Foods To Boost the Immune System

Studies have shown that the probiotics in fermented foods help to improve the body’s immune response, according to the Mayo Clinic. Now few store-bought formulations do. Carrots are also rich in vitamins B complex for energy metabolic, C, D, E, K, fibre, potassium, iron, manganese, copper, iodine, silica, sulphur, chromium. While it's used in many sweet desserts, ginger packs some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin. 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. Some scientists are trying to take the next step to determine whether exercise directly affects a person's susceptibility to infection. So what can we do to avoid getting ill? An 85g-serving of chicken (about the size of a deck of cards) can provide about 2.

And, it can even help treat conditions like leaky gut syndrome and inflammation. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Immunology, curcumin activates the production of T-cells, which are the main cells fighting for your health in your immune system. Ginger – Anti-inflammatory + helps promote gastric motility. The best foods to boost your immune system and how to get more of them into your diet. There are a few science-backed approaches you can take to boost your immune system, most of which are recommended for overall wellness: Reduce your stress levels. It's of utmost importance then that your immune system is strong enough to play defense at all times, and one way to do that is through eating certain foods that can help naturally improve your immune system. Scientists have dunked people in cold water and made others sit nude in subfreezing temperatures.

Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, strawberries and papaya are also excellent sources. For example, some researchers are looking at whether extreme amounts of intensive exercise can cause athletes to get sick more often or somehow impairs their immune function. Our bodies need antioxidants to repair cell damage caused by molecular chemical changes as we age.

  • It does this by fighting off free radicals, which can damage cells.
  • Don't overcook your spinach, since the more it's cooked the less active the antioxidants will be.
  • There are still relatively few studies of the effects of nutrition on the immune system of humans, and even fewer studies that tie the effects of nutrition directly to the development (versus the treatment) of diseases.
  • This spice is more than just a delicious kick to your next dinnertime meal; it contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin.
  • It helps improve symptoms of a cold and also helps protect you from getting sick in the first place.


Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient found in leafy greens and citrus, especially grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, and clementines. Keep up with a regular exercise routine. It’s perfect for this time of year! How much lutein should you eat in a day: Bone broth is high in protein and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. A reduction in immune response to infections has been demonstrated by older people's response to vaccines. Why vitamin c won't 'boost' your immune system against the coronavirus. Value it and use it liberally for fighting infections.

It is your immune system. Your body primarily produces vitamin D from the sun’s UV rays (it’s called the sunshine vitamin for a reason!) What causes a weakened immune system? Whole grains and leafy root vegetables are good plant sources of zinc. Don’t like water? Here are five foods to be sure to incorporate in your diet so that you have the strongest immune system this flu season.


Sign up to receive the latest health and science news, plus answers to wellness questions and expert tips. Here's how to boost your immune system, more is not necessarily better. 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. Research shows they play an essential role in protecting tissues, cells and vital organs — in addition to supporting your immune system. Green tea is steamed so the EGCG is still active when you drink it. ” After decades of activity and proliferation of immune cells, organs in the immune system such as the thymus begin to tire and to stop producing new cells. If you suspect your diet is not providing you with all your micronutrient needs — maybe, for instance, you don't like vegetables — taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement may bring other health benefits, beyond any possibly beneficial effects on the immune system.

An essential nutrient, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. Keep this in mind: Zinc is needed for white blood cell production so your body can fight off infection and for healthy skin, hair and nails4. And while you have good health on the mind, don't forget to wash your hands , get enough sleep, and get a flu shot ahead of flu season to help you stay your healthiest. Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a near-perfect immune response?

Increase Immunity The Healthy Way

Most fruits and vegetables contain some amount of vitamin C, but your best sources are citrus fruits, asparagus, cantaloupe, strawberries and kale. Discover three tasty recipes with yoghurt here. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist prior to adding any new remedy to your regimen. Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health: Try adding a daily walk to your day. You can’t just eat an orange or grapefruit and expect one quick burst of vitamin C to prevent a cold. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects. O’Mahony hopes that by better understanding what an ideal microbiota is we can boost some people’s natural immunity to infection.

Broccoli, But Eat It Raw!

Above we have listed a perfect combination: Maintaining a healthy weight can also benefit the immune system. Everyday preventive measures—such as handwashing, avoiding contact with sick individuals, and good hygiene—can go a long way in reducing your risk for viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. To turn apples into a more energizing snack, slice one up and enjoy with a spoonful of peanut or almond butter. Place the cut fruits in a large bowl and mix carefully to combine.

"Yogurt and kefir are great ways to strengthen the immune system by providing the body with helpful probiotics, a set of live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial to improving digestive health.

A 2020 study noted that flavonoids play an essential role in the respiratory tract’s immune defense system. Stock or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity. Eat foods that promote a healthy microbiome in your gut. Gram for gram, they have about twice the amount of vitamin C as most fruits and vegetables, including the most famous immune-boosters, oranges. Try adding healthful fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans to your diet.

There is of course a way you can speed up this process and thereby boost your immunity.

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Eat more yogurt. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that comes in many colours and is low in calories, but mighty high in nutrients, including vitamin C—of which it has about 37mg per 100g of cabbage. The study states that the antioxidant catechin, which is heavily prevalent in green tea, is known to be a powerful antibacterial and antiviral and can kill off cold-starting bacteria and the influenza virus. Consider also seeking out foods high in vitamin E, D and A, plus iron, zinc and selenium. Swap out a usual beverage daily for green tea could improve your health. We do the cooking! Buy organic or wash well before eating:

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EGCG is known to boost immune function, and originally all tea leaves contain this anti-oxidant, but when black tea is fermented it deactivates most of the EGCG. Because inflammation can affect your body's immune response, anti-inflammatory ginger can play a key role in boosting your immunity. Good news if you love garlic sourdough bread and dipping veggie sticks in aioli.

Dish up a parfait. For vitamin A, go colorful. Most types of tea offer some benefit but white, green or black are the best for your immune system.

Mushrooms contain some of the most powerful natural medicines on the planet, and one of their benefits is their ability to boost the immune system.

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Garlic is one of the most cited foods to fight bacteria and viruses and help you be and stay healthy. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells to fight infection, while kiwi’s other nutrients keep the rest of your body functioning properly. It destroys germs (bacteria and viruses) and parasites. Tumeric bolsters the immune system by stimulating antibody formation and people with auto-immune diseases are told by their doctors to take 500 mg of curcumin daily to reduce inflammation and stave off soreness. Does it help keep the immune system healthy?

Opt for natural, rather than synthetic. Unless you are actually suffering from a deficiency, taking extra supplementation is not necessary, and in this case, more does not mean better. What you can do: This helps avoid any mold or bacteria that could grow in standing water, which could harm your lungs if breathed in. 15 foods that boost the immune system, it’s a natural tea that, like ginger, can help calm or sooth nausea or indigestion. Wolfram says, “I also like to eat foods that contain probiotics, which help keep our gut microbiomes in balance.

Don’t miss a thing by downloading Apple News here and following Prevention. If you suspect your vitamin D intake is low and would like to take a supplement, be sure to talk to your doctor. Dark leafy greens, butternut squash and avocado are excellent sources of vitamin E. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function. Less than 20 nanograms per milliliter is considered deficient. Kiwis are a great example.

Watch Your Diet

Try to avoid overdoing beverages that can made you dehydrated, like coffee. For adult men, it’s 11 milligrams (mg), and for women, it’s 8 mg. 9 foods to defy flu and the cold, and boost your immune system. Think fermented foods like raw sauerkraut, Kombucha and yogurt, Haas says. This anti-inflammatory effect allows for better digestive and gut health, leading to a boost in your immune system to keep you healthy.

You may load up on hand sanitizer, log eight hours of sleep every night, and fit in a great workout, like the ones available on Aaptiv. But this bright yellow, bitter spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Vegetables have so much to offer, especially when it comes to immune benefits, but make sure you’re making the most of your veggies by choosing organic!

Lutein is one of 600 known naturally occurring carotenoids and is found in high quantities in green leafy veggies such as spinach and kale.

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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. And if your local supermarket is running low on fresh produce, frozen fruit and veg is just as beneficial. The saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” can actually be true as consumption of vitamins can boost your immune system.

Don’t care for produce? 5 The same was shown with the resveratrol found in red grapes. How drugs and alcohol affect your immune system, this is a particularly important aspect at a time when vaccine hesitancy is becoming a major threat to global health, as indicated by the World Health Organization (9). That’s because the nutrients from food are the “most potent” and “are accompanied by many non-essential but beneficial nutrients, such as hundreds of carotenoids, flavonoids, minerals and antioxidants that aren't in most supplements," said Dr Clifford Lo, an associate professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. "Pairing these and other fruits and vegetables with adequate protein intake will help supercharge your immunity, says Smithson. Here are 11 powerful immune system boosters that you can include in your daily diet. The immune system releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kill them.

You can increase your intake through foods such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines) and fortified foods such as milk, orange juice and cereals. 5 ways to boost your child’s immune system, summer is a time for outdoor play, but that doesn’t have to start just because school started. There’s a reason they call it Grandma’s penicillin! What if you improve your diet?

As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections and more cancer.

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It is well known that what you eat determines how you feel. So if you are unlucky enough to catch it, you need to be strong enough to beat it. What exactly is natural immunity? And if you're not careful, you could be one of the thousands of people who catch a cold or flu. Our favorite fruits with vitamin C are oranges, strawberries, and kiwis. Zinc can be found in lean meat, poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, beans, seeds and nuts. Specifically, research has found that stress causes a release of the hormone cortisol, which can boost inflammation, a precursor to many diseases, in your body.

The next time you head to the grocery store or famers’ market, fill your cart with fresh fruits and vegetables.


It can fight back against any virus or bacteria. The acids also assisted in boosting the immune system and guarding the body of infection. Not only is it packed with digestion-regulating fiber, but it also contains vitamin C. Rich in vitamin C and polyphenols that help promote healthy tissues and organs.

Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.

Summer Sizzlers

All that’s left to do is visit your local farmer’s market or grocery store, and pack your bags with lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, and those delicious tangerines, and start snacking throughout your day. Free radicals can damage the body’s cells and may contribute to disease. It’s hard to stay active during the winter months, but a friend who shares your goals can be a great source of accountability. These vitamins in combination work in the body to build healthy cells, fight infection and keep your immune system humming along. Jalapeño peppers get their spice from a compound called capsaicin, which is something of an all-star in the nutrition world. The immune boosting properties are in numerous foods, so eat a diet rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

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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. Most miso is made in Japan, where the ingredient has been used since the eighth century. With colder weather comes cold season. Garlic’s scent tips you off to its many health benefits. They also contain potassium, which is essential for fluid regulation, overall mineral balance, and muscle contraction. Whether your immune system is weak because of stress, or malnutrition or a chronic disease, the right food will help. But you can also help your body prepare in case you do come in contact with the virus, or if you just generally want to keep healthy.

Or try eating more hydrating foods, such as cucumbers, celery or watermelon.

Oil of Oregano

When talking about the immune system, we are not just talking about the blood; we are also talking about the other organs, especially skin. It can also increase the chances of developing harmful pathogenic immune responses and smoking also reduces the effectiveness of your immune system’s defenses. Or, you could try making your own cinnamon roles with dairy-free cream cheese frosting following our step-by-step recipe here. 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. ” Other than your preferred method of winding down, she says, exercise will help, as it reduces the levels of stress hormones. 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: Control your blood pressure. As life expectancy in developed countries has increased, so too has the incidence of age-related conditions.

Read on for our top 4 immune-boosting herbs and start using them in your kitchen. Finally, adequate hydration and sleep go a long way in keeping the immune system healthy as well. The most likely answer is that in winter we spend most of our time huddled inside in the warmth with other people and all their bugs. 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.

When it’s weak, you have a harder time staying healthy.