Top 20 Immune Boosting Foods

Research suggests these qualities make turmeric a strong defense against colds , coughs, and congestion. 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. Get adequate sleep. Another vegetable that is high in the immune-boosting vitamin C is bell peppers.

Dark leafy greens, butternut squash and avocado are excellent sources of vitamin E. Immune system boosters Feeding your body certain foods may help keep your immune system strong. 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.

Read new age health blogging sites and you’ll find posts on how drinking hot lemon water or knocking back a shot of wheatgrass juice or the current green goo du jour will “boost your immune system” and make you less likely to get ill.

With colder weather comes cold season. Holy basil (Tulsi tea): For the most nutritious cuts, choose skinless, lean meats with any visible fat removed. Make a Ginger Hot Toddy and get the amazing health benefits of the ginger root, which include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Have More Mushrooms

The answer is "yes" if you're uncomfortable, or if you're going to be outdoors for an extended period where such problems as frostbite and hypothermia are a risk. Researchers found that people who ate foods rich in flavonoids were less likely to get an upper respiratory tract infection, or common cold, than those who did not. Written by Katie Mitton. Fennel has a variety of soothing effects that can help relieve you of your flu-like symptoms.

No one knows for sure why this happens, but some scientists observe that this increased risk correlates with a decrease in T cells, possibly from the thymus atrophying with age and producing fewer T cells to fight off infection. Eat foods that promote a healthy microbiome in your gut. Beta carotene helps keep your eyes and skin healthy. We will also provide you with personalised ads on partner products.

Wash any buckets or filter systems every two to three days, as well. There are so many options and you don’t need to be taking supplements to see the benefits — simply use them to make flavorful food. 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. In the body, vitamin C behaves as an antioxidant, which means it protects cells from free-radical damage. 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. Greek yogurt is filled with sickness-fighting probiotics and is packed with more protein than regular yogurt. However, you can also get a good amount of protein from eggs, milk, yogurt and cheese.

You can also supplement.

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Think turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper, garlic, cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, cardamom. Some research suggests it can also keep your metabolism humming. Add diced jalapeño peppers to guacamole for an extra kick of flavor. Get emotional support if you are struggling by seeing a therapist or joining a support group. You don't need a lot of the mineral: Rich in vitamin C and polyphenols that help promote healthy tissues and organs. Keep everyone in your home healthier by making exercise a family activity. Wendler is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor practicing family medicine in Waterdown, Ontario.


Think happy thoughts. 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. One cup of cooked squash has more than 450 percent of your daily A needs. However, the researchers noted that more studies need to be conducted in order to validate garlic's true impact on the common cold. Despite its potential benefits, dark chocolate is high in calories and saturated fat, so it is important to eat it in moderation. Elderberry may interact with the following medications. Curcumin, the natural compound in turmeric responsible for its vibrant color, is a potent anti-inflammatory compound. Don't worry – not all of them are vegetables.

Most fruits and vegetables are natural sources of vitamins. Add plenty of extra veggies for vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants all of which are an additional ally in your fight against cold and flu. In the dark and cold winter months (snow or not!) • Get adequate sleep. Despite the challenges, scientists are actively studying the relationship between stress and immune function. They also support healthy sleep due to their natural melatonin content, which is crucial because research shows that people who don't get enough quality sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus. Fiber can also lower BMI, which is linked to improved immunity.

These veggies are top sources of beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A.

What their work reveals, is just how complicated and integrated this response really is – throughout our bodies, all the time, different cell types are talking to each other, and there’s still a huge amount that we don’t understand about these diverse interactions. Before you get your tissues out check out this handy list of the top 15 things you can do to help boost your immune system this winter. Using them in our cooking in dried or fresh forms, or finding them in oils and tinctures, you can’t go wrong when you decide to include more herbs in your everyday life. Any leftover juices and wine make for a refreshing drink. Don’t like water? A number of foods – garlic included – have remarkably good antimicrobial properties, and while they should not be scoffed instead of following measures already advocated by the World Health Organisation (washing hands thoroughly; covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing), it certainly won't hurt to get a few more of these nutrient-rich foods into your daily diet. The immune system relies on white blood cells that produce antibodies to combat bacteria, viruses, and other invaders. Drink more water.

The majority of the research that supports this was carried out on animals or in a laboratory.


The idea that any dietary supplement can boost your immunity makes very little scientific sense. It isn’t easy, but the future of your health depends on it. Save time, book online. Looking to prevent colds and flu and keep your immune system strong? Need a recipe for cooking with nutritious bell peppers?

Get this immune-boosting vitamin from foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, eggs or foods labeled "vitamin A fortified," such as milk or some cereals.

According to a review conducted by the National Center for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University, vitamin C is helpful in preventing the common cold for people exposed to sickness-inducing environments, such as cold weather. Yogurt can also be a great source of vitamin D, so try to select brands fortified with vitamin D. Please check to proceed. Helping support your adrenals and stress response is a great way to support your immune system! Instead, they say, stick with the more mundane, but proven, approaches:

Modern medicine has come to appreciate the closely linked relationship of mind and body. Other foods that can help support the microbiome include garlic, onion, ginger, sauerkraut and fermented foods, says Dr. Certified organic produce is the best choice you can make for your health.

US studies indicate that vitamin D may also help immune cells identify and destroy bacteria and viruses.


According to a 2020 review, curcumin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Research is still ongoing, but science consistently supports the fact that vitamins in supplement form may do more harm than good. • Watch your diet.

However, the researchers noted that more studies need to be conducted in order to fully validate vitamin E's potential in preventing colds. Flu season is the worst, right? Head to your supermarket’s produce aisle.

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.

Research has also found that when you’re deficient in certain micronutrients—zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E—the immune systems in animals can be compromised. You can take multivitamin supplements from your doctor, however, natural intake through food is the best way. For a flavor and immunity boost, add garlic to marinades, roasted vegetables or grain bowls.

Green Tea

A squeeze of lemon also makes steamed veggies tastier. What’s better when you have a cold or the flu than curling up on the couch with a giant mug of tea? Add spinach to your eggs. Nothing ruins a week (or two) quite like the high fevers, aches, and coughs that come with catching influenza A or B. Turns out this herbal remedy has some science behind it: Chamomile tea is often used as a night-time tea when people need to wind down or need some help falling asleep.

Your immune system is actually made up of “multiple layers of defense,” Dr. I regularly make sure that I’m getting my daily dose of fresh fruits, vegetables and quality protein every day so that my body can repair quickly. You can sweeten plain yogurt yourself with healthy fruits and a drizzle of honey instead.

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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. Considered a natural cold remedy, vitamin C-packed citrus increases the production of white blood cells, fortifying your immune system to fight infections like a champ. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. For adults only, add half or a whole bottle of white wine or champagne for special occasions, and stir. Vitamin E sources include nuts, seeds, spinach, and broccoli. And because you can’t get the vitamin D you need from the sun in the winter months, diet is extra important. 5 The same was shown with the resveratrol found in red grapes.


Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine. Like any fighting force, the immune system army marches on its stomach. Bring on the hummus! In what sounds like something from a Roald Dahl recipe book for disgusting medical concoctions, the use of faecal transplants – taking the poo from a healthy individual and transplanting it, along with all its friendly bacteria, to the gut of a patient through their bottom or nose – is gaining popularity. Apples are also high in fiber, which can help reduce the inflammation common during infections. The vitamin C content of tomatoes is the excuse you needed to eat to eat pasta smothered in Buttery Tomato Sauce with Onion.

In a living animal, and especially in a human being, that kind of control is just not possible, since there are so many other things happening to the animal or person at the time that measurements are being taken. A spinach and red pepper stir-fry is loaded with vitamin C. Found in apples, onions, teas and red wines.

Use about a cup of fruit per person to determine the amount of fruit you will need for your salad.

Sunflower Seeds And Almonds

Almost every mother has said it: The children who took 15 milligrams of zinc daily for seven months were found to be significantly less likely to catch a cold during flu season in comparison to those in the control group. Vitamin D plays an important role in supporting the immune system by helping your body produce antibodies, which can then fight illness, Cording says. Plus, they taste better and are better at protecting your health than supplements. It is also present in some alternative medicines. Practice good sleep hygiene.

According to a 2020 report, long-term intake of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It’s one thing to want to stress less, and another to actually make that happen. Also, these natural ways can help you age gracefully. There are small studies that suggest a benefit to some of these foods, but strong evidence is lacking. In addition to being one of the top anti-inflammatory foods, walnuts contain several nutrients that play a role in supporting the immune system, including vitamins E and B6, copper, and folate. All-natural, raw honey not only tastes delicious but can also help soothe some symptoms of a cold.

When you're trying to fight off an illness, focus on consuming foods that are packed with nutrients. Zinc can be found in lean meat, poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, beans, seeds and nuts. This oil has been shown to also help rebuild and boost the body's immunity.

Vitamins, especially A, C and D, and minerals such as zinc do have a vital role in the functioning of our immune system, but they are also practically unavoidable components of our diets, present in large quantities in fruits, vegetables and meats.

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Protein from lean animal sources and plant-based versions (like chickpeas, beans, lentils, and peas) can also boost immunity by regulating existing cells and generating new ones. Plus, the health benefits of these foods generally come from the synergistic relationship and combination of all the nutrients in the food that is difficult to extract into a pill. Alcohol alters the number of microbes in the gut microbiome, a community of microorganisms that affect the immune system. Excellent sources include sweet potatoes, carrots, and green leafy vegetables. Spinach may boost the immune system, as it contains many essential nutrients and antioxidants, including:

Low-Fat Yogurt

Dark chocolate contains an antioxidant called theobromine, which may help to boost the immune system by protecting the body’s cells from free radicals. Scientists have long recognized that people who live in poverty and are malnourished are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. This flavorful spice is considered a superfood for a good reason. “By just being there they’re taking up real estate, if you like, competing for space and food so that disease-causing bugs can’t establish,” he says. The same size portion of almonds contains 45% of the daily goal.

The only issue is that your body cannot make Vitamin C, so it must come from the foods you eat on a daily basis. You probably know about vitamin C’s connection to the immune system, but did you know you can get it from much more than just citrus fruits? Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients.

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There appears to be a connection between nutrition and immunity in the elderly. It’s known to prevent colds and upper respiratory infections, as well as have antiviral properties that help stimulate the immune system. So what can you do? But it’s important to remember that a nutrient-rich diet helps keep your immune system in tip-top shape, too. Probiotics are considered the “good” bacteria in your gut. Her beat also includes editor of Good Eating magazine and 100 Top Tables - A CEO's Dining Guide, which takes her to some of the city’s great eateries. They’re also incredibly high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.