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10 Best Immune Boosting Foods

One of the most important things to keep on top of for preventing regular common illnesses is your immune system. Your immune system acts very much like the military, in that it defends you against foreign invaders to prevent disease and common illness. Immune fighting vaccines have been around for over two millennia, but it is now easier than ever to help strengthen your immune system yourself.

Healthy Foods

Having a strong immune system can inhibit colds, flu, and infections and there are only a few ways you can boost your immune system. Getting enough sleep, managing stress, washing your hands regularly, and partaking in regular exercise are a few ways you can improve your immunity.

However, a key thing to integrate into your daily routine is a healthy balanced diet of foods rich in immune-boosting nutrients. There are many foods that have immune-boosting properties from fruits and vegetables to teas and spices. Certain foods contain vital properties like vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that work wonders for boosting and maintaining a strong immune system. Adding a few of these a day into your diet can help inhibit future immune deficient illnesses and help treat existing ones.

Today, we will look at the ten best immune-boosting foods and how they benefit the immune system in our nutritionist list:

Elderberry: rich in antioxidants to fight inflammation

Elderberry is a flowering plant fruit that is rich in antioxidants and vitamins that help boost your immune system. They work to fight off inflammation and lessen stress on the body, which are both huge causes of immune-deficient infections like colds and flu.

They are a great option to add to breakfast or smoothies, or any of Openfit’s one-minute meal plan ideas. Although elderberries can not prevent colds and flu from occurring, they can boost your immune system to help fight off the infections quicker.

Citrus fruits: key for fighting infections

Most people instantly think of essential vitamins when they have a cold. They are great for fighting off viruses and flu symptoms as well as making you feel better due to their energizing properties.

Citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes are packed to the brim with vitamin C, the most essential and well-known vitamin for their immune-boosting properties.

You can enjoy these in a homemade immunity-boosting citrus juice or on top of your favorite breakfast bowl.

Your body does not naturally produce or store vitamin C, so it is important to get in your daily dose to attain the recommended amount of vitamin C. It is easy to do so with continued daily consumption of oranges, grapefruits or whichever citrus fruit is your favorite. You can eat citrus fruits fresh, add them to salads or squeeze them into your drinks. They are very versatile and one of the best foods for boosting immunity.

Button mushrooms: its vitamins play an essential role in boosting immunity

Not to get confused with any other mushroom, the button mushroom is the one that holds many benefits for the immune system. It contains essential B vitamins which are great for boosting the immune system. Other benefits include its riboflavin and niacin content, which both play a role in maintaining a healthy immune system.

The reason button mushrooms are ahead of the other types here is due to their selenium content. Selenium is a compound the body needs to inhibit the flu and infections. If your body is low on selenium, you are more likely to catch a cold or flu. Eating button mushrooms often can help you get enough selenium to prevent any viral infections, colds, and flu from occurring.

Acai berry: rich in antioxidants

Acai Berry is fairly new to the health industry and is most popular for its amazing smoothie bowl recipes. However, adding acai berries into your daily diet is highly beneficial for your immune system, as well as being a delicious breakfast option.

Acai berries are rich in antioxidants such as anthocyanins, which are polyphenols that help build immunity and help protect against infections and viruses. According to a study, polyphenols help regulate immune function and have anti-inflammatory properties. which can help reduce flu-like symptoms.

These delicious dark berries are also high in fiber and healthy fats, which are great for aiding digestion and getting rid of any bad toxins and bacteria in the body.

Low-fat yogurt: helps regulate the immune system

Low-fat yogurt is easy to come by in supermarkets and should be added to your shopping list for its immune-boosting benefits. Low-fat yogurts are typically labeled and easy to find and distinguish against full fat. Or, you can look for alternatives such as Greek yogurt. Both are dairy products that are manufactured and sold as a product high in vitamin D.

Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system. Studies show that the vitamin can boost the immune system’s natural defense, which results in blocking the body from getting colds and infections regularly. Additionally, the research suggests that a lack of vitamin D results in immune-deficient infections. It modulates the immune system’s innate natural responses to fight off bad bacteria.

It is advised to eat plain unflavoured yogurts as opposed to those with artificial sugars. Sugar and sweetener ingredients can decrease the effectiveness of the nutrients. If you would like to sweeten the yogurt, you can add natural sugars such as fruits or honey.

Watermelon: helps strengthen immunity with antioxidants

When a watermelon is ripe and ready to eat, it is packed full of an antioxidant called glutathione. This antioxidant doesn’t only boost your immune system but it helps fight infection.

Watermelon is naturally high in vitamin C too, which helps aid the absorption of iron. Iron helps regulate a healthy immune system and improves its response to foreign invaders. It does this by maturing the cells to react quicker to bacteria that enter the body. Mature cells can help determine good and bad bacteria much quicker than young cells.

Watermelon contains many benefits for boosting the immune system and one portion a day can provide enough glutathione, vitamin C, and iron that you need to maintain a strong immune system.

Wheat germ: delivers a good mix of essentials daily nutrients

Wheat germ is a small part of the wheat seed that may look small but it holds a lot of powerful immune-boosting properties.

Not only is it rich in essential nutrients like zinc, vitamin B, and antioxidants, but wheat germ also offers a healthy and balanced mix of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. These nutritional groups are not spoken about much when it comes to immune-boosting. Instead, most of the focus is on vitamins and minerals.

However, fiber aids digestion and encourages bowel movement which helps your body hold onto the good bacteria and flush away the bad bacteria. A healthy gut will mean your immune system will be provided with good bacteria, which is what it needs to stay strong and healthy.

Sweet potato: helps defend the immune system against damaging free radicals

Another high in fiber food that provides similar benefits to wheat germ are sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber which helps digestion and bowel movements and is also rich in two essential vitamins, beta carotene, and vitamin A.

These vitamins work as antioxidants in the immune system to help lower the risk of immune-deficient illnesses. Beta carotene is a carotenoid, an active antioxidant, that helps protect the immune system from damaging free radicals. These vitamins work as a barrier to block foreign invaders and inhibit colds and infections.

Tea: packed with flavonoids

Teas are packed full of flavonoids, more commonly known as antioxidants. The most effective tea is green tea due to its high level of epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC), a powerful antioxidant. This chemical has been tested for its immune-boosting properties. The study concludes that ECGC can help activate the immune cells and help them respond quickly to foreign invaders.

Black tea also contains ECGC, but the level is decreased during the fermentation process. The level is preserved is green tea as it is steamed and no chemicals are removed.
Green tea and black tea are best consumed without any added sugars, sweeteners, or milk for the most effective.

Spinach: packed with antioxidants

Spinach is not only rich in vitamin C, but it is also loaded with antioxidants that increase the strength of the immune system. When an immune system is boosted, it is more able to fight off viruses.

It is recommended to eat the spinach fresh and uncooked. Eating it this way means the spinach can retain all of its beneficial nutrients like vitamin C, beta carotene, and antioxidants.

Although, if you do cook the spinach slightly, its vitamin A content becomes enhanced, which is a great anti-inflammation vitamin as it can protect the body from mucus buildup during colds and flu. Vitamin A is also great at enhancing the immune system’s functions.

It is totally up to preference on how you like to consume spinach. Both ways offer nutrient benefits that can help boost the immune system.

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