A strong immune system helps to keep a person healthy. Can certain foods boost the immune system? As part of a balanced diet, you can nourish your body with certain foods that may help keep your immune system strong. Incorporating specific foods into the diet may strengthen a person’s immune response.

Citrus fruits, Kiwi, Red bell peppers and Broccoli

Vitamin C may increase the production of white blood cells, this is key to fighting infections. Examples: grapefruit., oranges, tangerines, lemons, and clementine’s. Kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C, as well. Since your body doesn’t store vitamin C, you need it daily for immune health. If you think citrus fruits have the most vitamin C, think again. Red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus.

Broccoli packs a punch of nutrition loaded with vitamins and minerals. Supercharged with vitamins A, C, and E, other antioxidants and fiber.

Sweet potato and Carrots

These veggies are top sources of beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. This nutrient helps the immune system by aiding with the production of white blood cells, which fight bacteria and viruses. It also helps form the mucous membranes that line the respiratory tract, which acts as a protective barrier to keep germs out of the body. A baked sweet potato packs over 150% of the daily vitamin A goal, and a cup of raw carrots over 100% of the recommended intake.

Beans/Legumes, Hemp seeds, Sunflower seeds, and Almonds

Zinc is one of the few nutrients proven to reduce the duration of the common cold and influences multiple aspects of the immune system. Adequate zinc is crucial for the normal development and function of the immune system. One cup of beans provides over half of the recommended daily intake for zinc, and a quarter cup of hemp seeds contains 52%. Almonds are another excellent source of vitamin E. They also contain manganese, magnesium, and fiber.

A quarter of a cup of almonds is a healthful snack that may benefit the immune system.

Sunflower seeds can make an addition to salads or breakfast bowls, a rich source of vitamin E, an antioxidant. In the same way as other antioxidants, vitamin E improves immune function.


Berries have antioxidant properties that may boost the immune system. Berries contain flavonoids that can help boost the immune system, which play an essential role in the respiratory tract’s immune defense system.

Researchers found that people who ate foods rich in flavonoids were less likely to get an upper respiratory tract infection, or common cold, than those who did not.

Bottom Line

Eating immune supporting foods may keep your body’s defenses strong and the ability to fight of infections. It is also important to remember that eating a nutritious balanced diet is only one way to support immune health.It is also essential to take into consideration that lifestyle factors, such as exercising regularly, managing stress, and not smoking all which may affect your immune strength. To keep your immune system healthy, it’s important to get sufficient sleep, exercise regularly, and manage your stress.

Carol Aguirre MS, RD/LDN