What is your immune system?
Your immune system is like your body’s protective amour to the outside world. It consists of almost all the critical working systems in your body – your organs, tissues, and cells. They work together in harmony to keep you healthy and able to fight against viruses, parasites, bacteria and other toxins in the environment, basically all the things that can make you sick.
Why is a strong immune system important?
It is very important to keep your immune system in tip-top shape all the time because your body needs to be ready to defend itself when the time comes. Left on its own device, your immune system can deteriorate over time as you age. Diet, lifestyle choices and other environmental factors can impact how your immune system performs as you age. A compromised immune system can make you more vulnerable to diseases that can be as mild as a common cold to as serious as cancer.
So you need to do what you can with your diet and lifestyle choices to make sure that your immune system is always in good shape. I cannot overstress how true it is that you are what you eat. What you eat plays a huge role in how healthy your body can be and as you age, nutrition from food becomes a more critical part of staying healthy and maintaining a strong immune system.
What to eat for a strong immune system?
Eating a primarily plant-based diet is a good place to start. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain a great variety of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to maintain all its critical functions. When it comes to specifically boost your immune system, you will want to focus on these vitamins and minerals:
Plays a key role in making sure that your DNA and protein synthesis is done right. Decreases resistance to infections has been observed in folate-deficient humans and animals.
A powerful antioxidant that has been shown to boost immunity.
Necessary for immune cells proliferation and maturation, especially your lymphocytes which are associated with your body’s ability to generate specific responses to infections.
- Beta-carotene (Vitamin A)
A super antioxidant that helps build up your immune system to fight against free radicals.
- Vitamins B6 and B12
Vitamins B6 and B12 together help your body produce white blood cells that are essential for your immune system function.
- Vitamin C
Supports your immune system by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system.
- Vitamin D
Adequate levels have been shown to improve your T-cell function, an important part of your body’s defense system.
- Vitamin E
Another powerful antioxidant that can protect your cells from free radical damage. This one is fat-soluble.
So which foods can you find these vitamins and minerals? Below is a list of 21 foods that you can start incorporating into your diet.
21 Superfoods for Stronger Immune System
An apple a day really does keep the doctor away because eating a healthy amount of soluble fiber each day can help boost your immune system. Crunch it down as is or add it to your morning smoothie for some sweetness.
For one delicious smoothie recipe with apples, try my liver detox juice recipe.
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, blackberries, and even acai berries are all super berries that are easily available these days. They are super-rich in antioxidants. Blueberries especially contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin that can help boost your immune system, especially for your respiratory tract. Best of all, berries are extremely easy and delicious to add to your morning cereal, oatmeal or smoothie. For a kick-start idea, how about trying out my Blueberry Hemp Overnight Oats or my Nutty Blueberry Almond Chia Pudding?
If putting something together in the kitchen is really not your thing, try the PaleoReds™ supplement.
3. Bone Broth
A nutritious liquid made from brewed bones and connective tissues of cow, chicken or even fish. It is very rich in minerals and vitamins that are essential for your immune health. Try my bone broth recipe below or simply add Whole Body Collagen supplement to your diet today. 
4. Citrus Fruits
This includes your oranges, lemons, and limes and they are great sources of Vitamin C. Add a slice of any of these citrus fruits to your water for a flavor boost. I am a huge fan of starting my morning with lemon water! Or simply add these high vitamin C supplements such as Stellar C supplement or Liposomal C to your daily routine. 
5. Cruciferous Vegetables
Common cruciferous vegetables include your broccoli and cauliflower. They are great sources of Vitamin C. Vitamin C as mentioned, is vital to your immune system health. They also contain an amazing amount of antioxidants such as sulforaphane. Check out my Cauliflower Rice Oatmeal recipe for a delicious idea to start your day right.
Otherwise, there is always the BroccoProtect™ supplement that you can add to get your daily dose.
6. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is such a healthy treat. It contains high amounts of an antioxidant called theobromine which has been shown to be effective in boosting your immune system and defending your body against damaging free radicals. A lot of different dark chocolate bars are available on the market right now and many of them are very low in sugar. Some even use stevia as the sweetener. So options abound!
However, if you do feel like making something really special and healthy, do try my Guilt Free Low Carb Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Hearts recipe.
If you are one of those who don’t really enjoy snacking on chocolate but still want to reap its nutritional benefits, try the Magnesium Buffered Chelate supplement.
7. Fermented Foods for Prebiotics and Probiotics
Examples of fermented foods include miso, yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, and kefir. Probiotics and prebiotics are important for your gut health and hence your immune system performance. For example, the consumption of kefir on a regular basis has been shown to help your body fight bacteria, reduce inflammation and increase antioxidant activity. 
Garlic is a truly yummy healing food. It contains high amounts of allicin that can really reduce your risks of getting a cold. Add some fresh garlic or even garlic powder to your stir-fry, pasta sauce or even your morning omelet for a boost in flavor and in health! Try my Zucchini Pasta with Pesto Sauce for more garlic in your diet.
If savoring the flavor of garlic is really not your thing, try the Allicillin™ supplement instead.
Commonly used in Asian cuisines, ginger has also been used as a medicinal herb for centuries. It contains powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties that are key to maintaining a strong immune system. An easy way to reap the health benefits of ginger on a daily basis is ginger tea. Or try adding some to your smoothie. Try my Green Juice Immunity recipe.
Or try the Ginger-Tussin™ Syrup supplement if you are experiencing a cold or sore throat symptoms.
A yummy and excellent source of Vitamin C is a proven effective defense against the common cold and other ailments. Slice up a kiwi with skin-on and enjoy its wonderful sweetness or try this Vitamin C Buffered Powder and add it to your water or smoothies for a delicious boost.
11. Leafy greens
Leafy greens are great sources of folate, a key building block for your immune system. They also contain high amounts of flavonoids, carotenoids, Vitamin C and Vitamin E that together help support and boost your immune system. Spinach and kale are available all year round and so easy to add to any salads, stir-fry and pasta sauces. You can even try replacing your potato chips snacks with this crunchy super healthy and wonderfully delicious kale chips recipe.
You can also further boost your body’s intake of these essential nutrients with the addition of the C+BioFizz™.
12. Matcha Green Tea
Rich in disease-fighting polyphenols and flavonoids, matcha green tea is one of the healthiest teas available. These antioxidants can destroy cell-damaging free radicals. I recommend decaf but if caffeinated is all you can find, that will work very well too. 
Or add the EGCg supplement to your daily diet as an alternative.
Mushrooms are a great source of selenium and B vitamins that together play a key role in ensuring your immune system is functioning properly and effectively. They are so easy to add to any of your existing go-to pasta recipes or soup recipes. Their meaty texture also makes them an ideal replacement for ground meat in your Bolognese sauce.
You can also easily enjoy the health benefits of fermented mushrooms through the use of MycoPure™ Golden Milk or MycoPure™ Chocolate. Makes a delicious and nutritious smoothie any time of the day while boosting your immune system!
Or consider Immunitone Plus™ which is an herbal formula with several medicinal mushrooms that is designed to support healthy immune system function during cold and flu season.
14. Nuts and Seeds
Examples include almonds and sunflower seeds, which are great sources of Vitamin E which is vital for your immune system health. Try these satisfying Super Easy Walnut Stuffed Dates or Sunflower Pumpkin Herb Seed Cheese recipes to start enjoying the health benefits of nuts and seeds.
15. Oily Fish
Examples include salmon, seabass and tuna. They are readily available fresh or frozen in most local supermarkets these days. Oily fish contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that can help boost your immune system and especially help reduce your risks of chronic autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. For a yummy way to enjoy salmon, check out my Salmon Quinoa Buddha Bowl recipe!
Or simply add an omega-3 supplement to your daily routine. Check out the OmegaAvail™ Ultra.
Full of zinc, oysters may not be your regular go-to source of protein, but they are definitely worth a try. As mentioned, zinc has powerful virus-fighting properties because zinc helps your body activate your white blood cells to ensure a proper immune response to external dangers. If you don’t like eating oysters, or find yourself falling short on loading up on this nutrient, consider adding the Zinc Supreme supplement to your diet.
17. Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers are also a great source of vitamins, without the natural sugars from fruits. Red bell peppers are so easy to add to stir-fry, pasta sauces, omelet, and soups. Try my Cranberry Orange Relish recipe or add some Stellar C supplement to your diet today for a vitamin C boost!
18. Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes and actually many other orange-colored vegetables are very rich in beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant and is a source of Vitamin A that your body needs to maintain healthy skin and a healthy immune system. Just bake a sweet potato and add some vitamin A-rich ghee butter for a healthy dose of vitamin A and beta-carotene. Check out my recipe on how to make your own ghee butter here. 
Used a lot in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, turmeric has recently become “The” superfood. It contains high amounts of curcumin, an active compound that has been found to do wonders for your immune system. Curcumin has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Add some to your curry or even pasta sauce next time or try my Golden Milk Recipe for a healthy boost to your immune system.
Another easy way to add curcumin in your diet is the Curcum-Evail® supplement.
Juicy and sweet and super refreshing, watermelons are now available all year round, not just summer. They contain high amounts of an antioxidant called glutathione that is essential for strengthening your immune system to fight against infections. Did you know that you can eat both the red flesh and the green/white rind? Yes, you can!
Another easy way to add glutathione to your diet is the Liposomal Glutathione supplement. It works wonders for antioxidant protection and liver support!
21. Wheat Germ
Wheat germ contains an amazing amount of zinc, antioxidants and B vitamins. They are the center part of the wheat seed that feeds a baby wheat plant. Add some to your morning cereal, oatmeal or even smoothie for a nutty nutritious flavor.
Or you can try the Zinc Supreme supplement.
As you can see, there are so many yummy ways to a stronger immune system. So what are you waiting for? There is no better time than now to boost your immune system, not just through cold and flu season but rather all year long. If you feel you are falling short on consuming many of these immune-boosting foods, you can always supplement your diet for extra protection.
If you need more help putting this together or suspect deeper issues such as food allergies or sensitivities that could be preventing you from having a strong immune system or optimal health, CONTACT ME. I can help you discover what may be preventing you from feeling your best and set up a program that is right for you.
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1. www.unmc.edu/publicrelations/media/press-kits/chicken-soup/. Bone broth for a common cold.
2. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16373990. Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and Zinc and effect on clinical conditions.
3. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24499072. Immune system stimulation by probiotic microorganisms.
4. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6048092/. The immunomodulatory effect of green tea (Camellia sinensis) leaves extract on immunocompromised Wistar rats infected by Candida albicans.
5. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10511324. Beta-carotene and other carotenoids as antioxidants.
6. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/. Vitamin D and the Immune System.