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16 Foods To Eat If You Want To Boost Your Immune System

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A strong immune system is not only a good preventative measure, but also an effective cure in time of sickness. Many people fall into the trap of believing that supplements are the key to boosting their immunity; however, dietitians suggest that one should first turn to wholesome foods and healthy teas.

When a pathogen enters the body and comes into contact with the immune system, a defensive response is triggered. The immune system releases antibodies that bind to antigens on the pathogens, and the pathogens are destroyed.

Consuming certain foods may boost a person’s immune system. The following 16 foods are particularly rich in disease-fighting compounds, making them ideal for boosting immunity.

1.Citrus fruits

As soon as people catch a cold, they often take vitamin C. That’s because it helps build up your immune system. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections.

Many different kinds of citrus fruits are sources of vitamin C. Even though the names of some varieties may sound exotic and foreign, you can always squeeze a little bit of this vitamin into any meal.

Popular citrus fruits include:

  • tangerines
  • oranges
  • clementines
  • grapefruit
  • lemons
  • limes


Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that the human body does not produce or store. You need to consume vitamin C on a daily basis to maintain good health.

One of the unique properties of vitamin C is that it is essential for wound healing and helps fight infections. Although research indicates that vitamin C can help fight certain infection-causing bacteria, there is no evidence yet that it can treat or prevent the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

2.Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is rich in an antioxidant called theobromine, which may help to boost the immune system by protecting the body’s cells from free radicals.

Your body produces free radicals when it breaks down food or comes into contact with pollutants. Free radicals can damage the body’s cells and may contribute to disease.

Despite the fact that dark chocolate has been shown to have several potential health benefits, it is important to eat it in moderation because it is high in calories and saturated fat.

3.Oily fish

Oily fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.According to a 2014 report published by the Harvard School of Public Health, long-term intake of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).RA is a chronic autoimmune condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue in the body.

4.Turmeric

Turmeric is a yellow spice that many people use in cooking. It is also present in some alternative medicines. Consuming turmeric may improve a person’s immune response and contribute to the prevention of inflammatory diseases. A study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine published in 2017 reviewed existing studies on curcumin, which is the active ingredient in turmeric, concluded that it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.


If you enjoy Indian curries, you probably know that turmeric is a key ingredient. You may not know that this bright yellow, bitter spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

5.Blueberries

Blueberries are rich in a type of antioxidant called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin may help boost your immune system. It has been suggested that flavonoids play an important role in the respiratory tract’s immune defenses.

A 2016 study found that people who ate foods rich in antioxidants were less likely to get sick than those who did not eat such foods.

6. Broccoli

Broccoli contains vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system, as well as antioxidants that help destroy harmful free radicals. (Antioxidants are natural substances in food that may prevent some types of cell damage.) In addition to being a good source of vitamin C, broccoli is rich in fiber and has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels and support healthy digestion. Antioxidants help fight inflammation and may protect against certain types of cancer and heart disease.


Cooking it at high heat can diminish its antioxidant power, so cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all.

7. Sweet potatoes

One of the healthiest parts of a sweet potato is its skin, which contains a nutrient called beta carotene. This nutrient gives the skin its orange color, and it’s a source of vitamin A.

Vitamin A helps keep skin healthy and may even help to protect the skin from damage caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun.

8 .Yogurt

Look for yogurt with “live and active cultures” printed on the label, like Greek yogurt. These cultures can help stimulate your immune system and help fight disease.

Try to get plain yogurt rather than flavored yogurt loaded with sugar. You can sweeten plain yogurt yourself with a drizzle of honey and fresh fruit to add flavor.

Yogurt can also be a good source of vitamin D, so try to select brands fortified with this vitamin. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system, and it may boost the body’s natural defenses against diseases. Protein is packed into Greek yogurt, but so are probiotics (“‘good’ bacteria that can promote immune health”).

The beauty of Greek yogurt is that it can be eaten daily, can be incorporated into almost any meal, and can serve as a snack or a side dish.

9 . Spinach

Spinach can help boost your immune system. It’s rich in antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, along with flavonoids.

Research shows that flavonoids can help prevent the common cold in otherwise healthy people.

Spinach made our list not just because it’s rich in vitamin C—it’s also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may both increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.

Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients.

However, light cooking makes it easier to absorb the vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid, an antinutrient.

10. Ginger

Ginger is a spice that is used in many sweet dishes, as well as in teas for flavor. Ginger is also used to make ginger ale and gingerbread. Many people enjoy the spicy taste of ginger.In addition to being delicious, ginger has some health benefits.

Researchers found that using ginger may help lessen inflammation and reduce oxidative stress.

Ginger might also prevent some types of illnesses by fighting off colds, flu and nausea.

11. Green tea

Green tea contains only half the amount of caffeine as in black tea, so many people drink it instead of coffee or black tea. Drinking green tea may also strengthen your immune system. It’s rich in flavonoids, which may reduce the risk of colds.


Green tea contains a higher level of antioxidants, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), than black tea. Studies have shown that EGCG may enhance immune function and improve germ-fighting compounds in T cells. Black tea goes through a fermentation process that destroys many of the antioxidant properties. Green tea is not fermented, which preserves the antioxidant properties.

Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine may help produce immunity-boosting compounds.

12. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are a tasty and nutritious addition to salads and breakfast bowls. A 1/4-cup serving has over 7 grams of protein, more than 20% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E, and 3 grams of fiber.

This vitamin is an important antioxidant that helps fight off free radicals in the body and protect cells from damage.

By eating sunflower seeds, you can get vitamins E and B-6 and magnesium. Vitamin E is a key nutrient that helps your immune system function. Other foods high in vitamin E include avocados and dark leafy greens.

Sunflower seeds are also packed with selenium, which contributes to healthy selenium levels in the body. Just 30g of sunflower seeds will provide you with your daily recommended amount of selenium.

13. Garlic

Garlic is a common home remedy for colds and other illness. But more than just helping fend off illness, garlic also helps boost your immune system. Allicin, an organosulfur compound found in crushed garlic, has antimicrobial properties.

Allicin also helps with the absorption of zinc which is crucial for immune function. Next time you cook with garlic, remember to add a little more!

14. Almonds

Almonds are rich in vitamin E. They contain manganese, magnesium, and fiber. Soak them overnight before eating to make them more digestible.

A small handful or a quarter of a cup is a healthful snack that may benefit the immune system.

Vitamin E is often overshadowed by vitamin C when it comes to fighting off and preventing colds, but this powerful antioxidant is a key component of a healthy immune system.

Vitamin E can only be properly absorbed when consumed in the presence of fat, so nuts are packed with the vitamin. Almonds, which are high in protein and fiber, are also great sources of fiber and healthy fats.

Adults need 15 milligrams of vitamin E each day. A half-cup serving of almonds provides 100 percent of the recommended daily amount.

15. Papaya

 Papayas are a fruit packed with vitamin C. An average papaya has 120% of your daily recommended value of this important nutrient.

Papayas also have more than their fair share of the digestive enzyme papain, which some research suggests offers anti-inflammatory effects.

16. Red bell pepper

People who want to avoid sugar in fruits ,can find an alternative source of vitamin C in the red bell peppers they stir-fry or roast.

In steaming or boiling, red bell peppers lose some of their nutrients more rapidly than they do when they’re stir-fried or roasted, according to a study examining the effects of different cooking methods on nutrient content.

If you think citrus fruits have the most vitamin C of any fruit or vegetable, you might want to look again.

Red bell peppers contain almost three times as much vitamin C as a Florida orange (45 mg ), ounce for ounce; that’s almost twice as much vitamin C as an orange (90 mg ) and a whole lot more than broccoli (15 mg ).

They’re also a very good source of beta carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C may help you maintain healthy skin. Beta carotene is also good for your eyes and skin.

The bottom line is this: a healthy diet is the best way to keep your immune system at its peak. And with these foods, you’ll be eating better than ever. So what are you waiting for? Tap into your inner Iron Chef and start cooking up an immunity-boosting meal of your own!

Please feel free to add suggestions of your own in the comment’s field below.

I hope you all enjoyed this post, and learned a thing or two from it. If you want to stay connected with me, give a follow at @restless.bee.blog or sign up for our newsletter here. Best of luck on your journey towards better health! Thanks for reading.

See you for the next buzz 🐝

DISCLOSURE: Restless Bee is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

 

 

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