30 Immune-Boosting Foods To Get You Through Cold & Flu Season

Dark leafy greens, butternut squash and avocado are excellent sources of vitamin E.

This in turn, bolsters the immune system. Endurance exercise (think hard training programs) also puts you at risk for reduced levels of T-cells, which may explain why runners may be more likely to get an upper respiratory infection toward the end of marathon training. However, these increased equally in both groups. Boost immune systems: 9 ways to strengthen kids immunity, this post is not meant to be a substitution for medical advice. Citrus fruits are in season during the winter, meaning they're more readily available, more affordable and often more nutritious this time of year. To maximize the benefits of vitamin C and glutathione, foods are best eaten in the “raw” form. It helps improve symptoms of a cold and also helps protect you from getting sick in the first place. Check out these 7 Trail Mix Recipes and find a new favorite!

No-sugar-added recipes you'll actually look forward to eating.

Citrus such as oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, lemons and limes are an excellent source of vitamin C which helps maintain the body’s defence against bacterial infections. Stir-frying and roasting both preserve the nutrient content of red bell peppers better than steaming or boiling, according to a study on cooking methods. Coconuts and Coconut Oil: And remember that the key to laying a healthy foundation for your immune system is a healthy diet, lowered stress levels, and lots of sleep.

It has been shown to help lower blood pressure, inhibit blood clotting and promote healthy cholesterol levels. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. A popular remedy for colds, it also reduces the risk of blood pressure and heart disease. People with compromised immune systems—say, those who have autoimmune diseases like lupus or serious infections like HIV, people going through chemotherapy, or even pregnant women—are at a much higher risk of dealing with infection-inducing germs that wouldn’t be a problem if they were otherwise healthy. In the meantime, general healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand. We have 4 of our favourites for immune-boosting benefits, but before we dive in, let’s talk about the importance of organic. Enlist a workout buddy.

Smoking is said to have a negative impact on both adaptive and innate immunity. Depending on where you live and what time of year it is, you can’t always get your hands on high-quality fresh produce. Modern medicine has come to appreciate the closely linked relationship of mind and body. With some exceptions, it’s best to get your vitamins and minerals from your food rather than in pill form. This has since been disproven. Folate is the natural form, and folic acid is the synthetic form, often added to foods because of its health benefits.

  • Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant known for its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • For centuries, people around the world have turned to mushrooms for a healthy immune system.
  • And it turns out, those colors aren’t just for looks.
  • Disinfect doorknobs and light switches.
  • Instead of being pro-inflammatory, the cells turn to anti-inflammatory, healing cells that help the body recover from infection and illness faster.
  • In fact, there is no scientific proof of this.
  • Plan your meals to include these 15 powerful immune system boosters.

Summer Sizzlers

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. But these subjects are elite athletes undergoing intense physical exertion. Getting enough vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is important for keeping our immune system in fighting form. On detection of infection, it’s the innate response that acts first. This is one of the reasons that people under stress are more likely to get sick. Ginger has many medicinal and health uses and is known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. “Make cutlets by mixing paneer with boiled vegetables and spices. Honey has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antiseptic qualities.

It helps to relieve stress and increase relaxation, which is so vital when you’re feeling under the weather. 7 signs you have a weak immune system, however, they do have the potential to become sick and infectious with active TB. Getting your flu shot might not be convenient, but neither is getting the flu! It also reducesbloating and colic pain, too. In only the past decade, with genetic sequencing technologies becoming more affordable, scientists have begun to learn not only how invading pathogens shape and strengthen our immune system, but also about how it interacts with the communities of microbes that live in and on our bodies.

Reasons to Like Low-Fat Yogurt

It’s the sneezing season! A truly healthy immune system depends on a balanced mix of vitamins and minerals over time, plus normal sleep patterns and a hefty dose of exercise. Fresh and dried herbs also keep your immune system strong, so keep these spices handy: More great ideas include these Flourless Sweet Potato Blender Muffins or this Sweet Potato and Apple Soup. You can support your immune system by eating a variety of lean protein – foods like turkey, skinless chicken, lean cuts of beef, oysters, tuna, salmon and soy. Enjoy minced, crushed, or roasted garlic in homemade pasta sauces, sprinkled on pizza, in warm soups, or as a flavor-boosting complement to almost any savory dish.

  • The acquired response is more like the body’s SWAT team – when specific invaders have been recognised, this part of the immune system identifies the cells that can kill them and sends them into battle.
  • Here are 11 of the best foods for your immune system.

Share Options

”She shares tips to make them. Try to minimize stress. Foods that are rich in color—kale, beets, berries, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers—contain high levels of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and vitamins like folate and beta carotene. Oats are naturally rich in a fiber called beta-glucan, which boosts your body’s ability to fight off infections. ” She recommends the following 10 foods, which contain nutrients that help keep your immune system healthy and ready to fend off illness. When it comes to supplements, your best bet is D3, which is closest to how your body produces the vitamin, meaning it will be better absorbed.

While the sunshine vitamin is hard to come by naturally through your diet, foods high in vitamin D, like eggs, fish, and beef, or even fortified cereal and milk, can help you meet your daily intake. While raw it is very healthy for you, cabbage is even better for your immune system and digestive tract when it’s fermented in the form of sauerkraut or kimchi. In a previous post we talked about leaky gut and how bone broth can help. Many products on store shelves claim to boost or support immunity. To boost your broth, add in a few more goji berries. A group of Canadian researchers that has reviewed hundreds of medical studies on the subject and conducted some of its own research concludes that there's no need to worry about moderate cold exposure — it has no detrimental effect on the human immune system. Try a Sweet Potato Bar as a way to let your kids add their favorite toppings to a nutritious sweet potato!

Many people like soaking in Epsom salts and some lavender oil in the bath when they’re sick, and lavender tea is another great way to enjoy its benefits. But the concept of boosting immunity actually makes little sense scientifically. A small handful or a quarter of a cup of almonds is a healthful snack that may benefit the immune system.

Approved Natural Cold Remedies

A superfood enjoying quite a moment lately. Research confirms that probiotics are the healthy bacteria your body needs that will also boost your immune system. But a variety of nutrients from many different sources will help fortify your body so it's better equipped to fight colds and even chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.

A 2020 review noted in a Harvard Health Letter found that consuming 200 milligrams of vitamin C every day cut the risk of getting a cold in half for "extremely active" people.

Improve Immunity With Herbs And Supplements?

Ginger, which is sometimes recommended to treat nausea, is high in both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Papayas have decent amounts of potassium, B vitamins, and folate, all of which are beneficial to your overall health. Look for “live and active cultures” on the yogurt label as research shows they may stimulate your immune system to fight disease. Probiotics support our immune system, aid digestion and assist with nutrient absorption into our bloodstream. Most fruits and vegetables are natural sources of vitamins.

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.

A daily yoga practice is a great way to tune into your body and reduce stress. One cup of cooked squash has more than 450 percent of your daily A needs. If all else fails, garlic does wonders for opening up a stuffy nasal passage! No one knows for sure why this happens, but some scientists observe that this increased risk correlates with a decrease in T cells, possibly from the thymus atrophying with age and producing fewer T cells to fight off infection.


Cinnamon has strong anti-inflammatory properties and can be added to warm water, coffee and desserts. Immune boosting orange smoothie, add the ingredients to a good blender and pulse until smooth. Pineapple – High vitamin C - Contains Bromelain that aids digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties. Their conclusion, which they published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, was that resveratrol in red grapes and a substance called pterostilbene in blueberries had the most impact.

A powerful nutrient, vitamin C can assist in preventing the common cold and help reduce symptoms of sickness. A study from the University of Vienna in Austria showed that a daily yogurt (7 ounces) was as effective in promoting immunity as taking pills. A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables will provide a sufficient amount. Zinc is needed for white blood cell production so your body can fight off infection and for healthy skin, hair and nails4. It has vitamin A, E, C, and K, folate, manganese, zinc, selenium, and iron.

Search Harvard Health Publishing

Beta-Carotene supports the normal function of our immune system while Vitamin A promotes the health of our digestive tract lining. A healthy diet is a big part of managing inflammation in the body. Allergies and the immune system • ibiology, allergen avoidance :. 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. In addition to a healthful diet, a few single nutrients appear to help immunity and may be worth adding to your cold-weather routine in supplement form. To have a strong immune system your body needs a daily supply of quality protein. You get complete protein (all nine essential amino acids) from vegetarian meals. Here are a few vital nutrients and the foods and spices where they can be found to keep immune system function in fighting shape:

Choose nutrient-rich proteins with a complete amino acid profile. 12 natural ways to boost your immune system, maryea is the mama behind the healthy lifestyle blog, Happy Healthy Mama, where she shares simple, real food recipes and inspiration for raising healthy kids in a natural home. Add strawberries to a salad, raspberries to oatmeal, or blueberries to a batch of weekend pancakes. Anti-Viral by Natural Factors is a potent tincture that includes Echinaceato help fight colds in a powerful way. While salmon, tuna, and trout are all good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, sardines may trump their fishy counterparts. These steps would reduce the toxins in the body and would provide the needed nutrients which are essential for your health. Check out this Maple Almond Breakfast Smoothie (pictured above) or Berrylicious Oatmeal.

It does this by fighting off free radicals, which can damage cells. It may be time to rethink the tropical fruit, which has 157 per cent of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C in a single small fruit, according to US-registered dietitian Franziska Spritzler on Healthline. A 2020 study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology found that prebiotics had several positive effects, such as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as supporting increased mineral absorption and stronger immune response to disease.

From Around The Web

Nutritional yeast contains beta glucans, which are known to have powerful infection-preventing and immune-boosting properties by enhancing natural killer cell (anti-cancer and anti-infection) activity. Just one ounce has more than 20 percent of your vitamin E and manganese needs, for healthy immune function. 3 herbs that may help strengthen your immune system. How cool is that? Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system boosters of all. Flax seeds, flax oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts.

I also love recipes such as my Immune-Boosting Chicken Soup or Super C Immune Boosting Smoothie that make me feel healthy and strong! Vitamin A, B6, C, D and E can help increase the strength of the immune system. Ideas for Eating: Mushroom are nature’s way of breaking down the organic matters to convert it into fertile soil.

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. How to boost your immune system: 12 tricks that work. Let’s face it, those cute little munchkins are pros at spreading germs. Also said to have anti-inflammatory properties, it warms the stomach and can reduce nausea.


Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection. Oysters are packed with zinc, providing 700 percent of your Daily Value in just three ounces. The active ingredient Curcumin is well known for its anti inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties. A strong immune system is important to keep us from getting sick. Snack on a mix of peppers to get your crunchy fix.

Vitamin C can help protect your body from infection and even can stimulate the formation of antibodies to fight off disease. Bacteria and fungi secrete toxic proteins to fend off undesirable species; it’s an evolutionary arms race that we’ve latched on to by extracting these proteins and using versions of them as antibiotic drugs. 10 foods that boost your immune system, and in general, it can help boost your immune response, which helps people fight off colds in the first place. Pairing these and other fruits and vegetables with adequate protein intake will help supercharge your immunity, says Smithson. NEED A DELICIOUS + CONVENIENT WAY TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY? When chewed and chopped, these vegetables also release other cancer-fighting compounds called isothiocyanates. “Vitamin A plays a major role in the production of connective tissue, a key component of skin,” explains David Katz, MD, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Derby, CT. Herbs to boost your immunity, there's no crystal clear answer. The antioxidants in matcha are beneficial in strengthening the immune system; green tea keeps the immune system running normally.

Main navigation and Meta Navigation

Try to avoid overdoing beverages that can made you dehydrated, like coffee. If getting to bed earlier isn’t enough for you to sleep well, adopt sleep hygiene practices that will help you get enough sleep, like ditching electronics in the hours leading up to bedtime. One of the single best things you can do to stay healthy is to “eat the rainbow,” which has become a common nutritional phrase. Sardines also provide other important nutrients to keep your immune system running strong.

Friendships experience big changes during middle age but strong relationships come with health benefits and are worth the effort. Three ginger power shot recipes, enjoy 1 ounce (30 ml) of this ginger mixture daily and store the rest in your refrigerator in an airtight bottle. If so, you’re not alone. ” She recommends plant-based yogurts and sauerkraut.

It gunges the halls and doorways to try to flush it out (that’s why you fill up with phlegm and snot), it yanks up the thermostat to try to boil it (why you run a fever), and it shuts down the building until the problem is solved (it makes you depressed and lethargic so you don’t go out and pick up another infection while your immune system is at work).


 Look to these foods to boost your carotenoids: Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed and not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved. But some individual factors can interfere with the amount of vitamin D you produce, including skin pigmentation, the latitude where you live, air pollution, age, and gut health. My kids love this and it has much lower sugar than the vanilla yogurt you buy in stores. Simmer up your own soup and add nutrient-dense foods like carrots, onions and fresh herbs. Also, research shows that high concentrations of curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive color, can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage. Excessive drinking has been linked to a weakened immune system. The group of participants taking a placebo had more than double the number of colds between them than those taking the garlic supplements.

Of all the foods that will help improve your immune system, you’ll get the most benefits from a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Have you ever heard that the immune system resides in the gut? Managing your stress levels, ditching your cigarette habit, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight can help keep your entire body strong. For individuals who are obese, losing even a small amount of weight could play a role in better immune function. Certified organic produce also is grown and farmed without the use of chemicals or pesticides. Affirms dietician Sheela Tanna, “Most Mumbaikars are avoiding non-veg because of Corona virus scare and heat. Discover three tasty recipes with yoghurt here.

Related Content

You can also use it in baking or mixed into homemade sauces. Vitamin D deficiency can suppress immune function too. Keeping wrapped up when outside and making sure your home is warm is a must, but you should also consider the types of foods you eat to help boost your immunity. 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. Immune booster wellmune wgp® key to reinvented twinlab supplement. It also has calcium, which contributes to bone health. When elderly people eat at least five servings per day of fruits and vegetables, they have improved antibody response to stress. Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. In fact, for seniors who want to boost their immune systems, a good diet of foods, herbs and spices rich in certain vitamins and minerals can help defend against infection and illness.

When consumed, carotenoids are converted into vitamin A (a nutrient that helps regulate the immune system). Cook cranberries and oranges or other citrus fruits on a stove top to make a jam. It helps to make skin healthy and may even provide some protection against skin damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays. 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. After completing an honours degree at the University of Guelph in Applied Human Nutrition, Dr. The next time you head to the grocery store or famers’ market, fill your cart with fresh fruits and vegetables. Click 'I agree' to allow Verizon Media and our partners to use cookies and similar technologies to access your device and use your data (including location) to understand your interests, and provide and measure personalised ads.


There are also studies of the use of vitamin C in the treatment and prevention of the common cold reveals a shorter duration of symptoms and faster recovery. The immune system can be broadly split into two parts, the innate and the acquired response. Staying hydrated keeps your body working optimally, including your immune system. Whole grains contain anti-inflammatory properties, which allows for an increase in production of healthy bacteria, according to a study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A simple rule can help you when choosing fruits and vegetables at the grocery store or farmers market: Nutritional yeast offers a nutty or cheesy taste. Thanks to the immune-boosting powers of garlic, it is a great addition to any of your flu-season cooking. Looking to prevent colds and flu and keep your immune system strong?

Salmon is rich in omega 3 fats. Be sure to pick up containers free of excess added sugar. Studies have shown that the probiotics in fermented foods help to improve the body’s immune response, according to the Mayo Clinic. Why vitamin c won't 'boost' your immune system against the coronavirus. The body turns these carotenoids into vitamin A, and they have an antioxidant effect to help strengthen the immune system against infection.

View Image

It serves as protection against any foreign substances (say, like bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi) that may enter your body and cause harm. It’s important to take the proper safety precautions, such as frequently washing your hands, covering your sneezes, and staying home if you feel ill. Why they boost immunity: For adult men, it’s 11 milligrams (mg), and for women, it’s 8 mg. Babizhayev, M.

What can you do to boost your immune system? You can increase your intake through foods such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines) and fortified foods such as milk, orange juice and cereals. Immune system, to better understand how translation is altered in cancer, the researchers created two mouse models of liver cancer. These microorganisms that live in the digestive tract of humans are known as the human microbiome or gut flora. In studies with runners and other athletes, scientists from Appalachian State University in North Carolina have shown that daily doses of quercetin can reduce viral infections and inflammation due to heavy exercise.