27 Amazing Immune System Booster Foods

The immune system is a vital defense mechanism in our bodies. It’s a complicated system made up of several components such as white blood cells, antibodies, the complement system, the lymphatic system, the spleen, the thymus, and bone marrow.

When your immune system isn’t working properly, it means you have immune system problems. Your immune system protects you from viruses and pathogens that enter your body from the outside.

If you have a weak immune system or any form of immune system disorder, you will be easily infected by harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Certain foods can aid in the maintenance of a strong immune system. If you truly want to protect yourself from the flu and other viral and bacterial infections, concentrate on what you eat. Include the following items in your regular diet to boost your immunity and fight disease.

List of Immune system Booster Foods

Vegetables

1. Broccoli

Broccoli is a vitamin and mineral powerhouse. Vitamins A, C, and E, as well as numerous other antioxidants and fiber, are all present. Broccoli is one of the healthiest veggies you can eat, thanks to its high vitamin C content. It aids in the improvement of your immune system.

Broccoli has up to 89 milligrams of Vitamin C per 100 grams, which is higher than many citrus fruits. Broccoli is also high in beta-carotene and a variety of other antioxidants, making it an excellent food for boosting your immune system. It is suggested to cook it as little as possible or not at all to maintain its optimal food value.

If you want to keep the nutrients in broccoli, steaming is the best option out of all the cooking techniques.

How to consume

An adult person requires approximately 2.5 cups of cooked veggies per day. (A little higher quantity is required if raw vegetables are consumed.

2. Spinach

Vitamin C is abundant in spinach. It’s also full of antioxidants and beta-carotene, which strengthens your immune system’s capacity to fight against infections.

This vegetable is simple to include into your diet and is both simple and affordable to cook. Spinach is high in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, folate, and other antioxidants, all of these are beneficial to your immune system. 

To preserve its benefits, spinach, like broccoli, should be cooked in a low flame.

Mild cooking, on the other hand, increases the vitamin A content and permits other vitamins and minerals to be extracted from the oxalic acid. Spinach has been one of the greatest amounts of dietary magnesium, which is crucial for a healthy immune system as well as control of blood pressure.

How to consume

Although it is appropriate for most people to eat a bowl of spinach each day, excessive spinach consumption should be avoided on a daily basis. If taken in moderation, eating spinach every day has no negative consequences. However, two cups of dark, leafy greens each day is the suggested quantity.

3. Red Bell Peppers

You are wrong if you think only citrus fruits are enriched with high vitamin C of any fruits or vegetable. Red bell peppers, on the other hand, have two times as much Vitamin C as citrus fruits.

In addition to building your immune system, vitamin C also keeps your skin fresh. Beta-carotene is also abundant in red bell peppers.The antioxidant referred to as beta-carotene which nourishes your eyes and skin.

Various studies have found a link between eating a diet high in carotenoids and a lower risk of many types of cancer, and it’s been proposed that this is due to carotenoids’ antioxidant qualities.

How to consume

You can eat red bell peppers as much as you want everyday or even every meal. However, everything should be consumed in moderation. One serving of raw bell pepper is 3.5 ounces (100 grams), or roughly half of a bell pepper, according to the USDA.

Spices

1. Garlic

Another name of garlic is super food for an immune-boosting powerhouse.  Garlic has indeed been valued as a health medicine by people all over the world for thousands of years. It can help with common colds, the flu, and a variety of other diseases.

This plant belongs to the lily family, despite its well-known order. According to ancient literature, garlic was thought to be an aphrodisiac in India and a currency in Egypt. A single garlic clove has 5 mg calcium, 12 mg potassium and 100 compounds of sulfuric. It’s powerful enough to destroy bacteria and viruses. Garlic was used to help prevent gangrene during both World Wars.

The healthiest garlic is raw garlic, not cooked or dried. Because heat and water inactivate sulfur enzymes, Garlic’s antibacterial activity is diminished. Garlic also appears to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as destroy parasites in our bodies.

How does garlic enhance your immune system? Let’s dive deep below.

There is a valuable compound named Allicin found in garlic. Allicin is a very powerful kind of  antibiotic. Allicin is released instantly after garlic cloves are crushed or cut. Garlic also contains antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral as well as antifungal properties. This properties protect your body from  viruses and other germs. That is how garlic protects and enhances your immune system.

How to consume

Recommended dosage for an adult person is 4 gm (one to two cloves) of raw garlic per day in between lunch or dinner. 

As garlic has a strong flavor therefore many people can not tolerate its raw taste or it may cause acidity for some people. 

One thing you can do is to crush some garlic cloves and cut them into very small thin pieces and put them in a pot and leave them  for at least 2 to 3 hours. 

Once the strong taste and flavor is gone you can put some pieces of garlic from them and mix them with your meal. Very easy.

If you don’t want to consume raw garlic, you can also use garlic powder instead.

2. Ginger

Another spice that many people have relied on to heal a variety of ailments is ginger. Ginger has been shown to reduce inflammation, which can treat sore throats, the flu, the common cold, and a variety of other inflammatory conditions. Ginger may indeed be helpful in the reduction of nausea and vomiting.

Ginger boosts the immune system when it is underactive or overactive, allowing it to function at its best. Ginger may also aid in the fighting against drug-resistant germs, according to study.

One of the popular beverages is ginger ale. The active chemicals in ginger, known as gingerols, have a structure that is identical to capsaicin, the main element in chili peppers and capsicum. It is a well-known pain reliever, according to preliminary research. Capsaicin is a painkiller applied to the skin, for example, to treat herpes.

According to recent animal studies done in Australia, this chemical reduces chronic pain and has cholesterol-lowering characteristics.

How to consume

A maximum of 3–4 grams of ginger extract per day is recommended by doctors. Don’t take more than 1 gram of ginger extract each day if you’re pregnant. Infants under the age of 2 are not allowed to ginger.

3. Turmeric

This is a spice that you should include in your cold and flu prevention routine. Turmeric is a natural technique to support the immune system by boosting the body’s immunomodulating potential. To give your immune system a boost during times of stress or during flu season, try to include more turmeric in your diet.

Turmeric’s potential to combat cancer is one of its most significant health advantages. Turmeric is typically converted into a “golden paste” to help not only humans but also your four-legged pals fight cancer. Turmeric has anti-cancer chemicals that may be the only way to stop cancer cells from infiltrating and spreading, according to research.

How to consume

One teaspoon is the suggested starting dose. Curcumin is found in roughly 200 milligrams per teaspoon of freshly powdered turmeric.

Fish and Meat

1. Shellfish

In spite of having a lot of zinc in shellfish, the majority of people never think about it when they want to strengthen their immune system.

Zinc doesn’t get almost enough concern as other vitamins and minerals, but it’s essential for our immune cells to operate properly.

The high zinc content of the shellfish is listed below:

  • oysters
  • crab
  • lobster
  • mussels

How to consume

Adult men should take 11 mg per day.

For most adult women, 8 mg is enough.

It is to be noted that you should not exceed the recommended daily dosage.

2. Oily Fish

Salmon, tuna, pilchards, and other oily fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

According to a 2014 study, long-term use of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune illness in which the immune system 

targets a healthy portion of the body by mistake.

How to consume

In a week, we should have at least two pieces of fish, one of which should be oily. One piece is 140 grams in weight (4.9 oz).

3. Salmon Fish

Although salmon isn’t known for boosting immunity, enough and consistent omega-3 intake (especially DHA and EPA, two types found in cold-water fish) is important for reducing inflammation.

As a consequence, the immune system may be able to focus almost all of its attention on protecting the body from infections and disease. Do you require a shelf-stable option?  In the cupboard, keep canned salmon or mild tuna in water.

Both fish are abundant in vitamin D and the antioxidant mineral selenium, which are both good for your immune system.

How to consume

According to the FDA, consuming 8 to 12 ounces of salmon fish each week is safe.

4. Lean Beef

Are you surprised that meat appears on this list? Here’s why we think flank steak is one of the finest meals for strengthening the immune system.

 A single service of 4-ounce flank steak has more than half of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance)  for zinc, selenium, and vitamin B6.

It can be difficult to get enough of these three nutrients, and even a minor shortage in one of them might prevent your immune system from functioning properly. 

This can make you more susceptible to sickness and weaken your immune system.

Up to three times per week, find methods to consume lean cuts of beef like sirloin, round steak, and flank steak.

How to consume

Scientists advised red meat consumption should be limited to 3 ounces each day, for a total of 21 ounces per week.

5. Poultry

It’s not just the placebo effect that makes you feel better when you reach for chicken soup when you’re sick. The soup may aid in the reduction of inflammation, which may help to alleviate cold symptoms.

Poultry, like turkey and chicken, is enriched with Vitamin B-6.  Nearly one-third of your daily recommended amount of B-6 can be found in 3 ounces of moderate turkey or poultry meat.

Vitamin B-6 is required for many chemical reactions in the body. It’s also required for the production of healthy new red blood cells.

Gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients useful for gut healing and immunity can be found in stock or broth created from heating poultry bones.

How to consume

According to the USDA, a portion size of chicken should be between two to six and a half ounces each day.

Fruits

1. Papaya

Papaya is a good source of vitamin C. A small papaya has a 157 % vitamin C requirement. This fruit is now  cultivated everywhere in the world, despite its origins in Central America and southern Mexico.

Papaya provides an enzyme called papain, which can aid with indigestion by breaking down the proteins present in muscle meat. Papayas also include a lot of potassium, vitamin B, and folate, all of which are good for the immune system.

It has a good quantity of other antioxidants and vitamin A, so it should help your immune system. Because of all the vitamins and antioxidants it contains, it’s an excellent fruit for boosting your immunity.

How to consume

Look for fresh papayas with reddish orange color that are smooth to the touch while choosing or eating them.

Cut the papaya in half lengthwise with a knife and remove the black seeds with a teaspoon and toss them out.

Cut the flesh away from the skin of each side using a tiny sharp knife.

Remove the skin and cut the flesh.

You can eat ¼  of a medium papaya before dinner (Maximum 50 grams) daily.

2. Apples

There are several reasons why apples are beneficial to a healthy immune system and overall health. Apples are high in all of the key vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B1, B2, and vitamin C.

All of these vitamins are necessary for the immune system to operate properly. Pectin, a form of fiber that functions as a Prebiotic, is also abundant in apples. This implies it supports your gut’s beneficial microorganisms.

By producing substances in the stomach that act on our immune cells and affect their activity, our gut bacteria greatly affect immune system function. The immune cells’ characteristics are altered by soluble fiber. 

They transform from pro-inflammatory angry cells to anti-inflammatory healing cells that aid in infection recovery.

Gregory Fluid, a professor at the University of Iowa College of Medicine and Gastroenterology, stated this. Sports, appropriate sleep, and nutrition, in addition to a healthy meal, are all important in building a strong immune system

How to consume

According to epidemiological findings, eating at least one or more apples each day to maintain a better health.

3. Blueberries

Blueberries include anthocyanin, a flavonoid that is an antioxidant that can help the immune system. Flavonoids are important in the immunological protection process  of the lungs, according to a 2016 study.

People who ate foods high in flavonoids were less likely to have a common cold than those who did not.

How to consume

The  recommended amount is to eat 30-60g blueberries every day, which is roughly about 10-20 pieces.

4. Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are enriched with vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the most important elements  to enhance the immune system. Vitamin C should be taken by most people after they’ve got a cold because it helps to build your immune system.Vitamin C improves the growth of white blood cells , which are essential for combating infections and a crucial component of our immune system. 

According to research reported in the Journal Of clinical nutrition, taking adequate vitamin C can assist in reducing the symptoms and duration of respiratory tract infections like the common cold.

This will also help to avoid and improve the results of illnesses like pneumonia, malaria, and diarrhea. Antioxidants, on the other hand, can aid in the prevention of oxidative stress and harm to your immune cells. Citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes should be consumed since your body does not generate or store vitamin C.

Vitamin C is required on a daily basis to maintain a healthy immune system. So you may add this citrus fruits in your diet.

How to consume

The recommended daily dosage for most adults is:

  • Women should take 75 mg.
  • Men should take  90 mg
  • If you decide to use supplements, don’t exceed 2,000 milligrams (mg) per day.

5. kiwifruit (kiwis)

Like papayas, kiwis are abundant in vital nutrients like  potassium, folate, vitamin K, and vitamin C.

Vitamin C assists white blood cells fight bacteria, while the other minerals in kiwis  run the whole body smoothly.

How to consume

Most people can take adequate nutrients from the fruit by eating one to three kiwis each day.

Drinks and Beverage

1. Green Tea

Flavonoids, a kind of antioxidant, are abundant in both green and black teas. Green tea contains a significant amount of EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) and other potent antioxidants. 

Immune function has been found to be improved by EGCG.

A lot of the EGCG in black tea is destroyed during the fermenting process. Green tea, on the other hand, is boiled rather than fermented, preserving the EGCG.

Green tea is also high in L-theanine, an amino acid. In your T cells, L-theanine may help in the creation of germ-fighting chemicals.

How to consume

The recommended dosage of green tea extract is between 250–500 mg per day. This amount can be obtained from 3–5 cups of green tea, or about ½  liters.

2. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink prepared from kefir grains that tastes like thin yogurt. 

Kefir and its probiotic ingredients can help to inhibit viral infections (such as Zika, hepatitis C, influenza, and rotaviruses).

Drinking kefir appears to improve the immune system, according to preliminary research. Various studies have shown that drinking kefir on a regular basis can help with:

  • bacteriological warfare
  • Inflammation reduction
  • antioxidant activity to be increased

How to consume

Suggested amount is to eat one to  three cups (237-710 ml) per  day to get the best result.

3. Fortified Orange Juice

Fortified orange juice is a great, non-dairy source of calcium, roughly offering about 350 milligrams each serving, or 30 percent of the daily needs for pregnant women.

It’s difficult to beat the immunological punch of fortified orange juice when drinking fruit instead of eating it. 

One cup of fortified orange juice offers 100% of your Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports your immune system, as well as 25% of your Daily Value for vitamin D.

This is significant since the majority of individuals have vitamin D levels that are below optimal, which studies say  renders them more prone to sickness. 

Vitamin D supplementation may even aid to prevent respiratory infections, according to a 2017 study.

How to consume

Limit your daily intake of orange juice no more than 8 ounces (240 ml). It is better If it is possible you can consume whole orange juice.

4. Yogurt

You should seek for Greek Yogurt in which states “live and culture” on the label. These cultures may help your immune system battle sickness by stimulating it.

Instead of tasty and sugar-laden yogurts, select for common yogurts. Instead, use healthy fruits and a sprinkle of honey to sweeten general yogurt.

Yogurt can be a reliable source of vitamin D, so search for brands that have been enriched with it. Vitamin D is known to improve our bodies’ natural shield against illness by helping to control the immune system.

How to consume

For people over the age of nine, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises three cup equivalents of dairy per day (including yogurt, cream cheese, and low-fat milk).

5. Chicken Soup

Chicken soup prepared from chicken. To make it more tasty, it has been cooked in water with a variety of other ingredients.

When heated, chicken broth provides heat, hydration, and nutrients to the body. Chicken broth is high in vitamins and minerals that can help with a variety of diseases, including the common cold, flu, and food poisoning. 

Chicken soup is enriched with vitamin A and C, magnesium, phosphorus, and gelatin which are  believed to help create a strong immune system and fight illnesses. 

Chicken protein contains amino acids that help to create antibodies that fight illness.

How to consume

Recommended daily intake of chicken soup is one cup which is equivalent to 75 calories.

Seeds and Nuts

1. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds contain a variety of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B-6, vitamin E and phosphorus ,magnesium that can help to boost your immune system and boost your ability to fight illnesses.

Vitamin E is vital for the control and maintaining of immune system activity. 

Zinc and selenium are two of these minerals that are also  abundant in sunflower seeds. Zinc is important for the immune system because it aids in the creation and maintenance of immunological cells.

How to consume

Daily intake of sunflower seeds is recommended not more than 30 grams.

2. Almonds

Almonds are the most popular nut in the world.They’re high in vitamin E, which helps protect your cells from harm.When you have a cold or the flu, eat almonds to boost your immune system.

Almonds include two antioxidants, Vitamins E and C, which are natural immune enhancers. They scavenge free radicals in your body, lowering inflammation and preventing DNA and tissue damage.

Almonds are also high in phosphorus, zinc, and other minerals, all of which are good to the immune system.

How to consume

The highest daily amount of almonds is 1 ounce (28 g), or about 23 almond nuts, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Others

1. Sweet Potatoes

In many regions of the world, sweet potatoes are a main diet. Fiber, potassium, vitamins, and other vital nutrients can all be found in them.

Beta-carotene are abundant in purple sweet potatoes, but they’re also high in anthocyanin pigments, which are antioxidants that can aid decrease inflammation and strengthen your immune system.

Vitamin A (beta-carotene) and vitamin C are the most powerful antioxidant vitamins, and both are found in sweet potatoes. 

Vitamin C and beta-carotene aid in maintaining your immune system and increase your body’s natural defenses against illnesses.

How to consume

Take about 120 grams of sweet potatoes in a saucepan. 1 liter of water to be given into the saucepan and boil until it becomes soft and smooth.

Then remove the potatoes from the hot water and allow them to be cold. Now remove the skin of the potatoes.

Now your potatoes are ready to consume.

The daily suggested intake of sweet potatoes is 100 grams (3.5 ounces)

2. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is a type of chocolate that is made up entirely of cocoa solids and cocoa butter, with no milk or butter added.

Ingredients: The essential ingredients are cocoa beans, sugar, an emulsifier such as soy lecithin to keep structure and aromas.

Dark chocolate consists of Cocoa and phenolic components.

Cocoa has been identified as a food with immunoregulatory capabilities, according to a study published in the US National Institute of Health. 

Benefits: Cocoa and phenolic components may boost our body defense or immune system. A chronic cough might benefit from dark chocolate.

Cocoa component has an impact on the inflammatory innate reaction, the systemic and intestinal adaptive immunological responses.

Cocoa has a high concentration of antioxidants which ensures a lower risk of cardiovascular illness, such as heart disease and stroke, according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

How to consume

Dark Chocolate is high in calories and saturated fat. To avoid weight gain eat no more than 1 ounce per day.

3. Eggs

Eggs have been consumed for thousands of years as a nutritional powerhouses. There are many different sorts of eggs, but the chicken egg is the most popular. Eggs are high in vitamins and minerals, which are important components of a balanced diet.

A fantastic method to get enough protein, nutrients and  vitamin D, zinc, selenium, and vitamin E, which the body requires for normal immunological function.

If at all possible, choose eggs from vegetarian-fed birds. You’ll find omega-3s and vitamins D and E in slightly higher concentrations.

How to consume

According to science, eating up to three whole eggs each day is totally safe for healthy people.

4.  Ginseng May Boost the Immunity System

Ginseng is a herbal supplement which has been utilized in Chinese medicine for generations.

Ginseng can help you fight cancer, bacterial and viral infections, and autoimmune illnesses by strengthening your immunity. Two key components of ginseng such as ginsenosides and gintonin that have anti-inflammatory actions.

Some of the studies on its effect on the immune system concentrated on patients who are undergoing surgery or chemotherapy.

For two years, one study tracked 39 people recovering from stomach cancer surgery and gave them 5,400 mg of ginseng daily.

Surprisingly, these people’s immune functions improved significantly, and their illnesses recurred less frequently.

Another study looked at how red ginseng extract affected immune system indicators in persons with advanced stomach cancer who were receiving chemotherapy after surgery.

After three months, those who took red ginseng extract had better immune system indicators than those in the experimental or placebo groups.

Furthermore, ginseng users may have a 35 percent higher likelihood of living disease-free for five years after curative surgery and a 38 percent higher survival rate than non-ginseng users, according to a study.

Ginseng extract looks to have the potential to boost the efficacy of vaccines used to prevent diseases like influenza.

Despite the fact that these studies reveal increases in immune system indicators in cancer patients, additional study is needed to show that ginseng can boost infection resistance in healthy persons.

How to consume

Overall daily doses:

  • Raw Ginseng Root 1-2  grams
  • Ginseng Extract 200-400 mg
  • Ginseng root powder 1 to 2 gram

Conclusion

It’s vital to remember that the immune system is complicated. Two methods to improve immunological fitness are to eat a healthful, balanced diet and to quit smoking.

However, eating the 26 immune-boosting foods mentioned above may help to boost the immune system and raise the body’s ability to fight illnesses.

A wide variety of foods is required for proper nutrition. Even if you ate one of these meals on a regular basis, you wouldn’t be resistant to the flu or other viruses.

To prevent receiving too much of one nutrient, while receiving too little of another, give importance to serving sizes and daily intake guidelines.

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