Amazing Power Foods for Your Immune System

Feeling a bit more in touch with your inner germaphobe? 80 milligrams of vitamin C (107 percent daily value) Image Credit: Some people tend to pop a zinc tablet when they feel a cold coming on. What are the best immune-boosting foods? 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. How much should you eat in a day: It acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. Better sleep, low birth weight babies were also more common in this group. When you're stressed out your body produces stress which tax the immune system.

It's because of that whole "vitamin C" thing. The garlic group experienced significantly fewer colds compared to the placebo group, and they recovered faster if they did get infected. The researchers also noted that a deficiency in this nutrient can lead to a weaker immune system and lower resistance to certain pathogens that can lead to illness. On the whole, your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. You can make your own ginger tea by grating fresh ginger and steeping it in hot water with some lemon. But if you're having a difficult time getting to sleep, you can try the many binaural beats found on YouTube (Jody Hatton’s Power Naps is a good place to start) to help grab some winks on your coffee break. But doing your best to boost your immune system now means your body will be that much more prepared for tackling whatever bugs may come your way later. Zinc is found in the human body in all organs, tissues and body fluids.

  • 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.
  • Babizhayev, M.

Dark chocolate contains an antioxidant called theobromine, which may help to boost the immune system by protecting the body’s cells from free radicals. When they’re immobilized, germs have “much easier access” to your lungs, she explains. Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are more efficient at fermenting these prebiotic foods than pathogenic strains, and produce a lot less (if any) gas during fermentation. How it helps immunity?

Exercise regularly. Staying hydrated can boost your immune health too, Zumpano says. Instead of the drive-thru, opt for fresh fruits and veggies this cold and flu season. Spinach is a mild green that works well in smoothies. RA is a chronic autoimmune condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks a healthy part of the body. Putting a rainbow of fruits and vegetables on your plate can do your immune system a solid, says Beth Warren, R. Papayas have decent amounts of potassium, B vitamins, and folate, all of which are beneficial to your overall health. Vitamin K is one of the unsung heroes of the body.

Your immune system needs fuel, so avoid ultralow-carbohydrate diets, experts say. Toss sardines with veggies, tomato sauce, and pasta, or add to salads. 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.

  • Oregano oil is often called the heavy hitter for colds and flu.
  • Scientists are puzzling through why this may be but they posit that it has something to do with how quickly the childhood immune system springs into action.
  • And, a medium size red bell pepper contains nearly double the daily value.
  • Taking megadoses of a single vitamin does not.
  • My story and journey into this never ending wellness world came through a series of personal struggles and challenges which consciously forced me to change how I saw the world and myself in it both physically and spiritually.

Green Tea

This spice is more than just a delicious kick to your next dinnertime meal; it contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin. For example, studies of influenza vaccines have shown that for people over age 65, the vaccine is much less effective compared to healthy children (over age 2). A simple rule can help you when choosing fruits and vegetables at the grocery store or farmers market:

Overall, the immune system generates an ‘inflammatory response’ that can be specific to a certain area (think infection) or a generalized area (think fever).

Jalapeño Peppers

The research also notes that fennel contains flavonoids that act as anti-inflammatory agents. Or try eating more hydrating foods, such as cucumbers, celery or watermelon. Medical professionals say it is important not to rush to buy supplements and vitamins that promise to enhance your immune system; there isn’t much evidence that such products do any good.

About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains 40 to 50 percent of your daily recommended amount of B-6. 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. )For more updates and information about the novel coronavirus, visit the CDC's website.

Garlic contains compounds that have been shown to improve white blood cells’ ability to fight off certain viruses, such as those that cause colds and flu. When it’s a vitamin or supplement, it’s often questionable how much you’re actually getting. Of course we have to throw bone broth in here, and for good reason because it is packed with tons of vitamins and minerals that support boosting immunity. 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. Daily wellness formulas, "There is a lot of research going on as to how these friendly organisms that live in us, and on us, contribute to immune function, and how they disrupt immune function," says Starnbach. This post was reviewed for medical accuracy by Dr. That dream is not too far away – it’s already happening in the clinic, albeit in a very basic form.

Foods high in vitamin B6 include bananas, lean chicken breast, cold-water fish such as tuna, baked potatoes and chickpeas.


“There’s so much evidence that the more we eat that’s plant-based, that’s not processed, so fresh from garden to kitchen is the direction to lean in,” Richard Seidman, MD, MPH, chief medical officer at L. Certified organic produce is the best choice you can make for your health. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B-6. Keep this in mind:

This opportunity for research based on updated biomedical technology can be employed to give a more complete answer to this and similar questions about the immune system. 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. In fact, Lauren Manaker, a registered dietitian, tells SheKnows that she recommends her clients eat foods that contain probiotics to help boost their immune system. Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits increase the production of white blood cells, fortifying your immune system to help fight infections. Inside cancer:, these include the following:.  Here are some top food sources of zinc: “We lose cells and progressively lose ‘memories’ of how to deal with pathogens,” he says. Lemons are high in compounds called bio-flavonoids, which kill cancer-causing free radicals. “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.

You need to eat to boost your immune system. Prioritize sleep. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. 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.


Researchers are still exploring how diet, exercise, age, and stress can impact the immune system. Many functional doctors recommend incorporating it into your everyday diet to both reduce inflammation and enhance immunity. Think prevention, not reaction. It also contains potent antioxidants, such as sulforaphane. Eat them on a regular basis so your immune system is always firing on all cylinders. 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).

A small handful or a quarter of a cup of almonds is a healthful snack that may benefit the immune system.

Anecdotally, I think it shortens my cold and lessens the severity of my symptoms. It’s called vaccination. A meta-analysis published in the Korean Journal of Family Medicine found that probiotics can help to prevent and treat the common cold. Who doesn’t want a healthy immune system? With some exceptions, it’s best to get your vitamins and minerals from your food rather than in pill form. Staying hydrated can help loosen trapped mucus, according to The Mayo Clinic.

20 Food Combos That Prevent Common Colds

In the body, vitamin C behaves as an antioxidant, which means it protects cells from free-radical damage. Homemade kefir Credit : Elderberrry is a shrub that has been used medicinally for centuries. Not only is a cold or flu a nuisance, interrupting your daily life and routines and making you feel awful, but it’s also a sign of an immune system in need. Or take 500-2,000 mg of curcumin to help fight inflammation and power up your immune system. The university also noted that the soup helps relieve nasal congestion.

As mentioned above, it’s best to get most of your vitamins from food, but vitamin D may be the exception to that rule. EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function. Ginger, which is sometimes recommended to treat nausea, is high in both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. “This is why we don’t usually get sick after being exposed to a germ we’ve already encountered and fought off in the past,” Dr. But never fear, vegetarians: One medium-sized red bell pepper contains 152 milligrams of vitamin C, or enough to fulfill your RDA. And while they aren't part of a food group, tobacco products can also compromise your immune system. Inadequate sleep has also been linked to suppressed immune function.