ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Boost Your Immune System The Natural Way - The Nutrients and Foods You Need In Your Diet

Updated on July 30, 2009

The Immune System

Everyone needs a healthy immune system in order to fight illness. It can speed up the recovery period and make the illness less severe than it otherwise may have been. If you're lucky, a healthy immune system may help you avoid illness altogether. This is especially true leading up to the Winter months when colds and sniffles start to appear. If you boost your immune system before Winter arrives, you may be able to avoid the the symptoms appearing.

The immune system is the reason that doctors and nutritionists recommend that we all eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, as these foods contain lots of immune boosting nutrients that help to ward off illness. I personally find it difficult to maintain the 5 a day rule as I'm a picky eater and don't enjoy large meals. I try to supplement my diet with plenty of good quality 100% fruit juice, and vegetarian days where I don't have to eat more to make sure that I'm eating plenty of vegetables. I rarely make the 5 a day target, but I make sure that I add plenty of other foods to my diet to help my immune system stay healthy.

Vitamin C Foods For The Immune System

Vitamin C provides the body with essential antioxidant properties that boost the immune system. It is especially important for smokers because we don't absorb the same amount of Vitamin C that a non smoker does.

Everyday Foods To Boost Vitamin C Levels:

Citrus Fruits / Kiwi Fruit / Berries / Broccoli / Spinach / Red, Yellow, Orange Peppers / Tomato / Papaya / Mango

Vitamin E and Selenium Foods For The Immune System

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that should be used in conjuction with Selenium (another antioxidant) to create a potent antioxidant effect. Used by themselves they are still very good for you, but for maximum benefit they should be used together. If you're going to give your immune system a boost, you may as well aim high!

Everyday Foods To Boost Your Vitamin E Levels:

Wholegrain Cereals / Sweet Potatoes / Nut Oils / Seed Oils

Everyday Foods To Boost Your Selenium Levels:

Wholegrain Cereals / Brazil Nuts / Walnuts / Soybeans / Beef / Chicken / Turkey / Cheese / Eggs / Tuna / Cod /

So a meal that was cooked with nut or seed oils or with the accompaniment of a sweet potato, would be the perfect combination for something from the Selenium list to get the maximum antioxidant benefits.


Fatty Acids For The Immune System

Omega 3 provides a boost to the immune system, but isn't produced by the body so we need to get it from food sources.

Everyday Foods To Boost Your Omega 3 Levels:

Flaxseed Oil / Linseed Oil / Olive Oil / Walnuts / Salmon / Sardines / Mackerel / Herring / Anchovies / Corn

Carotenoids For The Immune System

Carotenoids are pigments from plants that give red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables their colours. They are also powerful antioxidants than turn into Vitamin A inside the body. As a general rule, any fruit or vegetables that are red, yellow or orange will be giving your immune system a boost.

Everyday Foods To Boost Your Carotenoids Level:

Carrots / Peppers / Sweet Potato / Orange / Tomato / Pumpkin / Apricot / Mango / Cayenne Pepper / Chilli Pepper

Zinc For The Immune System

Zinc helps to keep the immune system cells healthy and is an essential nutrient for the body.

Everyday Foods To Boost Zinc Levels:

Liver / Beef / Lamb / Poultry / Prawns / Wholegrains / Pumpkin Seeds / Eggs / Nuts / Milk

A Healthy Immune System

It's easy to neglect your immune system and fall prey to every cough and cold going. Once the immune system is weak you are susceptible to germs and bacteria, and once you've been hit by a virus, you can become run down and even more prone to illness. It's a vicious circle that doesn't seem to let up.

The key to fighting off infection is to prevent rather than treat it, so having a healthy immune system is a must. I can't promise that you won't get sick, but with a healthy immune system you will be less likely to, and if you do fall ill, your recovery time should be shorter and symptoms less severe.

I've purposely listed foods that anyone can buy in a supermarket, some you probably already have at home. It's not hard to introduce foods to boost the immune system to your diet, you may already be eating them, in which case you're already boosting your immune system unknowingly!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • moonbun profile imageAUTHOR

      Luna Fae 

      8 years ago from UK

      Thanks for the added information healingone :)

    • healingone profile image


      8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for the great information!

      In the past I have taken zinc to help boost my immune system as well vitamin c. I also like to use fresh ground flax seed in my cereal and yogurt.

      Luv & Blessings!



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)