Some foods can boost your immune system and help you fight off certain illnesses or lessen symptoms. Boosting your immune system can help you get resistance to infection and toxins.

Ever since the pandemic outbreak in 2020 of the coronavirus, the search on how to boost your immune system is rapidly growing. Everybody wants to know what they can do to eat foods strengthening our system. It isn’t a cure, but eating certain foods can definitely help you boost your immune system. It can help you fight the cold or the flu and help be stronger against any other kind of illness.

Here are the top 7 foods to boost your immune system:

  1. Fruits
  2. Vegetables
  3. Nuts and seeds
  4. Garlic
  5. Mushrooms
  6. Root vegetables
  7. Herbs and spices
  8. Poultry
  9. Yogurt
  10. Green tea
  11. Seafood

Fruits

Full of Vitamin C, which acts as an Antioxidant and known to support your immune system, especially when under stress. These are key to fighting inflammations and you’ll need this on a daily basis to make sure you eat enough to boost your immune system.

  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Tangerines
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Clementines
  • Apricots
  • Papaya
  • Mango
  • Kiwi

Hint: Add a little squeeze of lemon in your evening dish or add lime to your water.

Vegetables

Vegetables can boost your immune system AND at the same time are known to help reduce oxidative stress. Don’t ever underestimate your vegetable. Green leafy vegetables can reduce inflammation as it increases your disease-fighting cells in the body.

  • Red & Green Bell Peppers
  • Baked Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach

Hint: Red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as any other citrus fruit. Ever thought of making guacamole and dipping your pepper in it?! It’s delicious!

Nuts And Seeds

Lots of nuts and seeds contain something called selenium and can help support your normal function of the immune system. In addition, there are seeds like flaxseeds or chia seeds that are a great source of iron; helping to transport oxygen around the body.

  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Almonds
  • Flaxseed
  • Chia Seeds
  • Cashews
  • Raisins

Hint: These delicious nuts and seeds are easy to eat as an afternoon snack or add it into a salad for a meal.

Garlic

This one needs a category on its own. Did you know that garlic has been used both as a food, but also as a medicine for centuries? Beyond enhancing your immune function, it also reduces heart disease risk and improves mental health. Garlic is the one herb/spice that has had research proof over and over again that it can and will boost your immune system.

  • Garlic

Hint: You can incorporate garlic easily into your diet by adding it into your pasta, salad, sauce, tea, and so on. Or start your day with lemon water with garlic juice.

Mushrooms

Another one that deserves its own spot on this list. Mushrooms can fit into any healthy dish and are loaded with something called polysaccharides. These have been linked to strengthening the immune system. And mushrooms also help produce more white blood cells that can help against infections.

  • White Button Mushroom
  • Crimini Mushroom
  • Portobello Mushroom
  • Shiitake Mushroom
  • Oyster Mushroom

Hint: A perfect simple dish that you can make to boost your immune system is a delicious piece of chicken, with broccoli, and some mushrooms.

Root Vegetables

These foods start by taking care of your skin. And yes, this is crucial to your immune system too. Potatoes have also been linked to better sleep, lower stress levels, and reducing inflammation in the colon. To stay healthy, you need vitamin A and these foods can help you with that:

  • Sweet Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash

Hint: For the winter months you can make a lot of different soups with the use of potatoes as a foundation.

Herbs And Spices

It seems like herbs and spices are so small that they wouldn’t have any effect. But this is far off the truth: herbs and spices can have a major impact on your microbiome and therefore your health and mood. Beyond the fact that these herbs and spices take carer of your overall health digestion, they are a great option to reduce symptoms. The top 6 herbs and spices for gut health are:

  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Basil
  • Chamomile

Hint: The following flavor boosters that can easily be added in your dishes all support your healthy digestion. Add them in your soup, smoothie, latte, scrambled egg, rice, and more.

Poultry

The key here is to make sure that you eat organically raised poultry that does not have antibiotics in them. If you have the organic version, it has been scientifically proved to improve gut microbiota, intestinal integrity, and the immune system. Here’s the most common poultry you can enjoy:

  • Chicken
  • Goose
  • Turkey
  • Duck

Hint: If you enjoy foie gras, it can be an excellent food to eat from time to time as it is highly rich in nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin A, copper, and iron. Yes, it is high in calories and fat, but in small amounts, it is an excellent source for nutrients.

Yogurt

Yogurt is a perfect boost for your immune system as it is high in protein and has a good dose of vitamin A and Zinc. Yogurt is also associated with vitamin B levels. Stay away from fruity yogurts as they include sugar and additives. Research has shown that the daily consumption of yogurt reduces the frequency of colds per example.

  • Yogurt

Hint: Add nuts, berries, or a bit of honey to sweeten the taste (tip from Very Well Fit). You also have a wide range of yogurt, but the best are low-fat or non-fat yogurt.

Green Tea

After water, green tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. It is highly rich in antioxidants and can boost your immunity. That’s only one (although major) advantage of drinking green tea as it is also anti-inflammatory, protects your heart, improves brain function, and improving your metabolism.

  • Green tea

Hint: Green tea anyone? Add a bit of ginger, especially during the winter months to give an extra kick in taste and boost your immunity even more.

Seafood

Shellfish and seafood such as the ones below are a good source of selenium, which is a mineral and an antioxidant. This is a type that specifically can help you maintain a healthy immune system and helps prevent chronic diseases. Some shellfish are also very high in zinc.

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Crab
  • Clams
  • Lobster
  • Mussels
  • Oysters

Hint: There is a canned version (with water or olive oil) that you can keep for a longer time period as well. And, on a toast or cucumber or in a salad in the afternoon is a quick simple way to add a bit of tuna in your diet.

Boosting your immune system is something that should come naturally to you and be taken care of on a daily basis. That way, you ensure you can maintain your healthy immune system at all times. Eating one of these foods won’t just be enough, but having a variety in your meals, is key to proper nutrition. The above-mentioned foods are a great basis for boosting and maintaining a healthy immune system.

Sources:

  1. https://www.chr-hansen.com/en/animal-health/cards/article-cards/poultry/mar18-gut-health-matters
  2. https://www.yogurtinnutrition.com/yogurt-benefits-immune-system/
  3. https://www.verywellfit.com/foods-good-for-your-immune-system-2507173
  4. https://www.invitehealth.com/Article-Immunity-Green-Tea-Nicole-Crane.html
  5. https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/articles/what_should_you_eat_for_a_healthy_gut
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464619305456
  7. https://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/news-trends/article/3049550/9-foods-defy-flu-and-cold-and-boost-your-immune-system
  8. https://www.houseofwellness.com.au/health/nutrition/herbs-spices-for-gut-health
  9. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321745#what-are-nightshade-vegetables
  10. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ss/slideshow-immune-foods