30 Immune-Boosting Foods to Add to Your Diet

Act fast and stock up on your nutrients.

By Bradley Daves | April 28, 2020

As the coronavirus spreads across the country and the world, you may wonder how to stop the virus. And if there are no foods that can protect you from coronavirus infection, there are ways to make viral symptoms less painful. As the flu season, now is a good time to practice hygiene measures such as replenishing nutrients like vitamin C and washing your hands properly.

Of course, the best way to avoid coronavirus is to practice social disorders and stay at home as long as possible. You can protect your body from coughing and sniffing by charging these 30 immune-boosting foods. And if you want to keep yourself healthy, you should avoid these 100 bad foods.


Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken broth soup

Chicken soup is the main food to avoid the cold and flu season, and not just because the warm comfort food is indifferent to the mother's care. According to the University of California at Los Angeles, this soup is anti-inflammatory and relieves inflammation in the upper airways if you have a cold. The university also noted that the soup helps relieve nasal congestion.


Ginger Tea

Ginger tea

When it comes to treating colds, ginger is the best food for relief. In a review published in the international journal Preventive Medicine, the researchers summed up that the strong anti-inflammatory properties of ginger are important for root powers when fighting colds or flu. Because inflammation can affect your body's immune response, anti-inflammatory ginger can play an important role in strengthening your immune system.



Turmeric powder on wooden spoon

This spice is more than a delicious kick for another day’s meal. It contains a strong anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin. (This is the same compound that gives turmeric its characteristic bright orange-yellow color.) According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Immunology, curcumin activates the production of T cells that can support your immune system for your health. The main cells that fight. System.



orange slices

Oranges are full of vitamin C, essential nutrients when you feel the weather. According to a review by The National Center for Epidemiology and Population Health at The Australian National University, Vitamin C helps prevent colds in people who are exposed to a disease-causing environment such as cold weather. It can also help reduce the duration and severity of a common cold.



water in glass

If you feel sick, good old H2O can be one of the most useful drinks to miss. According to the Mayo Clinic, staying moist can help loosen trapped saliva. The Mayo Clinic says should try to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to keep himself fully hydrated as he has lost more fluids during the illness.


Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt in bowl with spoon

Greek yogurt is full of probiotics to fight the disease and contains more protein than regular yogurt. A meta-analysis published in the Korean journal Family Medicine found that probiotics could help prevent and treat colds. Researchers have found that people who take probiotics every day have a lower risk of freezing than people who do not take probiotics.




Blueberries are full of antioxidants that can help treat and prevent coughs and colds. Research from the University of Auckland shows that adults taking a class of antioxidants in blueberries - flavonoids - are 33 percent less likely to take non-flavonoid foods or supplements on a daily basis.


Ginseng Tea

Ginseng tea

Ginseng tea is not only popular for its delicious taste. That is, tea is used to treat upper respiratory infections (i.e. colds). A review published in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association found that ginseng significantly reduced the symptoms of colds and influenza. However, the researchers said more research is needed to fully support Ginseng's claims of boosting the immune system.



Cherry tomatoes on wooden cutting board

Tomatoes are a great meal when you are sick due to high concentrations of vitamin C. Just one medium-sized tomato contains more than 16 milligrams of vitamin C, which is a proven fuel for your body's immune system. A German study conducted by the Medical Journal of Medicine for Pharmacists showed that vitamin C is an important component of the body's phagocytes and the strength of T cells, the two main components of the immune system. Researchers have also found that a lack of these nutrients can lead to disease due to a weakened immune system and weakened resistance to certain pathogens.10

Wild Salmon

wild alaska king salmon
Courtesy of Alaska Seafood

Wild salmon is full of zinc, a nutrient that has been proven to help relieve cold symptoms. If you want your family and especially your children to survive the cold this winter, give them zinc-rich foods. The Journal Family Practice published a study focusing on the effects of zinc on the common cold in children aged one to ten years. The researchers found that zinc significantly reduced the severity and duration of symptoms compared to placebo within 24 hours of the onset of cold symptoms.

The researchers found that in a second test with children aged 6.5 to 10, zinc was identified as a helpful ingredient in preventing the common cold. Children who took 15 mg of zinc daily for seven months were significantly less likely to catch a cold during the flu season than children in the control group.


Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate bar
Simone van der Koelen/Unsplash

Believe it or not, dark chocolate can be extremely helpful in fighting colds. Dark chocolate contains large amounts of theobromine, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce cough. A study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology found that theobromine is helpful in suppressing cough symptoms in people with bronchitis. Note, however, that further research is needed to fully confirm the results.

RELATED: No-sugar-added recipes you'll actually look forward to eating.


Red Peppers

Red bell peppers

Red peppers are another rich source of vitamin C for colds. A 2013 Harvard Health Letter review found that eating 200 milligrams of vitamin C a day reduced the risk of colds in half of the "highly active" people. It reduces symptoms by eight percent in adults and 14 percent in children.



Broccoli on a wooden cutting board

Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles say that broccoli is a great addition to your diet if you are trying to avoid the cold. According to studies, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables have been shown to help boost immunity. Researchers claim that sulforaphane, a plant chemical, activates antioxidant genes and enzymes in some immune cells that compete with free radicals in your body and prevent you from getting sick.


Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil

This oil has also been shown to help rebuild and strengthen the body's immune system. A study published in the British journal Nutrition found that high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids in olive oil act as anti-inflammatory agents in the body. Acids also help strengthen the immune system and protect the body from infection.


Green Tea

green tea being poured into white teacup

Green tea is not one of the best teas we recommend for weight loss, but it is also for the best source to fight colds. According to a study published in the Journal of Periodontology of the Indian Society, it contains flavonoids, an antioxidant that boosts immunity and has anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that the common antioxidant catechin found in green tea is known to be a powerful antibacterial and antiviral and can kill cold-start bacteria and influenza viruses.



Washed baby spinach leaves

Spinach is an important superfood that is very good for your overall health. Not only is it packed with digestive fiber, but it also contains vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful nutrient that prevents colds and relieves symptoms of illness.


Whole Grain Bread

Seeded whole grain bread

According to a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, whole grains have anti-inflammatory properties that allow increasing the production of healthy bacteria. Seventy percent of your immune system is in your gut. So if you want to prevent cold germs, it is important to keep them healthy.



Hard boiled eggs peeled

Eggs and especially yolks are full of nutrients that boost the immune system. Eggs contain a lot of vitamin D, which is important for controlling and strengthening the immune system. According to a study published in the journal JAMA, participants who took vitamin D services every day in the winter were less likely to catch a cold or other upper respiratory infection than those who did not.




Garlic has a reputation for being one of the best foods for cold-treatment for a reason. A food review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that a group of study participants whose garlic over a three-month period, with a total cold case reported, a significant decrease from 65 cases. Reported by the control group. However, researchers have found that more studies are needed to validate the true effect of garlic on the common cold.



Granny smith apples

"An apple a day keeps a doctor away" is not just the story of older women - apples can really help prevent illnesses like colds. The fruit contains phytochemical antioxidants, according to a study published in the Journal Nutrition. These antioxidants boost the immune system and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.



Bowl of nuts

Most nuts contain vitamin E, another vitamin that is important in fighting diseases. A study published in the Journal of American College Ledge Nutrition found that daily intake of 50 mg of vitamin E increased smoking for men over 65 years and reduced the risk of catching colds in older people by 28 percent in urban areas. Done. However, researchers have found that more studies are needed to fully validate the ability of vitamin E to prevent colds.


Light White Tuna

Canned tuna light

Bright white tuna contains salmon-like zinc. According to a study published in the situational database of systematic reviews, these nutrients greatly affect your immune system and help reduce the symptoms of the common cold. The study found that people who consumed at least 75 milligrams of zinc a day had less relief from their cold symptoms than those who did not.



rosemary sprigs on cutting board

Henna is not only a delicious herb for baked goods but also a wonderful anti-inflammatory and rich source of antioxidants. Critical reviews of food science and nutrition have found that most herbs like rosemary contain antioxidants that act as anti-inflammatory properties in the body. This anti-inflammatory effect enables better digestion and intestinal health and strengthens your immune system to keep you healthy.


Bone Broth

Turkey broth

Animal broth may be the main reason if you have a disease. Soup is very good for you. A study by American College Ledge Chest Physicians states that chicken soup may have anti-inflammatory effects on its body and relieve severe cold symptoms.



raw oysters on ice

Oysters, like other types of seafood, are rich in zinc. And they're one of the most commonly recommended types of seafood to include zinc in your diet. And for more tips to stay healthy, check out these 27 Doctors' Own Cures for a Cold.


Raw Honey


Natural, raw honey is not only delicious, but it can also help relieve some cold symptoms. According to a study published in the Iranian journal Basic Medical Science, it is helpful in relieving sore throat and itching. Studies have also shown that honey acts as an antibacterial agent that kills any germs in the body that can make you sick.



Miso soup

Miso is made from miso soy with antioxidants that boost the immune system. The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that because of the antioxidant content in soy products, postmenopausal women are able to reduce inflammation in their bodies and boost their immunity.



pan roasted mushrooms onions

According to a study by the Florida Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, mushrooms are great for strengthening your immune system. Research suggests that the number of participants who have been eating mushrooms every day for four weeks has significantly increased the strength of T cells by boosting the immune system. They also showed a decrease in inflammatory-inducing proteins, proving that chrysanthemum mushrooms also act as anti-inflammatory agents.


Anise Tea

Star anise

International scholarly research instruction: According to an in-depth review of the plant published in Pharmacology, anise acts as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. Studies also show that anise acts as an antiviral and contains antioxidants that can help boost your immune system.



Fennel seeds

Fennel has a variety of sedative effects that can help relieve your flu-like symptoms. A study published in Biomed Research International found that aniseed acts as a sedative for people suffering from conjunctivitis, diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain due to the abundance of phytochemicals that act as antioxidants. . Research shows that anise also contains flavonoids, which act as anti-inflammatory agents.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest foods news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and stay healthy.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage.
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