Food That Helps Your Immune System

Dr. Juli Mazi ND

July 20, 2022

Immune System

Besides fruits and vegetables, other foods can support the immune system. Some examples of foods with immune-boosting benefits are onions, garlic, salmon, and sunflower seeds. These foods also contain potent antioxidants and contain histamine-regulating properties. Also, ginger is packed with antioxidants and is an excellent choice for boosting the immune system. Low-fat dairy products, including milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese, also benefit the body.


If you’re constantly getting colds, a fruit-rich diet can help you keep them away. Not only do fruits contain essential nutrients, but they also have a robust immune response. For example, citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C, often used to treat infections. In addition, citrus fruits are also high in flavonoids, such as hesperidin, which protect your immune system.

Leafy greens

Many studies have revealed that leafy greens boost the immune system and protect the body from infections. In particular, they have been shown to activate the T-bet gene in the intestinal lining, which instructs precursor cells to produce innate lymphoid cells. These cells line the intestines and fight off pathogens by supporting an optimal balance between good and bad bacteria in the gut microbiome.


If you’re looking for foods that boost your immune system, try these seven: salmon, broccoli, green vegetables, garlic, and vitamin D. Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help fight off inflammation and prevent respiratory tract infections. Additionally, omega-3s boost the immune system by allowing it to focus on fighting pathogens rather than on attacking body cells. These foods are also excellent sources of vitamin D and zinc, two essential minerals for your immune system.

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds contain good fats and beneficial plant compounds that may help your immune system fight off illness. Besides being a great source of fiber and protein, sunflower seeds are also low in sodium. However, it would help if you watched out for the sodium content, as many packaged products are loaded with salt. One ounce of sunflower seeds contains 79% of your daily sodium allowance. It’s not clear why this is so, but a few grams of sunflower seed powder or seeds would likely be enough to boost your immune system.

Vitamin E

Taking a good amount of vitamin E in your diet is essential, as it can boost your immune system and prevent diseases. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that fights off free radicals that can damage cells and cause illness and premature aging. In addition, vitamin E is a good antioxidant and supports the production of T cells in the body, the primary cells responsible for fighting infection. By boosting the number of these immune cells, Vitamin E will help you build a more robust immune system and fight off infection.

Vitamin B-6

You might be surprised to learn that Vitamin B-6 can help your immune system. While it isn’t necessary for a healthy immune system, vitamin B6 deficiency can impair the body’s response to infection. This is because vitamin B6 decreases serum antibodies and inhibits the production of white blood cells, which are essential to your immune system. Additionally, Vitamin B6 can help the body absorb vitamin B12 and aid in the immune response.

Vitamin C

As a vital nutrient, Vitamin C helps your immune system function properly. It is essential for mounting an effective immune response against pathogens and preventing excessive damage to the host. The CDC provides valuable information about the role of Vitamin C. These two organizations recommend that vitamin C intake is increased to help prevent disease and improve the immune response. In addition, vitamin C helps your body fight off infections and prevent the onset of colds and flu.


A balanced diet is your body’s best defense against dangerous and chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. But did you know that your diet can help you ward off the flu? Several foods are known to help strengthen your mechanism of defense. Your immune system is responsible for responding to threats in your body. Here are some of them:

Oily fish

Eating oily fish regularly can benefit your health in several ways. For one thing, it can help prevent cardiovascular disease. According to a study published by the American Physiological Society, omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish help protect the heart against mental stress. Furthermore, the fatty acids in oily fish, such as salmon lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and inflammation. Plus, they are an excellent source of lean protein. Whitefish also contain omega-3 fatty acids but in small amounts.