It’s no secret that what we eat is important for keeping us healthy. But did you know that some foods actually help to boost your immune system? If you’re looking to keep yourself healthy this winter or just want to strengthen your immune system, then check out this list of 21 powerful immune boosting foods for adults. From citrus fruits to garlic and ginger, these foods are sure to help keep you healthy all season long!
1. Chicken soup
Chicken soup is a traditional food that has been prepared for centuries to boost immunity. As one of the best immune boosting foods for adults, there’s nothing like a warm bowl of chicken soup when you’re fighting a cold.
It’s not just comfort food: numerous studies have proven the benefits of chicken soup in helping to recover from nasal congestion and upper respiratory illnesses. Chicken soup is a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals—such as vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, potassium, and magnesium—all of which are essential for the immune system.
2. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are amazing immune boosting foods for adults and are full of vitamin C—an antioxidant—which helps to fight infections and protects the immune system. Citrus fruits also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can protect against infections. While studies are inconclusive about whether vitamin C can fight the common cold, they do show the benefits of eating citrus fruits for your overall health.
Consider adding a variety of fresh, organic citrus fruits to your diet, such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, mandarins, tangerines, and clementines.
Blueberries are one of the superstars of the fruit world and are among the best immune boosting foods for adults. Whether in pancakes, muffins, or pies, sprinkled on oatmeal, or eaten by the handful, blueberries are delicious and healthy.
Blueberries contain a flavonoid called anthocyanin, which boosts immune function. They also have lots of vitamins and nutrients—vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber—which are great for your immune system as well as your oral health and overall health.
4. Sweet Potatoes
When it comes to immune boosting foods for adults, few are as effective as sweet potatoes. This humble root vegetable is full of nutrients that support a healthy immune system, including beta-carotene, Vitamin C, and potassium.
In addition to their immunity-boosting nutrients, sweet potatoes are also a great source of fiber, which is important for gut health and a strong immune system.
When it comes to top immune boosting foods for adults, there are few foods more powerful than ginger. Ginger contains a bioactive compound called gingerol, which has been shown to be effective in fighting off infections, helping to reduce inflammation, and even boosting cognitive function. Not to mention ginger is also great for alleviating nausea and vomiting.
Shellfish—including oysters, crab, lobsters, mussels, and others—are among the healthiest immune boosting foods for adults you can eat. They’re an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, and they contain compounds that boost immunity.
Shellfish are a low-calorie, high-protein food that is also among the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients are essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation throughout the body, and they also support white blood cells, which are key to fighting infection. Shellfish are also a good source of zinc, selenium, and copper. These minerals are important for regulating immunity and preventing cellular damage.
Broccoli is a powerhouse vegetable when it comes to boosting your immune system. It is rich in fiber and antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and E. These nutrients work together to keep your cells healthy and protect them from damage. Broccoli—one of the best immune boosting foods for adults—is also a good source of zinc, which is an essential mineral for a strong immune system.
Carrots are also among the top immune boosting foods for adults. They are an outstanding source of beta-carotene, which our bodies use to make vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for maintaining a healthy immune system. It helps to protect against infections by increasing the number of white blood cells and antibodies. Carrots are also loaded with fiber, which helps keep your gut healthy.
Garlic is a natural antibiotic and has antiviral, antifungal, and antiseptic properties. It is effective in boosting the immune system and fighting off infection. Garlic contains allicin: a sulfur-containing compound that is responsible for its strong smell and taste. Allicin also boosts your immune system and reduces symptoms if you do become sick.
Kiwis are among the most powerful immune boosting foods for adults. They’re packed with vitamins C, E, and potassium, which help keep your immune system functioning properly. Kiwis are also high in fiber, which helps keep your gut healthy—and a healthy gut helps keep your immune system strong.
Add these yummy immune boosting fruits to salads, smoothies, desserts, and more!
Long used as a traditional remedy to fight cold and flu symptoms, elderberries are chock full of vitamins and antioxidants which may boost your immunity.
Elderberries are delicious and immune boosting foods for adults that are often consumed as a syrup, in tea, made into jelly or pies, or added to baked goods. Unlike blueberries, elderberries cannot be eaten raw.
12. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are loaded with selenium, a mineral that plays an important role in the immune system. Selenium helps to produce antibodies that help to fight infection and disease. They also are a rich source of zinc and vitamin E, both of which help to boost the immune system.
Watermelon is another one of the most powerful immune boosting foods for adults. The fruit is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, which are known to boost the immune system. Watermelon is also a good source of lycopene, a compound that has been shown to protect against diabetes, certain types of cancer, and cardiovascular issues.
14. Acai berry
Next on our list of immune boosting foods for adults is the acai berry. These grape-sized fruits are native to the Amazon rainforest and have been used for centuries by indigenous people for their medicinal properties. These fruits are a rich source of antioxidants, which help to protect cells from damage and support the immune system. Research has shown that acai berries can help to reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and boost cognitive function.
15. Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers are a potent source of vitamins A and C, which are both essential for a strong immune system. Vitamin A is necessary for our bodies to produce white blood cells, which are key to fighting off infection. Vitamin C helps to protect cells from damage. Red bell peppers also contain lycopene, an important phytonutrient that has been shown to boost immunity.
Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that is packed with nutrients. This immune boosting food is a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as manganese and folate. Spinach also contains phytonutrients that can boost your immune system. One of these phytonutrients, called glutathione, is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage.
Turmeric is a delicious spice with a warm, earthy flavor that comes from the turmeric plant. Turmeric is available fresh, dried, or ground into a powder.
Often used in Indian cuisine, turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and has been shown to boost immune function.
18. Sunflower seeds
There are many powerful immune boosting foods for adults to eat to keep themselves healthy. And one such food is sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, zinc, selenium, and manganese. They also contain phytochemicals that can boost the immune system.
Among all nuts, almonds are some of the most nutrient-rich and an excellent source of vitamin E. They also contain high levels of magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Just a handful of almonds a day can boost immunity and keep you healthy.
Papaya is a tropical fruit that has many nutrients and antioxidants. It has been shown to boost the immune system, fight inflammation, and protect against illness.
Papayas are rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate, and fiber. They also contain an enzyme (papain) that is an anti-inflammatory. Papayas are good immune boosting foods for adults because they are also great sources of vitamin B9 and potassium, which help with immunity.
21. Button mushrooms
Button mushrooms are a type of mushroom that contains many powerful immune-boosting properties. They are an excellent source of Vitamin D, which helps maintain a strong immune system. Button mushrooms also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that may help protect against infection and disease. Additionally, button mushrooms are a good source of selenium, which is another nutrient that is important for immunity.
Putting It All Together
The best way to stay healthy is by boosting your immune system with the right foods. We hope this list of 21 immune-boosting foods for adults has given you some ideas of what to eat to keep your body in tip-top shape.
Remember, a healthy diet is key to a strong immune system, so make sure to include these foods in your daily meals and snacks.