10+ Foods That Boost Your Immune System

Get 8 hours of sleep. Deep single-cell profiling of the systemic immune response to pregnancy. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Eat chicken soup. Anthocyanidins are actually responsible for the purple color in your favorite fruits and vegetables. If it works for flu infections, it may help your immune system against coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

Add the spinach, apple slices, walnuts, salt and pepper to taste and toss to coat with lemon and olive oil.

This probably comes to no surprise to you, but it is important to get enough of this immune-boosting vitamin. It is so important on so many levels for us to eat enough protein throughout the day. What else supports healthy immune function? *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Even if you do not feel hungry, try to have a snack or mini meal. If you can’t stomach the idea of broth as a sippable drink, use it as the base for cooking your quinoa or rice and add a little extra protein and nutrition to your meal. Hydration is vital, even in the cold of winter. Not only is yogurt convenient and delicious, but it also helps protect your immune system. It helps me easily drink water throughout the day and I rarely ever deal with dehydration.

Move it in ways that bring you enjoyment, not in ways that feel like punishment. Sugar is naturally found in many foods such as fruit (fructose) and dairy (lactose). Here are five foods to be sure to incorporate in your diet so that you have the strongest immune system this flu season. Vitamins C and E: 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. Eat more greens. You can get other forms of iron in beans, broccoli and kale. Need a recipe for cooking with nutritious bell peppers?

” This problem is unlikely to affect most of us unless, says Cruickshank, “you’re a couch potato and suddenly try and run a marathon, this could introduce stress hormones and be quite bad for your immune system”.

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Tea is also a practical choice for antioxidants to blast those free radicals. Almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds are all high in vitamin E. Stress can also take a toll on the immune system. Move around throughout your day – and build some muscle, by ingesting up to 1 gram daily of vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, you may be able to shorten the length of a cold or flu. It’s also great for helping to promote restful sleep, which might seem evasive when you have a cold or the flu.

Eat a variety of protein foods including seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds. The production of certain immune cells is limited when zinc intake is low, and adequate zinc is crucial for the normal development and function of the immune system. Garlic has built a reputation for being one of the best cold-curing foods, and for good reason. Hydrate creatively. Personally, my immune system is not necessarily very good at seeing colds.

  • L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells.
  • These veggies are top sources of beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A.
  • The following story is excerpted from TIME’s special edition, 100 Most Healing Foods.
  • ” So wash your hands, and sneeze and cough into tissues, she suggests, between sniffles.
  • Meditate on the go.
  • A Broccoli and Pear Salad with Ginger Yogurt Vinaigrette isn’t just delicious—it has cold and flu-fighting powers.
  • Include a protein source with every meal and snack.


But did you know the active ingredient that helps with these things in turmeric is actually curcumin? If it’s green, it’s probably good for you. Why recession can lead to reinvention, being stressed can cause your body to release extra cortisol, which over time can negatively affect sleep quality and your immune system. Some scientists are trying to take the next step to determine whether exercise directly affects a person's susceptibility to infection. You can't really 'boost' your immune system, but certain lifestyle decisions will make its job easier. Regular exercise promotes good cardiovascular (heart) health, too. In fact, boosting the number of cells in your body — immune cells or others — is not necessarily a good thing.

If you're looking for ways to prevent winter colds and the flu, your first step should be a visit to your local grocery store. Not only are these fats essential for developing brains, they also reduce inflammation, which increases airflow and protects the lungs from colds and respiratory infections. There are certain vitamins that support your body as it fights off or heals from illness. The group of participants taking a placebo had more than double the number of colds between them than those taking the garlic supplements. Improve immunity with herbs and supplements? Immune system boosters Feeding your body certain foods may help keep your immune system strong.

Probiotics are considered the “good” bacteria in your gut. They have different properties that help things like a sore throat, upset stomach, and congestion, and can help you feel like your symptoms are fading away. What do I eat to help strengthen my immune system? Finally, adequate hydration and sleep go a long way in keeping the immune system healthy as well. A healthful diet and exercise are important to maintaining a strong immune system.

  • As polar vortexes, nor'easters and monsoons ensue across the country, people are more likely to stay indoors, which also means that germs can circulate more easily.
  • Smoking increases the risk for a number of cancers including lung, oral, throat, esophageal, colorectal, and more.
  • Namely, the tea has been used as a treatment for upper respiratory tract infections (a.)
  • Broccoli is another source of vitamin C.
  • Check out these 7 Trail Mix Recipes and find a new favorite!

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In many ways, mental health can also affect your physical health. Just be sure you are using a low-sugar or no-added sugar yogurt, as sugar has the opposite effect on our immune systems! You can follow her by signing up for her newsletter here. Cold & flu rescue with ester-c®, due to our absorption methods, scientific research that goes into our product development and micro encapsulated technology our products are an extremely efficient, efficacious way to take supplements. For adult men, it’s 11 milligrams (mg), and for women, it’s 8 mg. Excellent sources include sweet potatoes, carrots, and green leafy vegetables.

Not only do our microbes form protective barriers, they also programme our immune systems. What to put in your immunity toolbox, the old saying, “An apple a day can keep the doctor away,” may have truth behind it after all. Other foods that can help support the microbiome include garlic, onion, ginger, sauerkraut and fermented foods, says Dr. They provide a boost when her blood sugar is low and serves as the ideal pre- and post-workout snack. Red peppers contain three times the amount of vitamin C as citrus; in fact, it might surprise you to know that they are the most vitamin C-dense of any fruit or vegetable, as well as being a great source of beta-cerotene (which the body converts into vitamin A. )Even if you've been slacking off on these healthy habits, it's never too late to start. “If you don’t have adequate vitamin D circulating, you are less effective at producing these proteins and more susceptible to infection,” says Dr.

We will also provide you with personalised ads on partner products. You watch helplessly as your child puts his fingers in his mouth or rubs his eyes, and you have to wonder if getting sick is just the inevitable outcome of the season. It can also help lower the duration and severity of a cold. Live healthier. be informed. get inspired. subscribe now., breastmilk contains antibodies from the mum that protect your baby and build her immune system. Practice good food safety to prevent foodborne illness. The following foods may help to boost the immune system:

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Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals that are responsible for certain types of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Get our Health Newsletter. These things are all important when our immune system is bogged down by sickness or environmental causes. Manage your subscription, try saying these calming phrases to help relax and de-stress your brain as well. Just like vegetables, fruits are more beneficial for our health and immune system when they are grown organically.

Excessive alcohol can damage the lungs, and impair the mucosal immune system, which is essential in helping the body recognize pathogens and fight infection.

One study found that those who sleep fewer than five hours per night are more likely to have recently suffered a recent cold compared with those who sleep more. Account, the soldiers in this fight include organs such as the spleen, lymph nodes, and thymus. I saved the best for last and cannot preach about protein enough. The notion that the immune system is something that we can easily influence is cast into doubt when you realise how complicated it really is. Consider these foods that do your body good by boosting your immune system!

Plus, because it’s good for nausea, it’s also been shown to be effective for motion sickness, seasickness, and sickness associated with pregnancy.


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. It's rich in antioxidants and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function. Oats contain beta glucans, a component of fiber that activates killer cells. Food sources of probiotics include: Eggs contain a high amount of vitamin D, which is vital in regulating and strengthening immunity. This anti-inflammatory effect allows for better digestive and gut health, leading to a boost in your immune system to keep you healthy. Vitamin A helps your body regulate its immune system and can protect against infection.

Simple, nutrient-rich foods, full of anti-oxidants that fight free radicals support immune health. Blackmon advises against consuming these things in excess because research has proven them to compromise your immune response, making infections more likely: Written by Katie Mitton. A brisk walk in the sunlight for 10–15 minutes will ensure that enough Vitamin D is produced in the body. But researchers remain interested in this question in different populations. Some scientists are investigating whether ongoing stress takes a toll on the immune system.

Chicken Soup

Although there might be a specific amino acid released from cooked chicken that helps fight infection, more likely it's the soup's heat that helps, says Skolnick. Moskovitz recommends grabbing some Greek yogurt as an afternoon snack this season to help you stay healthy (or try one of these 10 Savory Greek Yogurt Recipes.) Some people tend to pop a zinc tablet when they feel a cold coming on. This is an anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory compound that is excellent to help fend of everyday colds and flus as well as more serious conditions like cancer.

It’s great for its relaxing and mood-soothing benefits, as is the essential oil of chamomile in a diffuser. Dark chocolate contains an antioxidant called theobromine, which may help to boost the immune system by protecting the body’s cells from free radicals. Eating a low-fat, plant-based diet may help give the immune system a boost. Plus, tinctures and extracts can be found in single distillations, such as astragalus on its own, or in combinations, like in Deep Immune, to help harness the power of multiple different compounds into one amazing product. Protein plays a role in the body's immune system, especially for healing and recovery.

You can roast fennel with other vegetables, or even boil, strain and drink it as a tea.


Numerous studies have found a link between excessive alcohol consumption and immune function. Vitamin C is what many of us associate with boosting immunity, and for good reason. Research suggests maintaining ample levels of vitamin E is crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system, especially among older people. For people trying to avoid the sugar in fruit, red bell peppers are an excellent alternative source of vitamin C. 4The next time you add coconut oil to your smoothie or cooked veggies, your immune system will thank you!

People who are malnourished tend to be more susceptible to illness and infection. Helping support your adrenals and stress response is a great way to support your immune system! She understands how much power they have to harness our health, and improve it when things are going awry. Being vegetarian isn’t a prerequisite for microbiome health, but the more plant foods you consume, the better.

Your immune system needs fuel, so avoid ultralow-carbohydrate diets, experts say. One of the healthiest food on the planet, mushrooms are rich in essential nutrients and minerals. Please select your country. With LLS Health ManagerTM, you can now use your phone to manage your daily health by tracking side effects, medication, food and hydration, questions for the doctor, grocery lists and more. 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.


Consider also seeking out foods high in vitamin E, D and A, plus iron, zinc and selenium. Add spinach to your eggs., the coronavirus outbreak that has devastated China and left the world scrambling for answers has also reinforced the important role sleep plays in building our immune systems. Try to minimize stress. It’s great to eat, but it also comes in a supplement form, and studies have shown that daily supplementationwith garlic can reduce colds by 63% when compared with placebo. Turmeric has been linked to the prevention of cancer cell growth and management of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, asthma, eczema and inflammatory bowel disease. Oily fish contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

Again, it's unclear how much vitamin C really prevents colds. You fight your alarm clock, then traffic, then grocery store lines, over and over and over…I bet your body is so run down. Water helps your body produce lymph, which carries white blood cells and other immune system cells. If a pathogen breaches these defences, it has to deal with our white blood cells, or immune cells. Coconut in all its forms is a superfood powerhouse. “Exercise helps boost the immune system, but we have to be careful not to overexercise because it can weaken your immune system,” she says. • Make sure your vaccines are up-to-date, especially the flu vaccine. There is some evidence that various micronutrient deficiencies — for example, deficiencies of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E — alter immune responses in animals, as measured in the test tube.

Seek Out Zinc

Sources include nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, beans, and lentils. It’s main function in immune health is as an antioxidant that rids your body of those damaging free radicals bouncing around your system. I love making fresh vegetable juices scented with anti-inflammatory nutrients such as ginger and turmeric. Asherson’s syndrome, it releases proteins called autoantibodies that attack healthy cells. But fortifying your immune system doesn't end at the doctor's office. Broccoli is rich in vitamins A, C and E, as well as containing a number of antioxidants like sulforaphane (meant to be good for heart health and digestion). Can certain foods really boost immunity?

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He recommends engaging in activities that people find relaxing, such as meditation. 2. other emerging absorbents, there are many different types of WBCs. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function. Other foods rich in omega-3s include anchovies, oysters and walnuts. Add it to cooked veggies, soup, or broth. Wheatgrass us rich in chlorophyll, which helps to alkalise the body and works as a natural anti-inflammatory. There are small studies that suggest a benefit to some of these foods, but strong evidence is lacking. As life expectancy in developed countries has increased, so too has the incidence of age-related conditions. Stop the habit of smoking because not only does it increases the risk of cancer but it also impairs the immune system.

When you're sick, it's important to stay hydrated — drinking plenty of unsweetened tea can also help with this, while the heat from tea can help loosen some congestion.

Working out on a regular basis has been scientifically proven to boost the immune system. … Yes, it really can help to keep the doctor away. Health makers: nutrition app yazio speaks a common language to millions worldwide. Children should get more, depending on their age. It adds a little zing to food and it's a must-have for your health. Curcumin, the natural compound in turmeric responsible for its vibrant color, is a potent anti-inflammatory compound.

If you’re looking to include probiotics in your daily diet, you might want to try kefir. What about moderate exercise for average people? Elderberry may interact with the following medications.

This tropical fruit is packed full of vitamin C, vitamin A, lycopene, fiber and vitamin K.