- Your immune system is vital in protecting your body from harmful microorganisms like viruses, bacteria, and fungi, and internal disease-causing cells.
- Eating a diet with a lot of fruits and vegies, will give your body all the micronutrients to boost your immune system including zinc, and vitamins A, B6, and E among others.
- Some activities that boost your immune system include sleep, exercise, and meditation or any activity that reduces your stress levels.
Immunity Boosting Foods For Adults
In light of the global pandemic currently affecting the world at large, immune health is perhaps even more important than ever. Your immune system plays an essential role in protecting your body from harmful outside microorganisms like viruses (COVID-19), bacteria, and fungi, as well as internal disease-causing cells (1). It is made up of two subsystems, the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system, which work together to fight against new germs and germs your body has encountered previously (2). Despite the inherent complexity of the immune system and all its moving parts, there are lots of efficient ways to promote its health and lend it a helping hand.
Some of the best ways to boost your immune system come in the form of lifestyle changes. As we will discuss in the next section, immune-boosting activities may include exercising regularly, maximizing your sleep, and minimizing your stress levels as much as possible. But, you can also assist your immune cells by providing them with the nutrients they need to be healthy and operate at their highest capacities. Eating a diet packed with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other foods that boost immune system health will help your body gain the micronutrients that are important to your immune cells. If you feel that you are not getting enough of certain nutrients linked to immune health such as iron, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E, you may be interested in supplementing your diet with a liquid multivitamin or individual liquid vitamins (3). Read on to learn more about immunity boosting foods for adults and kids alike as well as some of the most efficient ways to promote the health of your immune system and your body as a whole.
Top 10 Ways To Boost Your Immune System
The complexity of the body’s immune system often generates a lot of questions when it comes to promoting immune health. Depending on your circumstances, you may find yourself wondering how to boost immune system naturally, how to boost immune system when sick, or even how to boost immune system quickly. All of these questions can be answered by following some general guidelines in regards to immune health. So, below, we have provided a list of the top 10 ways to boost your immune system.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep allows your body to power down and focus its attention on internal processes like immunity and healing, hence why sleeping a lot when sick may help you feel better faster. Believe it or not, poor sleep may make you up to four times more likely to catch a cold, so try to sleep soundly for at least 7 or more hours each night (4).
- Exercise regularly. Consistent exercise is an important aspect of your body’s overall health, but it may be particularly helpful to the immune system by helping immune cells regenerate. However, you should refrain from straining yourself, as excessive exercise may suppress the immune system instead.
- Wash your hands. This one is pretty self-explanatory! Cleaning your hands before touching your face or handling food helps stop the spread of germs to yourself and others.
- Stay hydrated. Hydration plays a key role in the elimination of waste and toxins from the body. If dehydration occurs and this debris begins to build up, it may weaken your immune system and make fighting back against disease more difficult.
- Manage your stress. High stress levels over a long period of time may cause a decrease in your body’s white blood cell count. These cells are essential for fighting off infection, so try to lower anxiety by practicing mindful activities like yoga and meditation.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking causes an imbalance in the immune system which may lead to an increased risk of developing immune or auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis (5).
- Drink in moderation. Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol may lower your immune system’s defensive capabilities by suppressing immune responses. If you do drink, try to limit both the frequency and the amount of consumption.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Chronic inflammation caused by obesity may compromise your immune system, leading to an increased risk of infection and a decrease in vaccine responsiveness.
- Eat a balanced diet. The fuel that helps your immune system operate at its highest capacity comes from the food you eat on a daily basis, so try to incorporate as many immune-boosting foods for adults as you can regularly.
- Supplement your diet. If you feel that you’re not receiving enough of important immune boosting vitamins and minerals, then you may want to consider supplementing your diet with a multivitamin.
Immune Boosting Foods
Now that you know the importance of a well-balanced diet for immune health, you’re probably wondering what types of foods need to be included in that diet. We have broken our list of a few immune system booster foods up into categories: immunity booster fruits, immunity booster vegetables, and several other miscellaneous types of immune-boosting foods. Check them out below!
- Fruits: Citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes), papaya, kiwi, elderberry, acai berry, watermelon, pomegranate juice (an immunity booster drink), mangoes, and melons.
- Vegetables: Spinach, ginger, garlic, broccoli, red bell peppers, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes.
- Meat and animal products: Yogurt, poultry, shellfish (oysters, crab, lobster, mussels), fatty fish, eggs, milk, and beef.
- Spices or enhancers: Turmeric, wheat germ, and miso.
- Miscellaneous: Tea (green, white, or black), almonds, sunflower seeds, tofu, beans, kefir, kimchi, and lentils.
If you feel that your diet isn’t giving you the immune-boosting nutrients that you need, then you may consider incorporating a multivitamin into your routine. Most multivitamins will provide a mix of essential nutrients that includes immune boosters. Better Family’s Liquid Daily Multivitamin contains a diverse blend of nutrients such as B complex vitamins, vitamins A, E, D, and K, and minerals like zinc, iodine, chromium, and selenium. This all-in-one liquid solution can be consumed sublingually and is more concentrated than other liquid multivitamins, making it the standout choice among competitors for fast absorption of only the highest quality micronutrients. Both safe and effective, our Liquid Daily Multivitamin is a great choice for any household and can be given to family members of all ages.
Foods That Fight Viruses
So are there any foods that fight viruses specifically? The indirect answer is: yes. There are lots of different types of food to increase immunity against cold and cough as well as immunity boosting foods for COVID patients or anyone fighting a viral infection. Keep in mind that eating these foods alone will not necessarily heal your infection, but rather give a much-needed boost to your immune system while it works to heal you.
- Vitamin C: As an immune support, vitamin C is a key micronutrient for the human body, providing support to cells in both subsets of the immune system. Foods rich in vitamin C include spinach, bell peppers, strawberries, papaya, and citrus fruits.
- Zinc: Similar to vitamin C, zinc affects cells in both subsets of the immune system, promoting normal development of the cells and stabilizing their functions. Foods rich in zinc include seafood, beef, and yogurt.
- Vitamin E: Working as an antioxidant, vitamin E gives essential support to the overall health of your immune system. Foods rich in vitamin E include almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts.
Foods That Weaken Immune System
Just as there are foods that promote better immune function, there are also foods that weaken immune system health. Below, we have provided a short list of foods to avoid with compromised immune system (6).
- Added sugar: Having a diet that is high in added sugar may increase the risk of developing auto-immune diseases while inhibiting the abilities of your immune cells.
- Fast food: Fast food can cause serious problems when it comes to gut health in particular, disrupting the balance of bacteria living in the gut while also increasing inflammation. Both of these factors may negatively impact immune function.
- Refined carbs: Refined carbs include white bread, pizza dough, pasta, pastries, white flour, white rice, sweet desserts, and some types of breakfast cereal. They may cause an increase in blood sugar, which also increases inflammation and immune dysfunction.
- Fried foods: Fried foods contain a higher amount of advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. These molecules often lead to inflammation and may even cause cellular dysfunction, greatly disrupting the immune system.
- Salty foods: High salt diets can potentially increase the risk for auto-immune disease or worsen the symptoms of already existing conditions such as Crohn’s disease or rheumatoid arthritis. Increased salt also causes inflammation, which can impact the functioning of the immune system.
A few general habits that weaken your immune system may also include:
- Excessive drinking.
- Over-the-top exercise.
- Lack of sleep.
- Failing to manage stress levels.
Immunity Booster For Kids
A struggle for many parents, especially those handling picky eaters, is figuring out how to increase immunity in your child naturally. Foods like spinach, kale, and other leafy greens may not always go over well at dinner time, but there are plenty of other immunity boosting foods for kids that you can incorporate as fun, healthy snacks throughout their day. Here are a few examples:
- Yogurt: Sweet and refreshing, yogurt generally meets the standards of even the pickiest of eaters while also supplying them with a healthy portion of probiotics to help boost their immunity.
- Citrus fruits: With a perfect balance of sweetness and tartness, citrus fruits like oranges, clementines, grapefruits, and tangerines are a convenient and quick way to give your kids a little extra vitamin C.
- Nuts: Who doesn’t love a salty, crunchy snack! Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, and peanuts act as a great immunity booster for kids without nut allergies.
- “The Immune System.” John Hopkins Medicine, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/the-immune-system.
- “How does the immune system work?” Informed Health, 23 April 2020, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279364/.
- “How to boost your immune system.” Harvard Health Publishing, 15 February 2021, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system.
- Shoemaker, SaVanna. “9 Ways to Boost Your Body’s Natural Defenses.” healthline, 1 April 2020, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-boost-immune-health.
- “Smoking and Overall Health.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/50th-anniversary/pdfs/fs_smoking_overall_health_508.pdf.
- Kubala, Jillian. “10 Foods That May Weaken Your Immune System.” healthline, 22 March 2021, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-that-weaken-immune-system.
More articles from Better Family
- Family Multivitamin
- Liquid Multivitamins
- Best Liquid Multivitamin for Kids
- Chewable vs Liquid Vitamins
- Comparing Monthly Vitamin Subscriptions
- Best Multivitamin for the Whole Family
- Family Diet And Menu Planning
- Multivitamin Liquid Side Effects
- Best Vitamin B12 Liquid Drops
- Liquid Children's Vitamins
- Vitamin Subscription Box
- Good Tasting Liquid Vitamins
- Liquid Vitamin B6 Supplement
- Liquid Selenium Supplement
- Liquid Vitamin E Supplement
- Liquid Vitamin B1 Supplement
- Liquid Vitamin B3 Supplement
- Wellness Activities For Families
- Immunity Boosting Foods For Adults
- Vitamins For Energy And Weight Loss
- Family Health Goals
- Family Health Goals
- Family Health and Wellness Programs
- How to Absorb Multivitamins Better
- Family Nutrition Tips
- Liquid Multivitamin for Adults
- Liquid Multivitamin for Seniors
- Liquid Vitamins and Minerals
- Why Do We Need To Take Multivitamins?
- Liquid Zinc Supplement
- Vitamin Absorption Chart
- Vitamins That Taste Good
- Liquid Chromium Supplement
- Liquid Silicon Dioxide Supplement
- Liquid Vitamin D Supplement
- Liquid Vitamin B9 Supplement
- Daily Wellness Routine
- Vitamins For Energy And Focus
- Improve Family Immunity
- Vitamin Subscription Services
- Can You Dissolve Multivitamins in Water?
- Organic Liquid Multivitamins and Minerals
- Tasteless Liquid Vitamins
- Nutrition For The Whole Family
- B Complex Liquid Drops
- Best Liquid Vitamins for Elderly
- Soluble Vitamins
- How To Take Multivitamins
- Tasteless Liquid Vitamins For Toddlers
- Liquid Zinc Benefits
- Best Tasting Gummy Vitamins
- Liquid Iodine Supplement
- Liquid Vitamin K Supplement
- Liquid Vitamin B12 Supplement
- Liquid Vitamin B7 Supplement
- Family Wellness Activities
- Best Multivitamin For Energy
- Supplements For Energy And Mood