Foods That Boost Your Immune System

March 1, 2023

Food can be very beneficial to your health, like medicine! Going into the flu season, or really any time of the year, it is important to keep yourself healthy and strong. Certain foods contain antioxidants, antiviral/antibacterial properties, fiber, anti-inflammatory properties, and great sources of vitamins and minerals. Because of the contents, integrating these foods into your diet can decrease the risk of certain co- morbidities and fight off colds, viruses and some evidence claims to ward off early cancer indicators. Taking dietary supplements can be most helpful in some cases, but just remember, consuming whole foods is best as you receive a variety of vitamins and minerals this way. Protein, carbohydrates, and fat also contained in some of these foods contribute to muscle retention, healthy cells, energy for exercise and help boost your immune system.

Choosing the right foods can be overwhelming and hard to know what you can consume daily. Here are some examples of foods you can incorporate into your diet every day:


Greens – cooked or raw, greens should be a staple in your diet for keeping you healthy. Promotes gut health and has antioxidants to boost immune health, containing immune boosting vitamins A, C, E and K. Examples would be spinach, spring mixes and kale.


Berries – berries are well known for their antioxidant properties along with adding vitamins and fiber to your diet. These include blueberries and raspberries!


Fermented foods – these types of foods can boost your immune system by assisting in gut health using pre and probiotics. Microflora health is vital to a healthy immune system and can reduce risks of infections. Kefir, sauerkraut and yogurt are good examples.


Protein – protein is built with a combination of amino acids. Some amino acids are built in our bodies, but others must come from food. These are called “essential” amino acids. Histidine is one of the essentials which can help reduce inflammation and overactive allergic responses. Some examples containing some of the essentials are meat and eggs. Both meat and eggs contain zinc and B6, which also boosts the immune system.


Citrus fruits and rainbow – colored vegetables- can provide you with the much-needed vitamin C. Since we do not store this vitamin in our bodies, it is essential to consume foods that contain it daily. Some examples are bell peppers and grapefruit.


Water – we are made up of 60-70% water and lose it through breath, waste and sweat. It is best to drink water that has some minerals in it, like drinking water. Distilled water will rob you of those minerals.


Herbs and Spices –Garlic and Onions are rich in flavonoids and have been considered “medicinal foods” for many years. Some studies have revealed turmeric and ginger can decrease inflammation and aid in allergy relief. Chili peppers contain vitamins A, B, C and E and act as an antioxidant. It also contains capsaicin, which is known for anti-inflammatory properties.


Fiber – beans, lentils, and whole grains are examples of complex carbohydrates that are rich in fiber promoting gut health. Most Americans do not consume enough fiber, so these foods are a great way to start adding into your diet. Main thing here is to drink plenty of water when increasing fiber intake. Doing this will decrease chances of constipation. Zinc is also contained in whole grains and legumes.

Please note: Some of these foods and spices can interfere with medications and health conditions. Please check with your doctor before incorporating new foods into your diet! Overconsumption of these foods can also cause complications, so please check with your dietitian if you have questions!

Rebecca Luttrell is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist at My Bariatric Solutions

Rebecca Luttrell


Rebecca Luttrell is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist from the north Fort Worth area. She became interested in bariatrics in doing intensive dietetic internship rotations. This exposed her to bariatrics both in the clinical and nutrition counseling settings. She joined the My Bariatric Solutions team in May 2017 and her favorite part of being there is appreciating and supporting the population of people they serve. Read more articles by Rebecca!