8 Vitamins & Minerals You Need for a Healthy Immune System – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

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. Blackmon practices at Piedmont Physicians White Oak, located at 1825 Highway 34 East, Suite 3000, Newnan, GA 30265. “Anything that is challenging to your lungs is going to work in the wrong direction,” says Dr.

  • These cultures may stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases.
  • Ginger has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that are crucial for a healthy immune system.

You can also take lukewarm water and add juliennes of ginger and honey to it. Exercise regularly. “Exercise helps boost the immune system, but we have to be careful not to overexercise because it can weaken your immune system,” she says. It's because of that whole "vitamin C" thing. “And there’s been suggestions that high alcohol consumption can lead to a reduction of the lymphocytes as well.

By eating a wide variety of seeds, you’ll be getting vitamin E, zinc, and omega 3 fatty acids, all of which help your immune system.

Raw Honey

Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits increase the production of white blood cells, fortifying your immune system to help fight infections. Plus, licorice has been shown to enhance immunity more directly by boosting immune system chemicals that help ward off viruses. Anise acts as an antibacterial and antifungal, according to an in-depth review of the plant published in the International Scholarly Research Notices: The immune system releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kill them. Blend for a few seconds until smooth. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is thought to boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases. They’re also incredibly high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Keep yourself protected this flu season by eating for a healthy immune system.

Plant-based protein sources such as nuts and seeds also provide antioxidants, while meat, shellfish, and legumes supply zinc, the mineral that helps maintain immune cells and heal wounds. Sleep and specifically the circadian rhythm have been shown to have a strong regulatory effect on immune function, which means your first port of call when you are not feeling your best is to ramp up the rest. She is licensed by the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy to practice in the province of Ontario. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, responsible for the distinct yellow colouring and the impressive list of health properties. I can’t promise you that you can totally shield your kids from getting sick. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats.

You can get Vitamin C from citrus fruits like Orange, Grapefruit, Spinach and Strawberries. But what’s so great about probiotics? We love these 2-ingredient Sweet Potato Pancakes as a great way to get both eggs and sweet potatoes in our diets regularly. It also has an effect on a variety of conditions involving infections, such as cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer's. Most health experts agree that the reason winter is "cold and flu season" is not that people are cold, but that they spend more time indoors, in closer contact with other people who can pass on their germs. Eat a balanced diet, exercise and skip unproven supplements. An essential nutrient, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. In fact, holy basil is another amazing herb to help relieve stress and support your adrenal glands, which indirectly helps support your immune system.

Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses.

Get Colorful

The immune system consists of organs, cells, tissues, and proteins. Try drinking at least the recommended eight glasses of water a day to keep yourself fully hydrated, as we tend to lose more fluids when we're sick, The Mayo Clinic suggests. Vitamin C, for example, acts like your personal bodyguard, helping to protect cells and assist in healing. Modern medicine has come to appreciate the closely linked relationship of mind and body. Just be sure you are using a low-sugar or no-added sugar yogurt, as sugar has the opposite effect on our immune systems! Regardless of whether you have a cold or a fever, you should make sure you're consuming enough nutrients to give your body the energy it needs to fuel its immune defenses, says Smithson.

A simple rule can help you when choosing fruits and vegetables at the grocery store or farmers market:

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Less than 20 nanograms per milliliter is considered deficient. The antiviral and antibacterial herb that originates from America does have some research to support its use in reducing the duration of a common cold. You’ve probably heard of turmeric as a superfood herb, with its high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A healthful, balanced diet plays a vital role in staying well.

There are other ways that foods fight infection and strengthen immune response.

Studies have shown spikes in sugar intake suppress your immune system. I reached out to Jesse Haas, a licensed functional nutritionist and the cofounder of Wellness Minneapolis, for some advice on what we should be eating to boost our immunity. Research also indicates that flavonoids may help to prevent the common cold in otherwise healthy people. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients. He recommends engaging in activities that people find relaxing, such as meditation. Plus, it helps you feel more rejuvenated and refreshed, so if you’re struggling with the tail end of a cold, a warm mug of mint tea might give you the boost you need to conquer it once and for all.

With coronavirus Covid-19 being the talk of the day, much is being said about staying as safe and healthy as possible.


If you have a cold fighting tip or favorite food not found in this list we would love to hear about it. Despite the challenges, scientists are actively studying the relationship between stress and immune function. Can specific foods boost the immune system? According to a 2020 report, long-term intake of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Can certain foods really boost immunity? Save time, book online.

Dehydration not only affects your immune system but it is the most common reason bugs tend to stick around when you have been affected.

After completing an honours degree at the University of Guelph in Applied Human Nutrition, Dr. Probiotics support our immune system, aid digestion and assist with nutrient absorption into our bloodstream. If you have been diagnosed with an immune system disorder, talk with your healthcare team about how to stay healthy and well and manage your immune disorder. It’s typically known to shorten the duration of the common cold and flu, as well as reduce symptoms like sore throat, cough, and fever. Walnuts have also been shown in research to reduce psychological stress, and unchecked stress weakens immunity.

A truly healthy immune system depends on a balanced mix of vitamins and minerals over time, plus normal sleep patterns and a hefty dose of exercise.

Gene Expression

Berries are full of antioxidants, which help your body fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Just like vegetables, fruits are more beneficial for our health and immune system when they are grown organically. Reddy writes the Your Health column for Personal Journal. Sadly, too many of us don’t eat enough of the fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods we need to keep ourselves healthy year-round. Fermented foods are naturally packed with probiotics that promote healthy gut bacteria.

Ask your healthcare team which immunizations are appropriate for you. “So eating candies, cookies and sugary beverages is going to have a negative impact and lower our abilities to fight against any immune stressors like the flu or other viruses. When we get older, he says, the barrier function in the gut doesn’t work that well, “so you have something called leaky gut syndrome, where bugs creep into our bodies causing mild infections”. Shiitake, maitake and reishi mushrooms appear to pack the biggest immunity punch; according to a 2020 University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences study, eating shiitake mushroom daily can boost your immunity. Downing fruit juices when you're under the weather will only lead to a blood sugar crash, making you feel worse.