Eat These Super Foods To Boost Your Immune System

Despite its potential benefits, dark chocolate is high in calories and saturated fat, so it is important to eat it in moderation. Certain foods may be helpful for boosting the immune system and preventing colds and the flu. How does the immune system work, exactly? This time of year can be stressful -- no one likes to get slammed with virus after virus. Being physically active can help keep pathogens out of your lungs and airways, according to the National Library of Medicine, which can minimize your odds of getting a cold, the flu, or other illnesses. “All the vitamins are important,” says Cruickshank, “but vitamin C is water soluble, it’s not one that your body stores. Bradley recommends eating lots of dark green, leafy vegetables and berries, as well as nuts and seeds, and to minimize foods with sugar and trans fats, which aren’t as nutrient-dense. In addition to these powerful mushrooms, Immune 7 also contains Nutricol, which is Purica’s own blend of super-strength antioxidants.

Ideas for Eating: If you’re struggling to get enough of these vitamins, consider supplementing with a multivitamin each day. Tea is also a practical choice for antioxidants to blast those free radicals. Ancient humans valued garlic as an infection fighter, which is why so much of our traditional diets include it as a first ingredient (making pasta sauce for instance). 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. Mushrooms are great for boosting your immunity, according to a study by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Children should get more, depending on their age.

  • One type, called macrophages, inhabit all our body tissue and, says Cruickshank, “have all these weapons ready to go, but they’re not terribly precise”.
  • T cells are some of the white blood cells that help us fight off infection.

It’s been a long, wet winter. It’s incredibly rich in collagen (LINK to my article). Our first category is vegetables. Encourage a healthy diet, as the child starts going to school, he will inevitably start feeling stressed because of the responsibilities that come along with it, such as homework and tests. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is thought to boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases.

Broccoli may be the most super of superfoods on the planet. Food should always come first, but if you have chosen to take a probiotic supplement, you'll want to make sure you're taking the right one. Bring on the hummus! Citrus fruits, like grapefruit, oranges, and lemons, are low in sugar, which is known to be an immune-suppressant, and packed with vitamin C, which is essential for fending off infections like colds and flu by boosting the production of white blood cells. Cook with bone broth. It’s full of antioxidants that can help fight off inflammation and free radicals. I reached out to Jesse Haas, a licensed functional nutritionist and the cofounder of Wellness Minneapolis, for some advice on what we should be eating to boost our immunity. Dark leafy greens, butternut squash and avocado are excellent sources of vitamin E.

  • 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.
  • Vitamin E sources include nuts, seeds, spinach, and broccoli.


Wash any buckets or filter systems every two to three days, as well. But these subjects are elite athletes undergoing intense physical exertion. Your mom was right! 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. Vitamin b6, it’s a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. Drinking it may also strengthen the immune system.

  • 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.
  • Inside this licorice-flavored vegetable are compounds that may help loosen chest mucus and soothe a sore throat.
  •  Although it's not known whether omega-3s can help fight off infections (such as the common cold), research suggests that omega-3s can protect against immune system disorders like Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Next in Journal Reports: Health Care

And they're one of the highest recommended kinds of seafood to eat for incorporating zinc into your diet. Zinc helps the immune system work properly and may help wounds heal. Set a water intake goal. Get enough sleep! Top a baked sweet potato with nuts or seeds, and munch on carrots with healthy dips, like nut butter or tahini. Not a fan of yogurt or are dairy-free? Don’t you find it interesting how the flu season and the citrus season coincide? It’s also been a staple of many homemade “cures,” which makes us believe that our ancestors were definitely onto something.

Citrus Fruit

The current U. Hearing loss solidifies former miss usa’s commitment to healthy living. Gingerol, the main bioactive compound in ginger, is a relative of capsaicin, can be used in sweet or spicy dishes. “Use mindful eating techniques to enjoy a variety of healthful and satiating foods. As with blueberries, green tea contains flavonoids, which may reduce the risk of a cold. My daughter’s favorite way to eat salmon is Salmon Cakes or Nuggets (pictured above). Berries are full of antioxidants, which help your body fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals. You’re born with your immune system and everyone’s is slightly different, but there are certain things you can do to try to bolster it, says Julia Blank, M.


Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Green tea is not only one of our recommended best teas for weight loss, but it's also one of the best sources for fighting off a cold. Before joining the SCMP, she was a television journalist, digital editor and travel writer for a host of well-known publications in the United States. Have you ever heard that the immune system resides in the gut? For people trying to avoid the sugar in fruit, red bell peppers are an excellent alternative source of vitamin C. Despite these inevitable difficulties in measuring the relationship of stress to immunity, scientists are making progress. Our favorite immune boosting recipes with garlic: These same compounds (alliin, which turns to allicin) contain sulfur, which is the reason for its distinctive smell and taste.

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.

Sunflower Seeds And Almonds

But make sure you eat enough! Think shellfish (low calorie options like oysters, mussels, shrimp), legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans which are also high in fiber) and red meat (great in moderation). The pungent aroma comes from sulfur compounds, including allicin. Grab some yogurt, this article was originally published in the Daily Herald and republished here with permission. When soaked in warm liquid they take on a soft, spongy quality and have a very mild flavor. “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.

These are the foods and recipes you want to be serving your kids all year long so they are constantly building their immune systems.

Pomegranate Juice

You can also purchase a variety of ginger teas that have the same anti-microbial and anti-viral effects as the real deal. It has long been thought that consuming copious amounts of Vit C will ward off a cold. Plus, since inflammation is at the root of so many diseases, being anti-inflammatory is an extra bonus. 11 foods and herbs for a healthy immune system. Vitamin K is one of the unsung heroes of the body. For example, if you “catch a cold” it could be because you were literally exposed to cold temperature; whether you were stuck in the rain, had a draft blowing on you in the middle of the night, or you forgot to wear a scarf on the first cool day of the season (anyone else?) Cranberries contain high levels of antioxidant proanthocyanidins (PACs), which effectively prevent certain kinds of bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract walls and causing infections. What you eat functions as a piece of that puzzle. Try a Sweet Potato Bar as a way to let your kids add their favorite toppings to a nutritious sweet potato!

“Exercise helps boost the immune system, but we have to be careful not to overexercise because it can weaken your immune system,” she says. Think prevention, not reaction. Beauty & balance, you’ll have a super-charged immune system in no time! People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to catch the infections they’re exposed to.

But it’s important to remember that a nutrient-rich diet helps keep your immune system in tip-top shape, too.

Search Harvard Health Publishing

Use these immune system boosting foods for kids to keep your children healthy all year long! • Make sure your vaccines are up-to-date, especially the flu vaccine. Oregano oil is often called the heavy hitter for colds and flu. 6I guess the saying is right—an apple a day may really keep the doctor away! Oregano, sage, peppermint, thyme, lemon balm, marjoram Dried Herbs & Spices:

In Case You Missed It:

Carrots are often used in the base for our broths and they have a starring role in our Carrot Ginger Soup. Add the spinach, apple slices, walnuts, salt and pepper to taste and toss to coat with lemon and olive oil. For our purposes, this post will only discuss diet, but you can read the article here to learn about every component of a healthy immune system. The body turns these carotenoids into vitamin A, and they have an antioxidant effect to help strengthen the immune system against infection. They also provide bioactive compounds that release a chemical signal that optimizes immunity in the gut, the location of 70-80% of immune cells.

You may have heard of using garlic to ward off vampires, but how about to ward off colds and flu? Plus, they taste great in sandwiches, in stir-fries and on pizza. While it has been found that deficiencies in some nutrients (zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E) can have negative affects on the immune system, the fact is, unless you are deficient in these micronutrients, taking amounts beyond your daily needs is a moot point. Popular community, (Insert Smiley Face here) I was not that happy to greet cold water at night especially in the winter. Most fruits and vegetables contain some amount of vitamin C, but your best sources are citrus fruits, asparagus, cantaloupe, strawberries and kale.

  • Even though the word “medicinal” gives it away, certain mushrooms are known to be extremely beneficial to human health, and exciting new studies keep on coming.
  • I can’t promise you that you can totally shield your kids from getting sick.
  • So if you are unlucky enough to catch it, you need to be strong enough to beat it.
  • It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.
  • In the study, healthy adults between 21 and 50 received either a placebo or aged garlic extract for 90 days.

Professional Advice

She is licensed by the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy to practice in the province of Ontario. Check out this template for the perfect green smoothie. 8 ways for baby boomers to maintain their agility, but if your immune system is sluggish, your skin can’t regenerate. This causes inflammation around the body, as does the natural accumulation of old “zombie” cells, called senescent cells, and inflammation compromises the immune response. Your body primarily produces vitamin D from the sun’s UV rays (it’s called the sunshine vitamin for a reason!) Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging, Sept. Oranges and kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is the vitamin that many people turn to when they feel a cold developing.

Although rich in a wide variety of antioxidants, fennel boasts particularly high amounts of selenium, a mineral that stimulates our body’s response to infection. Finally, quit smoking if you haven’t already. For something different, try this Breakfast Macaroni and Cheese with eggs! Frozen is fine. Vitamin K deficiency is rare but when people don't have enough they suffer from weak bones and compromised immune systems. Researchers are still exploring how diet, exercise, age, and stress can impact the immune system.

Snack On Blueberries For The Health Benefits Of Flavonoids.

Manufacturers freeze frozen fruits and veggies at “peak” ripeness, which means they’ll pack a similar nutritional value as their fresh counterparts. Learn more about how a plant-based diet can lead to better sleep. What can you do to boost your immune system? Some research suggests it can also keep your metabolism humming. Add the spinach, grapes, green tea, kiwi, mint, and chopped apple to the bowl of a blender. This includes physical barriers like your skin, cilia (tiny, hair-like structures) that line your airways, and specialized cells that recognize and attack foreign substances like viruses and bacteria, she explains. She can be reached at sumathi.

A baked sweet potato packs over 150% of the daily vitamin A goal, and a cup of raw carrots over 100% of the recommended intake. Wheat germ is packed full of just about everything your body needs to maintain a strong immune system. Innate and adaptive immunity, marijuana smoke is created by burning components of plants in the genus Cannabis. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the juice of half the lemon and the olive oil. Too much stress also decreases those T cells we talked about above, which means your body might struggle to fight off infection.

Immune-Boosting Foods to Eat On Repeat

Need help falling asleep? A small handful or a quarter of a cup of almonds is a healthful snack that may benefit the immune system. That's because "chronic inflammation can weaken and disrupt the function of your immune system," says Yeung. The same size portion of almonds contains 45% of the daily goal. One medium orange provides 70 mg, a grapefruit contains almost 90 mg, and a medium raw red bell pepper packs 150 mg. Vitamin B-6 is an important player in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. Sign up to receive the latest health and science news, plus answers to wellness questions and expert tips. Vitamin C is a powerful micronutrient whose health benefits are continually being researched and studied for potential illness-treatment purposes.

A half-cup serving, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E. L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells. The vitamin C content of tomatoes is the excuse you needed to eat to eat pasta smothered in Buttery Tomato Sauce with Onion. If you are concerned about immune health, you may consider having your vitamin D level checked and talking to your doctor about whether to take a supplement.

If you’re looking to include probiotics in your daily diet, you might want to try kefir.

Set A Water Intake Goal.

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. Cook pasta for dinner. It’s got a number of immune system boosters, including vitamins C, A, and E and a number of antioxidants. Oranges and grapefruits get all the Vitamin C glory when it comes to boosting your immune system.

Brightly-Colored Vegetables

Although the research on bone broth benefits is still emerging (and it may not benefit everyone in the same way), there are no real adverse side effects. 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. Holiday, these techniques keep your child's defenses at their best to keep the viruses away and minimize the length and severity when they do get a cold. How much chonk is too much for this Houston cat? Throw them into smoothies instead. To get more folate, add more beans and peas to your plate on a regular basis, as well as leafy green vegetables. What is there to be learned from this?

A study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology found that theobromine is helpful in suppressing cough symptoms for people with bronchitis, but notes that more research needs to be done to confirm the findings fully. Researchers found that zinc, in comparison to a placebo, significantly reduced the severity and duration of symptoms when taken within 24 hours of the onset of cold symptoms. Certified organic produce also is grown and farmed without the use of chemicals or pesticides. Seasonal recipes, start your free trial now. Eat these to bolster your white blood cells and the supporting teams that keep them ready for battle. Howell, Amy B. They also contain potassium, which is essential for fluid regulation, overall mineral balance, and muscle contraction.


The majority of the research that supports this was carried out on animals or in a laboratory. “If you don’t have adequate vitamin D circulating, you are less effective at producing these proteins and more susceptible to infection,” says Dr. The immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity. Wolfram says, “I also like to eat foods that contain probiotics, which help keep our gut microbiomes in balance. You can get other forms of iron in beans, broccoli and kale. 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. Keep everyone in your home healthier by making exercise a family activity.

Treat it with care, though – the more you cook it, the less nutritious it will be. Some people tend to pop a zinc tablet when they feel a cold coming on. She says we should always want our bodies to be functioning at the highest level so it is important to think of these suggestions as a way of living, not just a reaction to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Healthy liver ensures the body’s’ natural detoxification process. While stress is a healthy response in certain situations and cortisol is even helpful in warding off inflammation when necessary, it’s when we’re chronically stressed that cortisol becomes an issue. Some if its physiological roles include cell growth, cell membrane integrity, bone formation, skin integrity, cell-mediated immunity and generalized host defense. When it’s weak, you have a harder time staying healthy. 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.