Citrus fruits

15 Foods That Boost The Immune System

I wanted to write this blog post for quite some time now. Finally, I have the chance to do so, especially at this time when we all face the threat from COVID-19 (novel corona virus). Having a strong immune system is very important in today’s world when we are potentially exposed to new viral infections. I am a strong believer in the adage “you are what you eat”. Here are a few foods which when added to ones daily intake can boost the immune system.


Ginger for the immune system

A popular spice that originated in Southeast Asia. It has many health and medicinal benefits. The bioactive ingredient in ginger called gingerol has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Gingerol can inhibit the growth of many bacteria and RSV which causes a viral respiratory infection.
Ginger can be used in its raw form (grated) or as ginger powder, incorporating it in foods and drinks.


The key mineral in some shellfish is zinc. Zinc is required for immune cells in the body to function optimally. Shellfish rich in zinc are crab, lobster, clam and mussel. The daily zinc requirement is 11mg in men and 8mg in women.



Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a leafy green vegetable that originated in Persia. It belongs to the amaranth family and is related to beets and quinoa. Spinach is very healthy, as it contains plenty of nutrients and antioxidants. Vitamins A, B6, B9 C, E, K, folic acid, calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron are contained in spinach. Spinach reduces free radicals which are substances that increase the risk of cancers. Spinach is also good for reducing high blood pressure and key for good eye health.


Garlic for the immune system

Garlic is a plant in the Allium (onion) family. Approximately 10-20 cloves are in a bulb of garlic. One clove of garlic contains manganese, vitamin B1, B6, vitamin C, selenium, fibre, calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus and iron.
Garlic also contains antioxidants that reduce free radicals which are harmful to the body and detoxifies the body of heavy metals like Lead. It also can reduce the severity of the cold or flu.


Tumeric is a spice that gives curry its yellow colour. The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin gives tumeric its strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Curcumin can prevent and even treat certain cancers.


Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds contain phosphorus, magnesium and vitamins B6 and E ( a powerful antioxidant). Vitamin E regulates and maintains the immune system. Other foods high in Vitamin E are avocados and dark leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale. Sunflower seeds can be added to the diet in salads or just on their own.


Red Bell peppers

These tasty peppers are not only pretty in colour but they contain high levels of vitamin C, twice the amount found in citrus fruits. Vitamin C helps to produce white blood cells which fight infections. Beta carotene is also found in red bell peppers, which maintain good skin and eye health.


Citrus fruits

These juicy and tasty fruits are rich in vitamin C which help to produce white blood cells. Vitamin is not produced or stored by the body, so a daily intake of vitamin C is very important. Popular citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons, limes.



Papayas are rich in Vitamin C. Papain is an important anti-inflammatory agent also found in papayas. Potassium, folate and B vitamins are also in papayas. So this combination of vitamins and minerals provide excellent support of the immune system.


Blueberries are rich in the anti-oxidant compound flavonoid. Anti-oxidants fight free radicals in the body helping to reduce the formation of cancer. Vitamin C, K and manganese are also found in blueberries. Blueberries also reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure which in turn reduce heart disease.


Green tea is packed with flavonoid and epigallocatechin (EGCG), these are two powerful anti-oxidants. EGCG enhances immune function. The amino acid L-theanine is found in green tea and aids in the production of germ fighting compounds in the T-cells.


Broccoli is good for the immune system

Many vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants as well as fibre are in broccoli. Broccoli can be eaten raw or steamed as cooking it too much cause these well needed vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants to be lost.


Low fat, plain yogurts like Greek yogurt with live and active cultures are the type of yogurts I suggests. There are probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidus contained in these types of yogurts that boost immune function.
Some yogurts also contain vitamin D which regulates the immune system.



Watermelons are low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamins A, B6, C. Glutathione an anti-oxidant is also found in watermelons. These nutrients all help to ensure good immune function.

15. KIWI

Kiwi  for the immune system

Kiwi contains folate, potassium, vitamin C and K. Vitamin C boost white cells production which in turn increases the fighting action of the body against infection.

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