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

While there are no magic, cure-all foods to prevent getting sick, there is some evidence that micronutrient deficiencies can alter immune responses, notes a Harvard Health report. Herbs are especially vital when it comes to our immune system—and they’re so readily available to us! In the hurried pace of modern life, you might take your immune system for granted. Your gastrointestinal (GI) tract makes up a large part of your immune system — up to 70 percent of your immune cells live along its path. ‘What the evidence does show is that once a cold has hit, vitamin C can shorten the duration of symptoms,’ says Dr Macciochi. Vitamin D has been found to be quite effective in strengthening the immune system.

  • Make a smoothie.
  • Cinnamon – can reduce bacteria’s ability to multiply, and if you do end up suffering from a cold, it should help it to clear up quicker.
  • What are the best ways to keep your immune system healthy?
  • Further research found that the best time to get that immune-boosting massage is actually after a tough workout.
  • What is known is that the body is continually generating immune cells.
  • A daily yoga practice is a great way to tune into your body and reduce stress.
  • Cigarette smoking and drinking alcohol in excess both pose serious risks to the immune system.

You can also get these omega 3s through krill oil capsules or algae supplements (which is a vegan source). Add peppers to your soups. The best known of these being antioxidants; Phytonutrients can be found in all plant foods. In the regular population, regular intake of vitamin C may help to decrease the duration of the common cold. Instead, you can make your own natural version very easily, with a high-concentration of germ-killing tea tree oil and other antibacterial botanicals.

This tutorial on how to peel garlic in 7 seconds makes it easier than ever to add garlic to your meals. One type, called macrophages, inhabit all our body tissue and, says Cruickshank, “have all these weapons ready to go, but they’re not terribly precise”. 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. Healthy immune systems are better at handling infections from bacteria and viruses.

Include a serving of mushrooms as part of your two servings of vegetables a day.


If you do become ill, doctors recommend that you drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest, and visit a doctor if your symptoms do not improve within a few days. Set a water intake goal. There are certain vitamins that support your body as it fights off or heals from illness. In a controlled experiment, the scientist can change one and only one factor, such as the amount of a particular chemical, and then measure the effect of that change on some other measurable phenomenon, such as the amount of antibodies produced by a particular type of immune system cell when it is exposed to the chemical.

Avoid alcohol. US studies indicate that vitamin D may also help immune cells identify and destroy bacteria and viruses. Lots of spices and herbs are incredibly beneficial for the body’s immune system, she says. We produce the most melatonin when asleep between 11pm and 3am.

Over the past few decades, though, the average time asleep has dropped to less than 7 hours a night for adults. What about chicken soup? Teas are a great way to help improve your immune system and battle common symptoms when you’ve already become run down with a cold. Grab an apple. Mindful practices such as winter ChiBall, qi gong, tai chi, yoga, Pilates and Feldenkrais are also excellent for building and balancing yin and yang.

  • Your immune health depends on the lifestyle choices you make every day.
  • But don't worry about immunity.
  • 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.
  • Vitamin A helps your body regulate its immune system and can protect against infection.
  • Pooled data from 16 clinical trials involving 7,400 people show that taking vitamin D supplements reduces the risk of experiencing at least one respiratory infection including influenza and pneumonia by a third with positive benefits seen within 3 weeks.
  • Unfamiliar with zinc-rich foods?
  • Some of these helpful bugs make antimicrobial chemicals and compete with pathogens for food and space.

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Keep exercising. Getting plenty of H2O is a no-brainer when it comes to health. It reacts to a problem by trying to flush out or burn out the invader and it’s this that can make us feel feverish or snotty.

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Protein acts as a “builder” and the body uses it to build and repair tissues. Include regularly eating fermented and cultured foods that contain probiotics (look for "live active cultures" on the label). 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: Exercise can also boost your body's feel-good chemicals and help you sleep better. A study of immune system activity in healthy adults, when CD4 cells "see" the antigens displayed, they coordinate and direct the activity of other types of immune cells—such as killer T cells, B cells, and macrophages—calling them into action to fight the intruder. The sun is the absolute best source of vitamin D, and it contributes to a powerful strengthening of your immune system when your body can naturally produce vitamin D from moderate sun exposure. The best matcha needs to be organic and ceremonial grade which is more potent in antioxidants.

Citrus fruits, like grapefruit, oranges, and lemons, are low in sugar, which is known to be an immune-suppressant, and packed with vitamin C, which is essential for fending off infections like colds and flu by boosting the production of white blood cells. While you can’t control your immune response to every sniffle, you can take steps to boost your immune system. However, keep in mind that it's tough to get enough vitamin D in the winter from food sources alone. Fermented foods, like miso should be staples. Elderberry may interact with the following medications. The good news is that vitamin C is in so many foods that most people don’t need to take a vitamin C supplement unless a doctor advises it. One important question is whether dietary supplements may help older people maintain a healthier immune system.

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But it is hard to perform what scientists call "controlled experiments" in human beings. Phytonutrients come from a plants own immune system and are helpful for our own healing. It also contains zinc, Vitamin A, calcium, potassium and carbohydrates to fuel your body and help you recover. The health benefits of tea are impressive and include a lower risk of infections. However, moderate consumption of alcohol can be helpful to the overall health of the body. Whatever amount of sleep you need to feel refreshed in the morning, whether that’s 6 hours or 10—make sure you get it! Eat foods that promote a healthy microbiome in your gut. Salmon, tuna, pilchards, and other oily fish are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Low level of Vitamin D in the body has been termed as one of the major reasons for respiratory problems. Even if you do develop a cold or flu, you may find that your body recovers much more quickly if you’ve been eating elderberries. 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. You don’t need to have signs of a weak immune system before you think of boosting it, incorporate these supplements to your diet to help strengthen your immune system to work at best. 1 Plus, another study showed that a high dose of garlic extract can the amount of cold or flu sick days by 61%. In one study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 276 healthy adults were exposed to the cold virus, then monitored in quarantine for five days.

Chicken soup also provides more protein plus H2O. We all aspire to be as healthy as possible. When we laugh we trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.

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These additive rich foods will actually weaken the immune system. Plus, they taste better and are better at protecting your health than supplements. Cortisol also reduces the antibody secretory IgA, which lines the gut and respiratory tract, which are our first line of defense against pathogens. A blood test is required to check vitamin D levels. Stop by AFC Urgent Care Castle Rock today. ‘So many metabolic functions rely on it. When crushed, garlic releases allicin, a compound that fights infection-causing microbes. Studies show that people who eat a lot of them get sick less.

Giving your body rest will also make your system stronger in the future. Please select your country. ‘We can’t make zinc in our bodies, we have to get it from our diets,’ says Dr Macciochi. Nutritional deficiencies can impair immune function, increasing both the risk and severity of the infection. Thus, taking vitamin D supplements fuels your body with the right amount of vitamin which helps in boosting your immune system. But it plays a critical role in making sure your body functions properly. Did you know that 80% of your immune system is located in your gut? One study done at the Georgetown University Medical Center showed that oregano oil is able to overcome harmful organism infections, making it great to ward off things like salmonella and E.

Helpful Hint…

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. When you’re “in the slumps,” it can be easy to avoid eating altogether. Research confirms that probiotics are the healthy bacteria your body needs that will also boost your immune system. Their red flesh supplies your body with lycopene, which helps keep your immune system balanced.

Focus on Vitamin D (but NOT in "fortified" foods or synthetic forms like pills)

Cut back on hand sanitizer. What else can you do to improve your health and avoid bugs? 8It’s a great remedy to have when you have the flu, as in lemon and ginger tea or in a chew like the Ginger People chews. One of the ways we do this is to release melatonin from our pineal gland. ‘However, what is even more important is getting the fibre foods that feed those healthy bugs and encourage them to grow. What is the immune system? Women should have no more than one. Vitamin shoppe, looking for a challenge that will support better immune function? “All the vitamins are important,” says Cruickshank, “but vitamin C is water soluble, it’s not one that your body stores.

Vitamin D deficiency can suppress immune function too.

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It’s a powerful agent in helping ward off and dispel nausea due to its ability to help break up and dispel intestinal gas or other disruptions. 15 foods to boost the immune system, chicken soup also provides more protein plus H2O. Today, people are prescribed excessive amounts of antibiotics. 2 It’s a powerhouse for your immune system! Having a health gut is critical in supporting a strong immune system — a large portion of your immune system is actually packed around your GI tract.

Some examples of foods rich in Vitamin A includes sweet potatoes, broccoli, red bell peppers, and carrots. It’s not that vitamin C isn’t crucial to immune function (and other things, such as bone structure). Vitamin B6 is vital to supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system. Here’s what she had to say: Enjoy guilt-free Netflix binges at home on your couch or explore solitary hobbies, such as playing music, board games, baking, or reading books. Read on for tips to stave off winter colds and bugs. This gut friendly spice stimulates digestion, gut motility and bowel function, while helping to relieve bloating, cramping and nausea. Make sure you are getting plenty of sweet tasting vegetables such as squash, carrots, cabbage, parsnips and onions.

Healthy liver ensures the body’s’ natural detoxification process.

High doses of ultraviolet light (usually from the sun) can affect it negatively, weakening any protective functions (as well as triggering immune suppression in the skin itself). For these reasons, experts say it’s best to get vitamins through food rather than supplements. However, there is also a large body of proven research that can benefit everyone. A weak immune system can also be linked with high levels of stress, poor sleep, and poor digestion, so addressing all of these things can help bolster your immune system in a very powerful way. It is a wonderful tonic and aids in helping to create a strong immune system. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi can all help repopulate the good bacteria in your gut as well, leaving you with more energy and vitality. Make sure your diet is varied and well-balanced.

Not only is a cold or flu a nuisance, interrupting your daily life and routines and making you feel awful, but it’s also a sign of an immune system in need.


It is also important to take a long-term approach, as creating the foundation of a healthy lifestyle is the best defense. If we have a weakened immune system we are more susceptible to colds, flu and other problems. Spend time with friends. For optimal gut health: Is it possible to intervene in this process and boost your immune system? ’ Food sources include red meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds and dark chocolate.

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Akbar, cited above. Exercise regularly. Alcohol depresses the immune system so it's best to drink it in moderation or not at all. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals.

Decrease your exposure to bacteria, viruses and germs. When you're coming down with a cold or flu, everyone seems to have their own idea of what will make you feel better — but how do we separate fact from fiction? Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is thought to boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases. Not feeling at your best? Drinking matcha can also make you feel relaxed, calm and happy due to the high levels of L-theanine. Sign up to receive the latest health and science news, plus answers to wellness questions and expert tips.

They report to the cleverer, adaptive white blood cells known as lymphocytes. Respiratory infections, influenza, and particularly pneumonia are a leading cause of death in people over 65 worldwide. 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. This list of 15 natural immunity boosters—many of which you’ll find right in your pantry—can provide a strong defense against illnesses. If you’re stressed or anxious your body releases more adrenalin and too much of this hormone lowers your immunity.

She often turns to herbs in the form of spices and teas to help her deal with different health issues, and encourages others to do the same.

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Darker-skinned people may require 3–10 times as much exposure under the same sunlight conditions. Amino acids found in foods can improve your immune function, and bone broth is a great source of these nutrients. If you don't exercise regularly, you're more likely to get colds, for example, than someone who does. Stress causes an inflammatory response within the body that can greatly affect your fight-or-flight response by releasing too much of the stress hormone cortisol.

If you don't get the confirmation within 10 minutes, please check your spam folder. Vitamin C has been shown to be useful in people under increased physical stress, to decrease the risk of developing the common cold by half. In addition to using nutrition to boost your immune system, you can also make changes to your lifestyle to help support health and immunity. Give yourself lots of T. They can also encourage your body to produce more white blood cells. As mentioned earlier, a stronger immune system accounts for a healthy body and overall healthy living. But balance is important, even when it comes to foods you might consider healthy. What’s better when you have a cold or the flu than curling up on the couch with a giant mug of tea?

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Red bell peppers are a strong contender, and in fact, contain twice as much Vitamin C as citrus fruits. If your sleep is interrupted, try a 30-minute nap during the day. Working quietly in the background, your immune system protects you from bacteria, viruses and other microbes and, when treated right, wards off disease. But for her clients, she recommends a simple equation — 50 percent of your body weight in fluid ounces, up to a 100 fluid ounces a day. So then, why do more people get sick in the winter? Chronic stress wears you down – in mind and in body. ’ Sourdough is one of the healthiest things you can eat for your microbiome and a great source of fermented fibre which as the best of both worlds, she explains.