10 Surprising Foods That Boost Your Immune System

Fortify your body’s natural defenses with 10 Surprising Foods That Boost Your Immune System. Discover the incredible power of food to support your immune health and promote overall wellness.

For even more healthful eating inspiration, check out these 17 healthy and nutritious breakfast recipes or learn about the 15 benefits of a plant-based diet.

10 Foods That Will Boost Your Immune System
Takeaways from the Article
Certain foods have immune-boosting properties due to their nutrient content. Fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, such as berries, can reduce oxidative stress on the immune system.
Garlic contains compounds that stimulate the immune system and may help fight off infections. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can support immune responses.
Probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and kefir can improve gut health and support immune function.
Including immune-boosting foods in your diet, along with a balanced lifestyle, can help enhance your overall immune health.
Consult with a healthcare professional if you have concerns or specific health conditions before making significant changes to your diet.


Garlic is a great source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, calcium, iron and zinc. It’s also high in antioxidants that help the body fight off infections.

Garlic has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure and even cancer risks.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E, magnesium and more than half the daily recommended amount of zinc. They’re also high in protein, B1 (thiamin), B6 (pyridoxine), B2 (riboflavin) and copper.

Best of all, sunflower seed shells contain phytates anti-nutrients that protect against metal toxicity.

A well-planned diet plays a crucial role in supporting children with autism. Learn how to effectively manage meal planning for kids with autism with our comprehensive guide to meal planning for kids with autism and ensure their nutritional needs are met.


Tuna is rich in vitamin B12, which helps to protect your nerve cells and support brain health. It’s also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to not only reduce inflammation but also improve heart health, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are also thought to play an important role in brain function and mood regulation but don’t just take our word for it: A 2012 study found that people with higher levels of omega-3s were less likely than others to experience depression or anxiety during middle age (and beyond).

Health Benefits of Tuna

ProteinHigh-quality source of lean protein
Omega-3 Fatty AcidsRich in omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA
Heart HealthReduces the risk of heart disease and supports cardiovascular health
Brain FunctionSupports brain health and cognitive function
Eye HealthContains nutrients beneficial for eye health, including vitamin A and omega-3s
Muscle RecoveryAids in muscle recovery and repair due to its protein content


Oysters are a great source of zinc, which has been shown to be essential for immune system function. Zinc deficiency is associated with a weakened immune system.

Oysters also have high levels of vitamin B12, which can help boost the effectiveness of your body’s natural killer cells and macrophages two types of white blood cells that destroy pathogens and cancerous cells.

Incorporating leafy greens into your daily meals can provide numerous health benefits. Discover why you should be prioritizing leafy greens in your diet and explore delicious recipes in our informative article on why you should be eating more leafy greens.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A that plays a role in healthy eyesight. They also contain ample amounts of vitamin C, which helps build and repair your immune system.

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are rich in vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that helps your immune system fight off infection. Vitamin A and beta-carotene are also found in bell peppers, which help you see in the dark and boost your immune system.

It’s true that all vegetables contain some amount of vitamin C, but bell peppers are one of the best sources around — they have almost twice as much as broccoli or tomatoes! 

While it’s always a good idea to get plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet every day (that means at least five servings), this particular one should be top priority: Studies have shown that just one cup of raw bell pepper provides more than 100 percent of the recommended daily intake for vitamin C!

Health Benefits of Bell Peppers

TypeBell Peppers
Vitamin ContentHigh in vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin B6
AntioxidantsContains powerful antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and capsanthin
Immune SupportBoosts immune function and protects against oxidative stress
Eye HealthSupports healthy vision and prevents age-related macular degeneration
Heart HealthReduces the risk of heart disease and stroke
Skin HealthPromotes collagen production for healthy skin and helps prevent aging


Spinach is a great source of vitamins A and C, both of which are important to your immune system. Vitamin C boosts the production and release of white blood cells that help fight infection, while vitamin A helps keep your eyes, skin and respiratory system healthy. 

Spinach also contains iron and calcium, which can help prevent fatigue and keep you energized throughout the day so you’re ready to fight off any illnesses that come your way.

Elevate your cooking skills and take your culinary creations to the next level with the right kitchen tools. Unlock your true potential in the kitchen by exploring our curated selection of top kitchen tools in our article on how to upgrade your cooking game today.


Blueberries are a good source of antioxidants and also help fight free radicals. Antioxidants help to fight infections and may be able to prevent cancer. Blueberries can also improve your eyesight, which is especially helpful if you have macular degeneration or cataracts.

The best way to get blueberries is fresh—in the summertime, when they’re in season. You can also purchase frozen blueberries at any time of year, though their nutritional value will be slightly lower than those fresh from the vine.

Baking enthusiasts rejoice! Discover the ultimate list of kitchen gadgets specifically designed to elevate your baking experience. Explore our comprehensive guide on the top kitchen gadgets for bakers and enhance your baking skills with the right tools for the job.

Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli sprouts are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They also offer folate and manganese to help you get through the day. The best part? They’re easy to grow at home!

Yogurt With Live Cultures

A study by the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Florida found that eating probiotic-rich foods can boost your immune system. 

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in certain foods, such as yogurt with live cultures (also known as “living yogurt”). 

They support digestive health, promote regularity, and help prevent diarrhea from antibiotics. Yogurt with live cultures is an easy way to get these bacteria into your body in a tasty way.

Consistently achieving perfectly cooked meals requires the right techniques and knowledge. Learn valuable tips and methods to achieve culinary perfection every time in our insightful article on achieving perfectly cooked meals and impress your family and friends with your culinary prowess.

Try adding these foods to your diet for a healthier you.

Garlic is a great source of vitamin C, which helps your immune system function. Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, which is important for your immune system. Tuna is high in vitamin D, which helps boost your immune system.


Now that we’ve gone through all of these foods, you might be wondering how you can incorporate them into your diet. The best way to accomplish that is by making sure to eat at least one serving of each of these foods each day. 

This will give your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and strong throughout the day. If you want some more ideas on how to make this happen, check out our blog post on eating healthy!

Further Reading

Foods That Boost the Immune System – Healthline: Discover a comprehensive list of foods known for their immune-boosting properties, along with valuable insights on incorporating them into your diet.

10 Surprising Foods That Boost Immunity – Healthy Food: Explore a collection of surprising foods that have immune-boosting qualities and learn how to include them in your daily meals for better health.

Boosting the immune system: “Surprising” sources of nutrients – Medical News Today: Uncover lesser-known sources of vital nutrients that can enhance your immune system. Discover how to make informed choices for a healthier immune system.


How do certain foods boost the immune system?

Certain foods have immune-boosting properties due to their nutrient content. For example, fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants can help support the immune system by reducing oxidative stress. Similarly, foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, can strengthen immune responses.

Which foods are most effective in boosting the immune system?

Several foods are well-known for their immune-boosting properties. Some examples include garlic, which contains compounds that stimulate the immune system, and ginger, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and kefir can also support immune function.

How should I incorporate immune-boosting foods into my diet?

To include immune-boosting foods in your diet, aim for a balanced and varied approach. Add more fruits and vegetables to your meals, incorporate herbs and spices known for immune support, and consider incorporating fermented foods or supplements containing probiotics.

Can immune-boosting foods prevent illnesses?

While a healthy diet, including immune-boosting foods, can support your immune system, it is important to note that no single food can prevent illnesses on its own. A well-rounded lifestyle, including proper nutrition, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and good hygiene practices, is essential for overall immune health.

Are there any precautions or side effects associated with consuming immune-boosting foods?

For most people, consuming immune-boosting foods is safe and beneficial. However, some individuals may be allergic to specific foods or have existing medical conditions that require dietary restrictions. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or specific health conditions.