Immune Boosting Foods To Fight Infection and Stay Healthy

Top 15 best immune boosting foods

In today’s post, we will look at the Foods That Boost Your Immune System and give you more insights on keeping your immunity up while dealing with flu or the COVID-19 pandemic. We designed a good infographic for better visualization and content below for more resources. Kindly share this post on social media to help everyone easily build a stronger immune system with nutrition. As a bonus, we added all the foods that can negatively affect your immune system.
Read Also: Other ways of boosting the immune system (not just food)

In A Hurry?

  • Foods that contain “flavonoids” are especially helpful for increased immunity
  • Vitamins E and C will help build your immune system and help fight off illness
  • Seafood like oily fish and shellfish are surprisingly high in Zinc
  • Sourcing organic food will be your best source of protection against illness

Immune Boosting Foods

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Introduction To Boosting Your Immune System

As humans, it is essential to eat a healthy, balanced diet.

The food you eat is vital to maintaining a defense against illnesses and disease.

Sadly, many people struggle to consistently eat healthy food because there are so many easy, dopamine-inducing options like fast food.

In this post, we will outline the BEST foods for maintaining a strong immune system.

In the age of viruses like COVID-19, it is even more important to implement these foods into your daily diet.

So what foods help support your immune system?

Let’s jump into it!

Must Read: Vitamins and mineral supplements to boost the immune system

Foods That Boost Your Immune System

Yogurt

yogurt to boost the immune system
The best yogurt for maintaining a healthy immune system contains live and active cultures.

This is information usually printed on the label, similar to Greek yogurt.

Most prefer plain yogurts over flavored or fruity yogurts because they often contain high amounts of sugar.

Keep in mind you can always sweeten plain yogurt on your own with sweeteners like natural fruits or honey.

Yogurt is a vital source of Vitamins D, which is one of the best supplements to keep your body’s natural defenses strong.

Kefir

kefir to boost the immune system
The fermented drink Kefir contains a wide array of live cultures and bacteria that help build your immune system.

Kefir can aid in fighting bacteria, reducing inflammation, and increasing antioxidant activity.

Poultry

poultry for immune system support
Most people have heard the term “Chicken Soup for the soul” and look to eating chicken soup when sick.

The combination of poultry like chicken or turkey along with the bone broth found in homemade chicken soup has powerful immune-boosting effects.

Poultry is an effective immune booster because of the amount of Vitamin B-6.

As little as 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken can contain up to 40-50% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin B-6.

The stock or broth made with chicken soup also contains gelatin and other essential nutrients that help your gut healing and immunity.

Seafood

seafood that improve the immune system
Many do not automatically associate seafood with immunity support.

You would be surprised how much you can boost your immune system by eating a steady diet of seafood, specifically shellfish.

Most shellfish contain high amounts of the mineral Zinc.

Zinc is an essential immunity booster because it helps your immune cells work as they are supposed to.

Here are the varieties of shellfish that we recommend:

  • Crab
  • Clams
  • Lobster
  • Muscles
  • Oysters

PLEASE NOTE: You want to be careful not to consume too much Zinc.

Overconsumption of Zinc can actually inhibit your immunity support.

The daily recommended amount of Zinc for adult men is 11mg.

The daily recommended amount of Zinc for adult women is 8mg.

Oily fish like tuna, salmon, and pilchards are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in digestion and reduce the risk of ailments like arthritis.

Vegetables That Boost Your Immune System

Bell Peppers

different types of bell peppers that boost the immune system
Bell Peppers provide a great alternative to citrus fruits for getting your Vitamin C.

It is best to stir-fry or roast your bell peppers so that they keep their nutrient content.

This works much better than steaming or boiling.

Broccoli

green broccoli for immune function
Broccoli is one of the best vegetables for boosting your immunity.

It is packed with Vitamins A, C, and E.

You will also get a healthy dose of fiber and antioxidants.

In order to keep the most nutrients, you should cook broccoli as little as possible, or not at all.

Garlic

organic garlic to boost the immune system
Garlic is a common ingredient in foods all over the world.

It also has many healing properties and can help lower blood pressure and stop arteries from hardening.

The immunity-boosting ingredient contained in garlic is called allicin which contains a heavy concentration of sulfur.

Ginger

ginger for a healthy immune system
Ginger is commonly used in dishes, desserts, and teas.

It includes many anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, but research is limited as to the immunity-boosting effects.

Spinach

spinach to build the immune system
Spinach is a great all-around vegetable to consume for fighting off illness and disease.

It includes:

  • Flavonoids
  • Carotenoids
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C

Studies show spinach can also prevent the common cold otherwise known as Coronavirus.

Fruits That Boost Your Immune System

Citrus Foods

citrus fruits that are good for the immune system
There are many popular citrus foods that help support your immune system in times of stress or low immunity.

Most people turn to citrus foods because of the high levels of Vitamin C that is highly available in the body when ingested.

This boost of Vitamin C will increase white blood cells which are essential to fighting infections.

It is important to know that your body does not produce or store Vitamin C.

That is why it is very important to get Vitamin C daily through supplementation and diet.

Here are the most popular citrus fruits used to boost your immune system:

  • Grapefruit
  • Clementines
  • Limes
  • Lemons
  • Tangerines
  • Oranges

Blueberries

blueberries for immune function
The main immune-boosting ingredient contained in blueberries is a flavonoid called anthocyanin.

Flavonoids play an important role in respiratory immune defense support.

People who eat foods that contain flavonoids were less likely to get the common cold and upper respiratory tract infections.

Herbs That Boost Your Immune System

Turmeric

Turmeric benefits for the immune system
This yellow spice has many magical benefits for health and immunity.

It lowers inflammation in the body and improves a person’s immune response to prevent illnesses.

Drinks and Beverages That Boost Your Immune System

Green Tea

Green tea and the immune system
Although Green Tea contains a small amount of caffeine it is well-known to boost your immune system.

Like blueberries, green tea contains powerful flavonoids that will reduce your risk of catching the common cold.

Nuts and Seeds that Boost Your Immune System

Sunflower Seeds

sunflower seeds to boost the immune system
Sunflower seeds are an easy and convenient way to boost your immune support system.

They contain several vitamins that help keep you healthy like Vitamin B-6 and Vitamin E.

Vitamin E acts as a powerful antioxidant and helps maintain immune system function.

Sunflower seeds also contain minerals like magnesium and phosphorus.

Almonds

almonds and immunity boost
When it comes to fighting off colds and viruses like COVID-19, nothing works as well as Vitamin C.

With that said, Vitamin E is easily the next most important vitamin to supplement with.

Because it is a fat-soluble vitamin, it can be absorbed by the digestive system instead of being broken down with stomach acid.

The daily amount of Vitamin E can be had with just a cup full of almonds.

Conclusion

As you can see there are many options in your diet for boosting your immune system.

The best defense for avoiding illness is a good offense.

By taking preventative measures to integrate these foods into your diet you are putting yourself in the best possible health.

A proper diet along with frequent exercise will be your best bet for a healthy life.

See the two best supplements that boost the immune system

BONUS:

Foods That Lower Your Immune System

foods that affect the immune system

  1. Fast Food

    You should avoid fast foods at all costs to keep your immune system strong.

  2. Foods with MSG

    This flavor shortcut is very bad for your immune system.  Avoid MSG at all costs.

  3. Alcohol

    Moderate consumption of alcohol is okay, but going on a bender may lower your guard enough to cause your body’s immune system to fight off illness.

  4. Caffeine

    Consuming caffeine will increase the stress hormone called “cortisol”.  This can have the effect of reducing the number of T-cells our body produces.

  5. Diet soda

    Diet sodas contain all kinds of sugar alternatives that are unnatural and made in a lab.  Instead of diet soda, you should drink green tea or lemon water.

  6. Sugary snacks

    Sugar in your body actually competes with Vitamin C and can lower your immunity to illness and disease if consumed on an ongoing basis.

  7. Foods that contain Gluten

    When gluten passes through your system is produces a protein called zonulin which breaks down the cells in your intestines, giving harmful toxins an opportunity to pass into your bloodstream.

  8. Foods that are made with Refined Oils

    Oils made from refined materials are completely unnatural and unhealthy.  Stick to coconut oil, ghee, and extra virgin olive oil.

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