12 Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System

While flu shots and rest are common advice for prevention, a strong immune system is critical to keeping you healthy all year long.

Most health experts agree that the reason winter is "cold and flu season" is not that people are cold, but that they spend more time indoors, in closer contact with other people who can pass on their germs. Get enough sleep. We also looked for the presence of the Health On the Net (HON) code certification provided by an independent organization, the HON Foundation, based on a code of conduct comprising several criteria of quality and transparency (19). “But there’s no good data that exercise can be used as therapy. Try oranges, lemons and limes.

Herbal teas, dietary supplements and even some types of gentle exercise like tai chi fall under the category of naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine. Researchers from Oregon State University found that when this compound was combined with vitamin D, the body’s ability to fend off illness increased. In particular, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, kale, and broccoli help support liver function, a key part of our bodies’ natural detoxification process. Some supplements may have side effects, especially if taken before surgery or with other medicines. Start with approximately one tablespoon of herbs to one cup of water.

When it’s chilly and rainy outside, and cold and flu season is at its height, it’s time to pull out all the stops to keep our families in good health and tiptop shape.

Available online at: Another vegetable that is high in the immune-boosting vitamin C is bell peppers. How to boost your immune system: prevent colds & flu with food. Another important aspect is which language or localized version of Google is used, as a similar study on anti-vaccine website has shown major differences across different countries and languages (17). But is this something we should be spending our money on? Garlic is also known for its potent antioxidant levels. Coconuts and Coconut Oil: Frequency of typologies of websites in the first 10 results in the Google search were compared with that in the rest of the search using a two-tailed Fisher's exact test. 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.

Register for upcoming events - FREE Group Classes at Cabrini College (please RSVP online). 9 foods to defy flu and the cold, and boost your immune system. Ginger is a multi-functional herb in Chinese medicine. Another healthy habit vital to preventing sickness is getting a full eight hours of sleep each night, which may help regulate immune function. Taking a multivitamin supplement, along with eating a healthy diet rich in natural sources of nutrients, boosts overall health as well as the immune system. Here are 6 essential ways to boost your immunity in preparation for coronavirus:

When we say ‘bacteria’, we mean fungi, viruses and parasites, too!

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Aim for a balanced diet of whole, unprocessed foods that contain plenty of antioxidants. As the tools to measure HIQ described above do not take into account the scientific content of the webpage, we then visited each webpage looking at which disease conditions and approach to boost immunity they mentioned. Water is also critical to maintaining colon health, the most important pathway for the elimination of toxins and waste. Just make sure to consult a doctor before beginning any major changes to your regimen, and don’t forget those medical tests and flu shots, especially for senior loved ones. Data are calculated as:

This is a question to which scientists currently do not know the answer.

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When deciding the presence or absence of information we applied the three-click rule, which requires the information to be present, no more than three clicks away from the webpage under analysis (21). Share your thoughts in the comments below! Of course, you should always talk to a doctor before making herbal treatments a regular part of your arsenal. The old saying, “An apple a day can keep the doctor away,” may have truth behind it after all. Similarly, ginger also has anti-inflammatory effects and may be able to help with muscle pain. Replacing bad health habits with good ones can help keep your immune system healthy. Let cool a bit, so you don’t burn your tongue.

This prevents our bodies from effectively fighting off sickness. Prolonged states lead to higher risk of viruses and the common cold. How to boost your immune system, however, vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. But it is important not to go overboard.

A delicious way to take them is in the form of a tonic soup. When bugs do infiltrate the body, vitamin C helps direct immune cells called neutrophils to the site of infection and defends these cells against free radicals, the 2020 report noted. However, keep in mind that it's tough to get enough vitamin D in the winter from food sources alone. In fact, many studies indicate that people often visit only the first websites presented in a SERP.

  • If you work in an office from 9 to 5 most days of the week, then most likely you need a supplement of vitamin D.
  • “Some people think if they get sick, they can sweat it out with exercise,” he says.
  • A great combo, since you already know the staying powers exercise can have on your health.
  • Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
  • These hormones help control the response of the cardiovascular system to severe infections, while collagen fortifies the skin against injury.
  • This is no time to bombard your body with processed foods, inflammatory omega-6 oils (soybean oil, corn oil, etc), fried foods, high-fructose corn syrup, refined sugars or chemical additives.


Br J Pharmacol. Commercial and news websites represented one third of the results each. How alcohol affects the immune system, the authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. Helps maintain the mucosal lining of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts to protect against infection. However, there are several natural treatments that not only help us feel better, but have also been proven to help boost the immune system. Want an extra boost of zinc? You can also try taking melatonin or valerian root prior to bedtime to improve your sleep quality.


According to the Herb Research Foundation, a typical dosage of garlic is 600 to 900 mg a day of powdered garlic in capsules or tablets (standardized for alliin content), 4 ml a day of aged garlic liquid extract, 10 mg a day of garlic oil capsules, or one medium-sized clove of fresh garlic. One of the primary ways your immune system works is by recognizing invaders or cells within you that are not of you. What’s your favorite immune-boosting home remedy? It can either be injected into a vein through an line or inserted underneath the skin (subcutaneous infusion). Doctors recommend an annual flu shot at least two weeks before the season begins, as well as frequent hand-washing, getting adequate sleep and moderate exercise. Carrots are often used in the base for our broths and they have a starring role in our Carrot Ginger Soup.

Fatty fish, such as salmon, herrings and sardines; shellfish, such as oysters and shrimp; egg yolks; mushrooms; fortified milk, juice or cereal. Protect your health with immune-boosting nutrition, stock or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity. While there are no magic, cure-all foods to prevent getting sick, there is some evidence that micronutrient deficiencies can alter immune responses, notes a Harvard Health report. Walk into a store, and you will find bottles of pills and herbal preparations that claim to "support immunity" or otherwise boost the health of your immune system. Save antibiotics for infections that cannot successfully be treated with herbs. A strong immune system is your best defense against disease, but most people pay little attention until they see their coworkers coughing and sneezing and, generally, contaminating every surface around them.

Cinnamon – can reduce bacteria’s ability to multiply, and if you do end up suffering from a cold, it should help it to clear up quicker. Researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans. Movement as Medicine! We can harness the antibodies of first milk even when we are adult. However, no single food or natural remedy has been proven to bolster a person’s immune system or ward off disease. And stick to them. Vitamin effects on the immune system: vitamins a and d take centre stage. A search on PubMed for the term “immunity” on 31/1/2020 returned 453867 publications. The body treats these things, processed foods for example, as invaders and attacks them like they would any other pathogen, causing unfavorable symptoms and a weakened immune system.


As such, innate immunity can’t be “boosted,” and you wouldn’t want it to be. There is some evidence that various micronutrient deficiencies — for example, deficiencies of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E — alter immune responses in animals, as measured in the test tube. If there's one thing you should do before winter, it's getting your annual flu jab. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that comes in many colours and is low in calories, but mighty high in nutrients, including vitamin C—of which it has about 37mg per 100g of cabbage. GoHealth Urgent Care partners with these regional healthcare providers: Sources include nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, beans, and lentils. Your immune system never rests—24 hours a day, every day of your life, your immune system is searching for cells that show signs of infection or cancerous changes.

Supplements are beneficial in moderation. First, choose quality bulk herbs. You can store any leftovers in a glass jar in the refrigerator. This does not seem to reflect clinical evidence (29) or research activity in terms of scientific publication. Researchers at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University launched a clinical trial with 140 patients in February to test whether ultrahigh doses of vitamin C, delivered intravenously, could treat the viral infection more effectively than a placebo. In addition to a range of vitamins, it is important to get enough — but not too much — of key minerals that are important to daily health.

There is, in particular, a public interest on increasing immune defense easily.

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Even if the effect is minimal, you can't go wrong, since both are loaded with powerful antioxidants unique to each tea. Blueberries contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin, which has antioxidant properties that can help boost a person’s immune system. Watermelon – these contain citrulline, which helps keep your heart healthy, and they’re rich in vitamins A, C and B6 too.

What Are The Best Foods To Boost Your Immune System?

Vitamins and minerals For example, zinc deficiency — which may contribute to chronic diseases — has been demonstrated to negatively impact how the immune system responds to inflammation in older adults. It’s only when you need it or when it is struggling to protect you that your immune system is top of mind. One study found that a group of participants who took a garlic supplement had significantly fewer colds than the control group who didn’t take the supplement. Investigators have discovered that certain factors may influence the immune system, including medical conditions, chronic stress, and lack of sleep, as well as pharmacological agents like corticosteroids, tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, and immunosuppressants used to treat autoimmune disorders, immune-mediated disease, and conditions in transplant patients. Vitamin shoppe, practice good sleep hygiene. It does this by fighting off free radicals, which can damage cells. Vitamin C can’t be stored by your body, so you need to try and incorporate foods that are rich in vitamin C every day. One important question is whether dietary supplements may help older people maintain a healthier immune system. Thus far, researchers have most intensively focused on the polysaccharides, the same type of compounds found in astragalus.

Science-backed Tips For Strengthening Your Immune Response Quickly And Effectively

Researchers hope to use these tools to analyze patterns in order to better understand how the many pathways involved act at once. Get regular exercise, but not too much. List of webpages analyzed and their classification. What is known is that the body is continually generating immune cells.

People who laughed out loud at least once while watching a funny video saw a 50 to 100 percent increase in their baseline natural killer cell activity, the cells primed to kill viruses, one study found. The strength of the immune system varies from person to person and, what’s more, from day to day because its ability to fight off infection fluctuates depending on many factors. With the fall season in full force and the transition to cooler days and nights, it is an important time of year to keep your immune system strong. Try to avoid overdoing beverages that can made you dehydrated, like coffee. Bone broth is a powerful tonic made from simmering bones to brew up a tasty and nourishing broth.

If it's too cold to get outside, you can also try doing some gentle yoga.

Lemon Ginger Tea

Even stroking a pet can stimulate well being and feelings of safety that put you in the ideal rest and digest state. If you forget to eat, try setting a timer. This is an anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory compound that is excellent to help fend of everyday colds and flus as well as more serious conditions like cancer. Free radicals can damage the body’s cells and may contribute to disease. Fish oil rich in DHA has been found to enhance B cell activity, which could be promising for those with compromised immune systems. Maybe you're already washing your hands a dozen times a day, or you're trying to stop touching your face. We’ll help you feel better. Here’s one of my favorite wellness elixirs to sip during cold and flu season:

“Exercise helps boost the immune system, but we have to be careful not to overexercise because it can weaken your immune system,” she says. The popularity, among lay persons, of this concept is such that “Improving the body's immune system” is the top reason for consuming nutritional supplements (5, 6). 7 ways breastfeeding benefits mom and baby, but research is accumulating to suggest that the process of lactation works to re-establish the balance of these key sensitivities. However, continuous rigorous workout weakens the immune system, leaving you prone to flu and viral infections.

If you’re adding garlic to a cooked dish, such as pasta or soup, add it at the end of cooking to prevent destruction of the antimicrobial compounds.

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. Rizzo likes LifeExtension Zinc Caps. Immune response: medlineplus medical encyclopedia, phagocytes are large white cells that consume foreign invaders or foreign particles. Start taking a supplement. Zanthoxylum chalybeum Engl. Some people seem to breeze through cold-and-flu season without so much as a sniffle. Not only is there little clinical research showing that vitamin E supplements benefit your health, they may be harmful in some situations.

Probiotics (bacteria, yeasts and more!)


The immune system consists of organs, cells, tissues, and proteins. It can also recognize and destroy abnormal cells that originate from host tissues. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, garlic is antibacterial and antifungal. In this case, one part of the treatment would be to eat warming foods to balance out the temperature in the body and eradicate the illness.

Along with being high in vitamin C, apples are also a rich source of soluble fiber. Autoimmune diseases may be side effect of a strong immune system. Older people should discuss this question with a physician who is well versed in geriatric nutrition, because while some dietary supplementation may be beneficial for older people, even small changes can have serious repercussions in this age group. They’re also loaded with antioxidants.