How To Boost Your Immune System To Avoid Colds And Coronavirus

Here are 16 top picks, and how to incorporate each into your regular eating routine. Also, research has shown that people who have adequate levels of vitamin E had fewer colds, flu and sicknesses, Dr. While an all-around diet is the key to stronger immunity, these particular immune system-boosting foods and ingredients can keep you in fighting condition.

If you pursue the interesting opportunities that arise along the path to your goal, then you can be sure that you’ll always have choices. Cooked sweet potatoes are also easy to digest, so they provide a maximum amount of nutrition that your body can easily absorb. White blood cells are produced in the bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside some of your larger bones. Coconuts and Coconut Oil: You can enjoy ginger fresh, in juice or as a spice. This mineral increases natural killer cells and mobilizes cancer-fighting cells. It’s also great for helping to promote restful sleep, which might seem evasive when you have a cold or the flu.

When this happens, a person is more susceptible to infections. If you like to start your mornings with an instant caffeine kick, try replacing coffee with herbal tea. In a previous post we talked about leaky gut and how bone broth can help. Elevated levels of basophils and eosinophils may occur when there is an allergic response or in cases of a parasitic infection. That's often enough to make the difference between deficient and sufficient. Some citrus fruits that are easily available are oranges, kiwis, strawberries, lemons, and grapefruits. Need help falling asleep? Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and boost immune function by increasing disease-fighting cells in the body.

Zinc can help restore the normal functioning of white blood cells, thereby boosting immunity (12). How to boost your immune system with herbs, and some stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some foods that have been shown to have an effect on lowering inflammation include garlic, grapes, herbs and spices, soy protein, nuts, olive oil, black and green teas, and vinegar. We use the tiny red berries in some of our bone broth recipes to boost nutritional content, including the Ginseng Chicken and Turmeric Chicken. Indeed, you can save yourself a lot time and money by avoiding the pharmacy altogether and simply eating your way towards better immunity. Spinach is a rich source of vitamins and minerals.

Always check with your doctor or pharmacist prior to adding any new remedy to your regimen.

Lifestyle Factors

And vitamin C is a powerhouse when it comes to immunity! Ginger is a wonder food. Whether you feel yourself getting sick, or seek to take preventative health measures, start including any or all of these food and drinks into your diet to give your immune system the boost it needs. When your child’s immune system is weak, be especially careful when buying foods, preparing meals, and dining out. You can also consume foods rich in zinc like oysters, red meat, beans, and nuts.

In addition, the main active ingredient is curcumin, which has proven its ability to reduce inflammation and fever, thanks to its positive effect on the proper functioning of white blood cells. You can consume spinach directly or add it to your favorite salad or pasta. The red ones are the most nutritious because they've been on the vine the longest. Certain nuts and vegetable oils contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which can only be acquired through foods. And we don’t try because then it’s easy to make excuses for why we don’t get what we want. It helps to relieve stress and increase relaxation, which is so vital when you’re feeling under the weather. Miso is a fermented food that gains beneficial bacterias in the process that help enhance gut health.

It’s unclear if this is partly cause or consequence, but research does appear to support a goal of consuming about 200 mg per day for infection prevention. Does being cold give you a weak immune system? Saute veggies in EVOO along with garlic, turmeric, and black pepper, or add them to soup. Hence, the white blood cell count is an important component of the complete blood count.

  • 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.
  • Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C may help maintain healthy skin.
  • Unrefrigerated, cream-filled pastry products Raw honey or honeycomb – select a commercial, grade A, heat-treated honey instead Water and beverages Use only water from city or municipal water services or commercially bottled water.
  • When using tofu from the refrigerated section (not shelf-stable), cut it into 1-inch cubes or smaller and boil 5 minutes in water or broth before eating or using in recipes.

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Interested in learning about some more uncommon superfoods? Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine. Immune system disorders – some auto-immune disorders like Crohn’s or Graves’ disease can elevate your white blood cell levels. Although they're available in supplement form, a study from the University of Vienna in Austria found that a daily 7-ounce dose of yogurt was just as effective in boosting immunity as popping pills. Cruciferous vegetables, kale, spinach, and broccoli are top choices for fighting off colds and the flu. (Check out our full guide on how to sleep better every night.) No one can completely avoid getting sick, not even top immunologists.

  • ” When you’re dehydrated, your cells aren’t able to function at their optimal level—and that can open up the door for you to get sick, Cording explains.
  • You can also get vitamin C from other fruits, such as berries, papayas, pineapples and guavas, and vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and bell peppers.
  • If one of the major characteristics of beta-carotene is its orange color, it may not surprise you that carrots are also a rich source of this vitamin.
  • Some studies suggest elderberry extract reduces the duration of the flu.

Eat More Citrus

The same size portion of almonds contains 45% of the daily goal. Lack of sleep can cause the inflammatory immune response to activate, reducing the activity of T cells in the body. Vitamin C also has natural anti-aging properties. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. Remember though, these things are lost if the veg is cooked too much so keep your greens firm in order to retain as much goodness as possible! Carrots aren’t just for rabbits, you know. These vitamins support your body’s immune system and significantly helps your blood cells fight infection.

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. “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. T-cells play an essential role in supporting your immune system, and are responsible for defending your body against invading pathogens that could cause diseases and illnesses. Other studies suggest that garlic lovers who chow more than six cloves a week have a 30 percent lower rate of colorectal cancer and a 50 percent lower rate of stomach cancer. When white blood cell count is too low it can no longer fight infection. 5 A plant-based diet has also been shown to reduce inflammatory biomarkers. Echinacea is one of the most effective immune-boosting ingredients as it helps to support the immune system and fights cold and flu symptoms.

A brisk walk in the sunlight for 10–15 minutes will ensure that enough Vitamin D is produced in the body.

Echinacea extract: Oily fish such as salmon are effective in reducing inflammation because they contain omega-3 fatty acids. Put perishable foods in the refrigerator within 2 hours of buying or preparing them. It should read 212° F. If your diet is poor, or you are having a lot of trouble eating during treatment, you may benefit from taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement with vitamin B12 and folate. Jennifer giamo, as such, long-term exercise regimens are certainly a beneficial way to reduce your immune system’s overall decline in functionality as you age! 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. Coconut in all its forms is a superfood powerhouse. To boost your broth, add in a few more goji berries.

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.

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About 50 nmol/L is generally enough to maintain overall health; less than 30 nmol/L is too low for most people. They're easy to use too. What may appear to be a stressful situation for one person is not for another. One study found that diets rich in fiber and low in saturated fat can lead to deeper, more restorative sleep. Why is high white blood cell count a concern? The normal range of white blood cells in the body is 4,300 -10,800 cells per microliter of blood, and having fewer than 3,500 cells is a disorder known as neutropenia, which is indicative of an immune system problem.

Astragalus is an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body balance out what needs balancing: Howell, Amy B. This causes inflammation around the body, as does the natural accumulation of old “zombie” cells, called senescent cells, and inflammation compromises the immune response. Try these omega-3-rich foods: Ginger is often added to cold or raw foods in traditional recipes to balance out their temperature, so the body can more easily digest them. For these reasons, it is a good choice of vegetable to eat regularly to support immune system health. The good news is that white blood cell levels will return to normal after the stress is gone.

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.
  • A study in 2020 done at the University of Illinois showed that soluble fiber helps to strengthen the immune system by changing the “personalities” of immune cells.
  • Scientists have long recognized that people who live in poverty and are malnourished are more vulnerable to infectious diseases.

Feast On Fish

Any variation in this count is a sign of an underlying infection in your body. You don't need a lot of the mineral: In normal adult bodies, there should be about 4,000-10,000 white blood cells per microliter of blood. Berzin recommends fermented foods like kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut because they’re rich in live cultures and increase the healthy bugs in your gut — and the healthier your gut’s bacterial community, the more robust your immune function. In the study, healthy adults between 21 and 50 received either a placebo or aged garlic extract for 90 days.

In fact, by choosing the Dirty Dozen (the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables) organic, you can reduce your pesticide intake by up to 80%. These act as our body's own personal bodyguards as they destroy all those pathogens that try to do us harm. Citrus fruits are believed to contain the highest amounts of Vitamin C compared to other foods, and are also referred to as “superfoods” for the immune system. In fact, this increase in the activity of your white blood cells might actually allow your body to identify disease-causing organisms more rapidly than under normal circumstances, which is yet another benefit of exercise. Certain foods may be helpful for boosting the immune system and preventing colds and the flu. Excessive sugar intake can increase inflammation, reducing the body’s ability to ward off viruses such as influenza. It’s also vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells.

Dark Chocolate

That’s because tea has antioxidant effects but even more promising for the immune system is the fact that green tea has health protective properties in the form of chemicals called phytochemicals. But it’s true – almonds boost your immunity! Oats are a great source of selenium and zinc, two key ingredients for a hardy immune system. If you eat a variety of greens (and oranges and yellows and reds) as part of a balanced diet, you’ll get all the good stuff you need to help fight disease. The best way to get the omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA is by eating fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, and mackerel. The only way to know for sure that the meat has been cooked to the right temperature is to use a food thermometer.

Animals bred with no microbiome have less well developed immune responses. Add a portion of cooked spinach to your daily diet. Green tea should work just as well. Seek out zinc, these cultures may stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases. Can improve your skills so you meet one of the qualifications? It has antiviral and antibacterial properties that you require in winter.

When cold and flu season comes around, many people head to their medicine cabinets in search of relief. Extracts of elderberry have antiviral, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. Managing your white blood cell (WBC) count is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health. Make elderberry syrup., so if you weighed 150lbs, you'd be drinking 75 ounces of water minimum. Normally, white blood cell count (per micro litre of blood) should be between the following ranges: Choose your fruits organically to help avoid the downfalls of pesticides and chemicals, which add to your toxic load and can burden your immune system.

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

Supplements may be necessary to get enough vitamin E to boost your immune system. Consume spinach daily. Coconut & banana smoothie, ” She recommends plant-based yogurts and sauerkraut. For example, if your blood is low in neutrophils, the type of leukopenia is known as neutropenia. One study last year found that lack of sleep impaired the disease-fighting ability of a type of lymphocyte called T cells, and research is demonstrating the importance of our natural biorhythms overall.

Too little of the mineral selenium has been shown to delay immune response, and adequate amounts are known to enhance immunity. High WBC Count – More than 11,000 white blood cells per microliter of blood. When grilling, always use a clean plate for the cooked meat. One of the reasons is that the antibodies that help fight disease are actually made of protein. Three ounces of sardines provides over 80%. As your skin is the first line of defence against bacteria it is worth looking after it! How can you improve your immune system? Mint is possibly one of the most popular teas, and for good reason!

What types of foods will help to decrease your elevated white blood cell count? While they don’t specifically work to increase white blood cell count, they help to support a healthy immune system. We deliver pure elderberry extract for advanced immune defense. Your money might be better spent on something else. Papayas also have a digestion-friendly enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects, and not to mention, folate, B vitamins and Vitamin A in the form of carotenoids for the proper functioning of a healthy immune system.


Like matsutake mushrooms, salmon and sardines are high in vitamin D — and studies have shown that vitamin-D deficiency is associated with increased autoimmunity, as well as susceptibility to infection. Hayim recommends adding elderberries to your diet because they fight recurrent infections and prevent the common cold. Never leave food in a hot car. The flavonoid antioxidants found in pomegranate juice have also been shown to combat viruses, and decrease the length of a cold by as much as 40%. The probiotics in yogurt boost immunity.

We often avoid making important decisions because we want more information before we make a tough call.

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Neutrophils are the white blood cells that protect you from bacteria and fungal infections. Disinfect household objects, sometimes, an immunodeficiency disorder can be so mild that a person may not be aware of it for years. If you have even a marginal deficiency of certain nutrients --particularly the B vitamins, A, C, E, selenium, iron, and zinc -- your immune system's function could be impaired. The other side of the coin, says Akbar, “is elite athletes who become very susceptible to infections because you can exercise to a point where it has a negative impact on your immune system.

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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. Second, the bacterial community in the gut— which has a powerful influence on immune function — is shaped by what you eat. It is also present in some alternative medicines. It also protects against the common cold! These steps would reduce the toxins in the body and would provide the needed nutrients which are essential for your health.

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People with high (above normal) white blood cell count, a condition called leukocytosis, typically don’t have any specific symptoms, but may have a medical condition that is responsible for raising white blood cell levels. Exercise: good or bad for immunity?, make sure your meals incorporate a variety of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, beans, lean protein and healthy fats. Here are more things that can happen to your body after meditating. All these nutrients play an important role in enhancing your immunity and increasing the number of white blood cells (15). The body converts beta carotene to vitamin A, which itself has anticancer properties and immune-boosting functions. Combine the blended leaves with a little water then blend again.

Ask us about tinctures and extracts to help find the right one for you!

However, this diet has come under scrutiny in recent years as being too restrictive and not more effective in preventing infections compared to regular diets, according to summary of research published in the July 2020 issue of "Nutrition and Cancer. "Vitamin E has been implicated in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. Other foods with high amounts of vitamin E include avocados and dark leafy greens. WBCs are of different types. Where green tea really excels is in its levels of epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, another powerful antioxidant.

Skin and the membranes that line entrances to the body -- nasal passages, eyes, and respiratory and digestive tracts -- are the first line of defense, providing a physical barrier against invaders.


But sage, which can also be made into tea, has been used for centuries as a traditional herbal remedy for sore throats, coughs, and colds. High-fat diets appear to impair the immune system by decreasing the function of T-lymphocytes. Although you can’t control exposure, you can make dietary choices that give your disease-fighting cells some serious support. Spinach may boost the immune system, as it contains many essential nutrients and antioxidants, including:

Ginger may help decrease chronic pain and may possess cholesterol-lowering properties, according to recent animal research. Not only is yogurt convenient and delicious, but it also helps protect your immune system. Excellent sources include sweet potatoes, carrots, and green leafy vegetables. Take these supplements only once daily. Getting a total of 20 to 30 minutes of daily physical activity can bolster many defenses of the immune system. One of the quickest, most delicious ways to get beta-carotene?

Citrus Fruits

Next time you are in the grocery store, put down those unhealthy snacks and give your immune system a boost by stocking up on these foods! What’s better when you have a cold or the flu than curling up on the couch with a giant mug of tea? How to choose the right multivitamin for you: Those who were stressed were more likely to produce cytokines, molecules that trigger inflammation, and were about twice as likely to get sick. Red bell peppers If you think citrus fruits have the most vitamin C of any fruit or vegetable, think again.

If you suspect your vitamin D intake is low and would like to take a supplement, be sure to talk to your doctor. Although supplements containing high doses of antioxidants and other nutrients found in whole foods are often touted as natural immune-boosters, some research indicates that taking dietary supplements may have limited benefits for the immune system. Antioxidants - Antioxidants are a type of a molecule that protects our cells against harmful molecules called free radicals, which damage cells, protein, and DNA (for instance, free radicals cause peeled apples to turn brown). Prioritize sleep. 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. Whether the increased rate of disease is caused by malnutrition's effect on the immune system, however, is not certain. The garlic group experienced significantly fewer colds compared to the placebo group, and they recovered faster if they did get infected. Yogurt is excellent for your immune system, and has great benefits that go well beyond calcium.

Leukemic white blood cells are often non-functional, which may increase the risk of infection in these cancer patients. Blueberries contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin, which has antioxidant properties that can help boost a person’s immune system. “How Antioxidants Work. How many white blood cells are there in the human body? Babizhayev, M. Please support us! 5 The same was shown with the resveratrol found in red grapes.

When they’re immobilized, germs have “much easier access” to your lungs, she explains.

Get Some Ginger

Green tea contains only a small amount of caffeine, so people can enjoy it as an alternative to black tea or coffee. Sweet potatoes: “White blood cells can be quite sedentary,” says Akbar. A study found that children taking a half teaspoon of flax oil a day experienced fewer and less severe respiratory infections and fewer days of being absent from school.