5 Foods to Supercharge Your Immune System

While scientists are still not sure exactly how it helps, vitamin C may reduce the duration of common cold symptoms and improve the function of the human immune system. For a stronger immunity: natural ways to boost the immune system. They can be tricky to get hold of at this time of year but watermelons contain citrulline, which helps keep your heart healthy, and they’re rich in vitamins A, C and B6 too. Reach for fresh garlic cloves rather than a supplement. Then, during a four-year sojourn teaching in Europe & Asia, she was made aware of the incredible healing power of nature, the importance of nutrition and discovered Eastern healing techniques and meditation. There are other ways to stay hydrated, like drinking this Classic Peach Iced Tea. Ideally, we need to eat foods rich in zinc every day. Phytochemical antioxidants are immune-boosting and can be found in apples.

The best food sources of zinc are red meats (particularly organ meats) and seafood. Citrus fruits Most people instinctively turn to citrus fruits if they feel a cold coming on, whether it’s hot lemon and water, orange juice, or slices of fresh grapefruit. Here are a few immune boosting-remedies to load up on. Animal-based bone broths could be the key reason as to why soups are great for you when you're suffering from sickness. According to a 2020 review, curcumin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. In general, our vitamin D levels tend to be influenced by sun exposure, skin tone and latitude — people in northern areas who get less sun exposure in the winter typically have lower vitamin D. 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.

A serving has just 33 calories and more than a day’s worth of your recommended vitamin A intake.

Yet another reason to enjoy those blueberries! Almost every mother has said it: In fact, we have an entire group of proteins in our blood called immunoproteins, also known as immunoglobulins or antibodies. But does it help to boost your immune system naturally and keep it healthy? Ginger plays a powerful role as an antioxoidant. Other nutrients, including vitamin B6, folate, selenium, iron, as well as prebiotics and probiotics, also may influence immune response and play a role in a healthful eating style.

Eat more yogurt.

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“Make cutlets by mixing paneer with boiled vegetables and spices. Carrots aren’t just for rabbits, you know. 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? Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, responsible for the distinct yellow colouring and the impressive list of health properties. Red bell peppers have the most vitamin C of all varieties, and all bell peppers also have lots of phytochemicals and carotenoids, like beta-carotene, which are chock full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits as well. Haas stresses the importance of getting those nutrients into the diet in a regular way so that the body has what it needs in order to mount an appropriate attack. 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.

  • The other key step is to keep your intake of vegetable oil, from spreads, sauces and processed foods as minimal as possible.
  • If you are experiencing seasonal allergies and need treatment from symptoms that seem to persist, count on MedPost for convenient and compassionate walk-in care.
  • It is no coincidence we tend to become unwell when we have been super busy and run down, and most likely not eating well.
  • To function well, it requires balance and harmony.
  • Cold and flu season got you down?
  • 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.


The research also notes that fennel contains flavonoids that act as anti-inflammatory agents. If preferred, top with your favorite flavor of ice cream and enjoy as a sundae. Your immune system needs fuel, so avoid ultralow-carbohydrate diets, experts say. How drugs and alcohol affect your immune system, acquired disorders are more common than congenital disorders. These delicious Wild Salmon Sweet Potato Cakes feature sweet potatoes, coconut oil and avocados, which are also rich in health-boosting antioxidants. Vitamin K deficiency is rare but when people don't have enough they suffer from weak bones and compromised immune systems.  Here are some top food sources of zinc: Some of the key nutrients involved in immune function are amino acids found in protein-rich foods, a range of essential vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C and E, selenium and zinc, as well as pro- and prebiotics that help to keep our gut microflora healthy.

Francis is a great combination that contains astraglus and helps to tonify a weak immune system.

Green Tea

Stir-frying and roasting both preserve the nutrient content of red bell peppers better than steaming or boiling, according to a study on cooking methods. There’s science at work here! But sometimes it fails, and an organism or substance makes you sick. It is involved in tissue growth and repair, adrenal gland function, immune system support, iron absorption and stomach acid activation. A portion in your cai fan should be sufficient. Other foods with high amounts of vitamin E include avocados and dark leafy greens. You need to choose a yoghurt that contains ‘active’ or ‘live cultures’ as these help your immune system fight against bad bacteria in the gut5. Rumsey recommends choosing yogurts with a "live and active cultures" seal and avoiding heavily sweetened varieties.

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Researchers need to perform additional studies to understand how kefir may prevent disease in humans. Zinc, too, is important and can be found in meat, shellfish, nuts and seeds including pumpkin seeds or pepitas. Berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries, are extremely high on the ORAC scale—meaning they contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals.

Make an omelette for the vitamin D found in egg yolks.

Elderberrry is a shrub that has been used medicinally for centuries. Be sure to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables from each of the main antioxidant groups listed: It’s a fat-soluble molecule, meaning it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed, so nuts are the perfect package for E to make it into your system.

Drinking matcha can also make you feel relaxed, calm and happy due to the high levels of L-theanine. Hydrate creatively. Beta carotene helps keep your eyes and skin healthy. Find out how to create a mom self-care club for support and health. It has vitamin A, E, C, and K, folate, manganese, zinc, selenium, and iron. Zinc helps the immune system work properly and may help wounds heal. “This might mean that our immune response doesn’t recognise certain bugs,” she says, “or the bugs have sneaky evasion strategies.

Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. Star anise has antibacterial properties that can keep you away from flu and infections. Cinnamon has strong anti-inflammatory properties and can be added to warm water, coffee and desserts. And remember that the key to laying a healthy foundation for your immune system is a healthy diet, lowered stress levels, and lots of sleep. Not only is it packed with digestion-regulating fiber, but it also contains vitamin C.

Combine the two:

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” Eating your five a day of fruits and vegetables is the best way to maintain necessary levels. Not all probiotics are made equal, and products that contain them don't always have enough active cultures to make a real difference. Primary immunodeficiency symptoms & causes, these foreign substances, called antigens, are usually an outside invader like a bacterium or virus, that activates the T cell, which then initiates an immune response to neutralize the antigen. Plan your meals to include these 15 powerful immune system boosters. Try it in a turmeric latte, aka golden milk , or use it to season lean meats, grains and other healthy foods. Increased vitamin C requirements are observed in periods of stress for immune system support.

Eating nutrient-dense foods, in general, provides for higher energy levels, mental clarity, better performance, and an overall healthy feeling,” Chase says. The right exercise to boost your immune system. Matcha is the most nutrient-rich green tea in the world. 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. Pair either with fresh fruit or whip sunflower seed or almond butter into smoothies. The following foods may help to boost the immune system: You can get other forms of iron in beans, broccoli and kale.

But avoid drinking to excess. Haas’ recommendation? So are spinach and broccoli if you prefer to increase your intake through meals rather than snacks. What if you improve your diet? In fact, vitamin C is in so many foods that most people may not need to take supplements unless a doctor advises it. Try chugging down these juices today:

“The microbiome really likes fibre, pulses and fermented foods,” she adds.

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Downing fruit juices when you're under the weather will only lead to a blood sugar crash, making you feel worse. Cbd oil for pain: does it work, arthritis, cancer & more. Coconuts and Coconut Oil: For example, athletes who engage in "blood doping" — pumping blood into their systems to boost their number of blood cells and enhance their performance — run the risk of strokes. Binge drinking can also impair the immune system.

People with compromised immune systems—say, those who have autoimmune diseases like lupus or serious infections like HIV, people going through chemotherapy, or even pregnant women—are at a much higher risk of dealing with infection-inducing germs that wouldn’t be a problem if they were otherwise healthy. Eating a diet high in inflammatory foods (like the animal fats and refined sugars found in a Standard American Diet) can hurt your gut health and overall wellbeing, not to mention a poor diet is linked with health issues across the board, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, even cancer. Choose your country United States of America Afghanistan Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, Democratic Republic of Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d'Ivoire Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Faeroe Islands Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Holy See Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Monaco Mongolia Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Palestinian Territory, Occupied Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Republic of Korea Republic of Moldova Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Helena Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia and Montenegro Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom Virgin Islands (U. )

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Like salmon, light white tuna is filled with zinc. Cashews, for example, are rich sources of zinc, which your body needs to activate T-lymphocytes – an important immune system element. Your immune system needs vitamin E to function on full throttle. The antioxidants in matcha are beneficial in strengthening the immune system; green tea keeps the immune system running normally. Otherwise it could be a long, hard winter. With vitamin E, B6, and C, spinach brings a little extra germ-fighting power to your meals. Green tea is steamed so the EGCG is still active when you drink it. ” Necking extra vitamin C, however, is probably a waste of time for well-fed westerners.

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. Anti-Viral by Natural Factors is a potent tincture that includes Echinaceato help fight colds in a powerful way. Instead, reach for whole food sources instead. Vitamin C deficiency can contribute to a reduced resistance against some pathogens. The pungent aroma comes from sulfur compounds, including allicin. Keep this in mind: Browse plant-based meal bundles here. To stay strong and healthy, your skin needs vitamin A.

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People who are folate-deficient have compromised immune systems. I take 2020 IU/day for maintenance, but higher doses may be required to correct deficiency. But it’s important to remember that a nutrient-rich diet helps keep your immune system in tip-top shape, too. 11 things that can weaken your immune system, why individual dogs respond differently to the presence of allergens is not yet fully understood. Your body will thank you. When you're trying to fight off an illness, focus on consuming foods that are packed with nutrients. Garlic is a common home remedy for the prevention of colds and other illness. Exercise regularly.

Contact us at [email protected] A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that taking 50 milligrams of vitamin E daily helped cigarette-smoking men who were 65 years and older living in cities reduce their risk of catching a cold by 28 percent. The probiotics in yogurt stimulate your immune system. When you're feeling sick, good ol' H2O can be one of the most helpful drinks to sip on. However, to perform effectively, these cells need to regenerate in an effort to defend you from feeling ill. Immunodeficiency diseases, this is of limited use in chronic conditions such as organ transplantation or HIV where the emphasis is on managing the condition to minimise immunodeficiency. Broccoli is a good source of lutein, a powerful antioxidant, and sulforaphane, another potent antioxidant. Numerous studies have found a link between excessive alcohol consumption and immune function. They are full of folate, vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium.

Red peppers are another vitamin C-rich source for fighting colds.

For more Greek flavor, serve with Greek yogurt for extra protein. ”One of the best ways to stay healthy is by purging toxins from the system. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that olive oil's high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids act as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body. She is licensed by the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy to practice in the province of Ontario. A wide variety of maladies, including stomach upset, hives, and even heart disease, are linked to the effects of emotional stress. Many people have a hard time absorbing vitamin D from food, so if you have a vitamin D deficiency, talk to your doctor about supplements. Despite its potential benefits, dark chocolate is high in calories and saturated fat, so it is important to eat it in moderation.

In one study, British researchers gave 146 people either a placebo or a garlic extract for 12 weeks; the garlic takers were two-thirds less likely to catch a cold.

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The extra cells remove themselves through a natural process of cell death called apoptosis — some before they see any action, some after the battle is won. How to boost the immune system against coronavirus. They’ve also got beta-glucans, which have been shown to activate killer cell function -- again, to help you ward off illness. Eating a low-fat, plant-based diet may help give the immune system a boost.


A diversity of fruits in your fruit salad adds complexity and interest, not to mention vital phytonutrients to your diet. Especially fruits like berries, which are frequently on the dirty dozen list, and yet so high in things like antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients. They’re also incredibly high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.

  • It can fight back against any virus or bacteria.
  • Elderberry is also high in flavonoids.
  • How can you improve your immune system?
  • Here’s a guide to the best foods to eat if you want to improve your immune system.


Make a healthy “hot toddy” with hot chamomile tea, honey and sliced lemon. Maryea is the mama behind the healthy lifestyle blog, Happy Healthy Mama, where she shares simple, real food recipes and inspiration for raising healthy kids in a natural home. Your body can more easily absorb “heme iron,” which is abundant in lean poultry such as chicken and turkey, plus seafood. Our favorite fruits with vitamin C are oranges, strawberries, and kiwis. Think of your immune system as your body’s gatekeeper. For a healthy morning treat, broil grapefruit with a little cinnamon sugar.

While everyone is talking about the coronavirus COVID-19, we need to remember that influenza is a more immediate threat here in the United States.

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How does your immune system work, anyway? The study also states that honey acts as an antibacterial, killing any germs in the body that can cause you to get sick. Myths vs. facts about boosting your immune sytem, this will ensure that you are able to start at your desired time. When you have a cold, a little fennel is your friend.

One study found that people who took cranberry capsules twice daily for a year had a lower risk of getting a UTI. Readily available all year round, broccoli is perhaps one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get extra vitamins into your diet. However, the researchers noted that more research needs to be conducted to support ginseng's immunity-boosting claims fully. It’s high in fibre, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin A3. Contains ginger, turmeric and Echinacea, to boost recovery and healing. Pineapple – High vitamin C - Contains Bromelain that aids digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties. But did you know the role your diet plays in keeping it in top shape to protect you from toxins and infections? Cloves help treat nausea and flu.

Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Asian vegetarian food lacks in proteins, which play the role of immunity booster and unfortunately are ignored, too. For those who don't eat meat, adding a daily serve of iron-rich legumes will help to tick this nutrient box, as will opting for wholegrain breads and cereals and eating iron-rich vegetables such as spinach alongside a source of vitamin C. Who doesn’t want a healthy immune system? Ideal for nourishing the body during periods of immune and adrenal suppression, stress, fatigue, illness, infection and vitamin D deficiency.

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You may have heard of using garlic to ward off vampires, but how about to ward off colds and flu? Blueberries are filled with antioxidants that can help treat and prevent coughs and colds. 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. To do this sort of research, exercise scientists typically ask athletes to exercise intensively; the scientists test their blood and urine before and after the exercise to detect any changes in immune system components. Pineapple immune boosting smoothie, it never disappoints. Nutrient-dense kale provides one of the best ways to fortify the immune system. In the study of respiratory illness and vitamin D, the dose was equivalent to about 3,330 international units daily. Foods high in vitamin B6 include bananas, lean chicken breast, cold-water fish such as tuna, baked potatoes and chickpeas.

You could try mixing it with raw honey, which has similar properties. Wheatgrass us rich in chlorophyll, which helps to alkalise the body and works as a natural anti-inflammatory. Katz also suggests avoiding antibiotics unless you must take them because they deplete the good bacteria in the system, leaving you more vulnerable to other infections. An essential nutrient, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. But a lifetime’s exercise could significantly slow your immune system declining with age. What can you do? Or take 500-2,000 mg of curcumin to help fight inflammation and power up your immune system. But not all beverages help fight illness.

Schedule a family walk. There is no RDA for lutein, but experts say get at least 6 milligrams. According to the University of California Los Angeles, this soup has an anti-inflammatory effect and calms down inflammation in the upper respiratory tract that takes place when you develop a cold. There’s a reason they call it Grandma’s penicillin! However, the impact of these immune system changes on the health of animals is less clear, and the effect of similar deficiencies on the human immune response has yet to be assessed. Read on to discover 15 foods that boost the immune system. Just like vegetables, fruits are more beneficial for our health and immune system when they are grown organically. 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.