7 Foods to Help Boost Your Immunity

While natural remedies don’t make alternative medical treatments and vaccinations obsolete, they still have the powerful potential to improve your overall health and wellness.

Diet is intrinsically linked to your sense of wellbeing, and what you consume can aid your physical and mental systems in numerous ways. Certain foods, for example, support your immune system and natural defenses. Rather than acting as a treatment or cure of any kind, they infuse your body with the right nutrients to prevent and fight off colds, the flu, and other illnesses.

What Foods Boost Your Immune System?

Your body needs a wide variety of different foods, vitamins, and nutrients to be at its best. Here is a look at seven foods that can help keep your immune system strong:

Fresh berries with raspberries, blueberries, blackberries in bowl on a stone stand on wood background.

1. Berries

In general, berries are a beneficial part of your diet because they are low in calories but high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. Elderberry and acai berries, in particular, are loaded with antioxidants. Elderberry can help fight inflammation, as well.

2. Garlic

Garlic is not only a delicious staple in a wide range of cuisines, but it also possesses numerous health benefits. Raw garlic—not garlic powder—can help fight bacteria, viruses, and fungi and boost your immunity, thanks to a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds. Additionally, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, garlic may help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.

3. Spinach

Spinach contains fiber and vitamin C, as well as folate, a vitamin that can assist your body in creating new cells and repairing DNA. It’s also rich in antioxidants and beta carotene that can boost your immune system’s infection-fighting ability. To maximize the nutritious benefits of spinach, it’s best to consume the vegetable raw or only lightly cooked.

4. Broccoli

Broccoli is also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, and E, and glutathione, an antioxidant that can prevent damage to important cellular components in your body. Like spinach, you should eat broccoli raw to get those most of its immune-boosting potential.

Fresh green broccoli on table in wooden bowl.

5. Mushrooms

Mushrooms can do a lot for your body, from supporting strong immunity to alleviating stress and anxiety. Some of the best mushroom varieties to consider adding to your diet include reishi, lion’s mane, chaga, shiitake, and turkey tail mushrooms. Button mushrooms also contain the mineral selenium and the B vitamins niacin and riboflavin.

6. Ginger

In addition to alleviating nausea, ginger contains antioxidants and other nutrients that can help prevent or treat inflammation, arthritis, and other types of infection and chronic pain. Ginger also has cholesterol-lowering properties. The best ways to consume ginger are in tea or sliced up in stir-fries or other dishes.

7. Citrus Fruits

Citrus has a reputation for helping people fight colds. That’s because citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which is believed to support the production of white blood cells that are critical to fighting infections. The human body doesn’t produce vitamin C, which is why it is essential to get it from an alternative source, such as grapefruits, oranges, lemons, limes, and tangerines.

Various citrus fruits (orange, grapeftuit, lemon, mandarine, lime)

Accessible Urgent Care Tucson

Proper nutrition is about variety and paying attention to what your particular body needs. There are also times when home remedies and a healthy diet can’t take the place of seeing a certified healthcare professional for medical treatment. If you experience a medical emergency and need urgent care near you, visit Southern Arizona Urgent Care. SAUC has nine urgent care center locations spread throughout Tucson and Oro Valley, so you have convenient access to cost-effective and responsible healthcare where and when you need it.