13 Immune System Boosting Foods

nutritional tips Oct 09, 2019
13 Immune System Boosting Foods

Flu season is upon us and everyone from doctors to your job are telling you to get a flu shot. I recently looked at what is actually in the flu shot vaccine and was shocked to find out it contained:

  • Flu viruses
  • Formaldehyde
  • Chicken egg proteins
  • Gelatin
  • Antibiotics

Um, definitely not something I want to be shooting myself up with.

I’ll take my chances with naturally boosting my immune system. Nutrition plays a massive role in doing just that.

Here are 13 foods to veg out on (pun intended) to keep your immune system in tip-top shape during cold and flu season.


Garlic contains a compound called allin that helps the immune system fight germs. Eat it in pasta, vegetable dishes, soups and just about everything savory if you love it like me.


Ginger packs a powerful immune-boosting punch. It’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Ginger also cures nasuea and soothes an upset stomach. Add it to anything that you can!


Onions also contain allin along with antioxidants that support immunity. Red and yellow varieties also have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties as well. They may make you cry but they’re worth it!

Green Tea

Green tea is an immunity rock star. It contains compounds and antioxidants that help the body fight viruses and stomach bugs. Bottoms up!

Probiotics & Prebiotics

Probiotics are a major player when it comes to gut health. They can be found in fermented foods like kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh and miso. These foods have been known to play a role in reducing the risk of upper respiratory infections so eat up!

Prebiotics actually feed the probiotics in your gut so they are super important too. They can be found in foods like jicama, jerusalem artichokes, bananas, leafy greens and the peel of kiwis (which I had no idea was edible until this week!). And speaking of kiwi…


Newsflash: Studies have shown that eating kiwi reduces the length of colds.

Kiwi is super high vitamin C, potassium, folate and antioxidants. And guess what? It’s in season! God really knows what he’s doing. #jussayin

Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, collards and mustard greens contain vitamins C, E, K and beta-carotene which all contribute to a healthy immune system. They also make sulforaphane which is a phytochemical known for it’s immune-boosting and anti-cancer properties.


Berries contain high amounts of vitamin C and other antioxidants which help fight cancer and prevent cell damage. They are tiny but mighty! Blackberries which are in season this month are the healthiest of all berries. You know what they say, the darker the berry the sweeter the juice.

Citrus Fruit

You already knew this one, right? Just like berries they contain a ton of vitamin C which we know boosts our immune system. Whole fruit is better than the juice, in case you were wondering.

You know what else has a ton of vitamin C?

Red Bell Pepper

Red bell peppers pack twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruit. They also contain vitamin E and beta-carotene which give your immune system extra power.

Add them to your salads or make this 3-bean chili which contains red peppers, onions and garlic. Your immune system will love you for it.


Mushrooms have been used medicinally for many years. Shitakes are among mushroom varieties that attack viruses and cancer cells so go ahead and add ‘shrooms to that pizza (hold the cheese!).


There’s a reason its said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples have a ton of fiber which in and of itself helps boost your immune system. And just like kiwi and blackberries, they’re in season right on time to keep you from getting sick!

Sunflower Seeds

We used to eat them all the time as kids but did you know that sunflower seeds create antibodies that help fight infections? They also contain a ton of vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant. Eat them in the shell or on a salad, these are definitely seeds of success.

Any of the foods on this list surprise you?

Wishing you a healthy flu season!

Sneak Peak: Next week I’ll be focusing on supplements and medicinal herbs to help with your immunity and recovery if you do get sick.

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