that people find relaxing, such as meditation. Add peppers to your soups. For adults, that means getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Share on Pinterest Blueberries have antioxidant properties that may boost the immune system.

  • Making smart food choices that improve your health is a good place to start.
  • Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed and not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved.
  • Garlic has built a reputation for being one of the best cold-curing foods, and for good reason.
  • For example, researchers documented an increase in upper respiratory infections in competitive cross-country skiers who exercise vigorously in the cold, but whether these infections are due to the cold or other factors — such as the intense exercise or the dryness of the air — is not known.


The best red pepper recipes: A form of malnutrition that is surprisingly common even in affluent countries is known as "micronutrient malnutrition. "It helps to boost immune function and combat cellular damage. No, eating mountains of broccoli or garlic galore will not protect you from Covid-19. Loaded with whole grains from granola and probiotic yogurt, a yogurt parfait is an immune-boosting start to your busy day.

More from The Telegraph

It’s especially important to avoid taking vitamin E supplements. 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. Capsaicin acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and may ease arthritis symptoms. Just one medium tomato contains more than 16 milligrams of vitamin C, which is a proven fuel to your body's immune system.

Set a water intake goal. Attempting to boost the cells of your immune system is especially complicated because there are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways. Research published in the American Journal of Therapeutics found that a molecule identified in chicken soup, carnosine, helped the body's immune system to fight the early stages of flu by inhibiting the migration of infected cells around the body.

Healthy immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment. Where green tea really excels is in its levels of epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, another powerful antioxidant. The idea of boosting your immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. But make sure the leafy vegetable you’re ordering from the economy rice stall isn’t overcooked as the nutrients are easily destroyed by heat. Sources include nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, beans, and lentils. Here are 11 powerful immune system boosters that you can include in your daily diet. Click the link to confirm your subscription and begin receiving our newsletters. But even if you've lost your appetite, it's important to keep consuming nutrient-dense grub.


Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system and protect against infections by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy. An 85g-serving of chicken (about the size of a deck of cards) can provide about 2. There are many tasty and satiating foods that can actively boost our immune system to help prevent sickness. Try working kefir into your diet at least a few times per week. All-natural, raw honey not only tastes delicious but can also help soothe some symptoms of a cold.

Zinc isn't a mineral you want to do away with.

Chicken Soup

Green vegetables, including spinach and broccoli, also provide some vitamin E. Although probiotic supplements are available, a study from the University of Vienna in Austria found that a daily 7-ounce dose of yogurt was just as effective in boosting immunity as popping pills. Ginger may help decrease chronic pain and may possess cholesterol-lowering properties, according to recent animal research. Demonstrating whether an herb — or any substance, for that matter — can enhance immunity is, as yet, a highly complicated matter. Several cups daily.

And they're one of the highest recommended kinds of seafood to eat for incorporating zinc into your diet. And because of the way your immune system works, even if they did what they say they did, you definitely wouldn’t want them to. This is the amount shown in studies to saturate the body, meaning any more vitamin C will be excreted. After hearing about the fiber, vitamins and probiotics in this Orange Probiotic Smoothie, you’ll want to have one all winter long. Out in the cold, even taking one capsule a day, typically around 300 mg, can be very helpful as a preventative, but if you're under attack, take three times that amount spaced throughout the day. The more colorful the fruits and vegetables are, the better.


In addition to consuming healthy foods, it's also critical to stay hydrated in order to help keep your throat and airways clear, says Yeung. Research is still ongoing, but science consistently supports the fact that vitamins in supplement form may do more harm than good. Wash your hands, disinfect high-traffic areas, stay away from crowds, watch out for symptoms etc. However, more research is necessary to confirm whether or not it can effectively prevent illness.

In one older study, 146 volunteers were randomized assigned to receive either a placebo or a garlic supplement daily for 12 weeks throughout cold season. Research shows that the more social ties you have, the less susceptible you are to the common cold, possibly because friendships serve as a buffer against stress. And regular apple eaters report fewer asthma symptoms, according to British research (a flavonoid called khellin may open up airways). Ginger – Anti-inflammatory + helps promote gastric motility.


Matcha is the most nutrient-rich green tea in the world. With some exceptions, it’s best to get your vitamins and minerals from your food rather than in pill form. She recommends eating nine servings of vegetables every day — most than the USDA recommendation — and in order to do that, she says it is imperative to build all three meals around vegetables. I can’t promise you that you can totally shield your kids from getting sick. Please select your country. Berries are full of antioxidants, which help your body fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Reach for fresh garlic cloves rather than a supplement.

Add fresh ginger to your stir-fry recipes or as part of a salad dressing. Immune system boosters Feeding your body certain foods may help keep your immune system strong. Just choose plain frozen foods rather than those with added sugars or sodium. For a point of comparison, a 3-ounce serving of beef has about 7 mg of zinc. Enjoy every day with water or add to your favourite smoothie. For this reason, if you are a meat-eater, make sure you consume lean meat at least two or three times each week and keep on top of your iron levels. 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.

Plus, they taste great in sandwiches, in stir-fries and on pizza. The old saying, “An apple a day can keep the doctor away,” may have truth behind it after all. In a German study published by Medizinische Monatsschrift fur Pharmazeuten, vitamin C was shown to be a vital part of the strength of the body's phagocytes and t-cells, two major components of the immune system. Snack on blueberries for the health benefits of flavonoids. Exercise regularly.