Champignons fresh mushrooms on cutting board
Erhan Inga/Shutterstock

Conscious Eating

Article Abstracts
Feb 17, 2023

Conscious Eating

6 Foods for an Immune Boost

Article Abstracts
Mar 03, 2024

Research continues to point to links between a healthy immune system and a nutrient-dense diet. Here are six immune-strengthening foods that may already be found in your kitchen.

#1 Yogurt

Yogurt contains probiotics (especially lactobacillus) that support the immune system function by protecting against pathogens in the gut. These probiotics are the same “good” bacteria typically found in the gut. 

Make sure to choose varieties without sugar added, and look for dairy-free options for those who don’t consume dairy.

#2 Green Tea

Green tea is packed with a mix of polyphenols and antioxidants that have been shown to boost immunity. Green tea has been found to potentially boost the innate immune system, adaptive immune system, and enteric (intestinal) immune system.   

The most abundant chemical in green tea is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which has antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-cancer effects. Some of the other components in green tea that boost the immune system include:

#3 Chia Seeds

Chia seeds may be tiny, but they are packed with minerals and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds have some of the highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids out of any seeds.  

You can add chia seeds to your smoothie, sprinkle them on your salad, or even add them to lemonade or another a drink to allow them to jellify before consumption.

#4 Mushrooms
Mushrooms have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-tumor effects because they contain antioxidants, B vitamins, and beta-glucans that all help to fight off infection. They also strengthen a type of white blood cell called lymphocytes. 

#5 Purple Sweet Potatoes
The polysaccharides in purple sweet potatoes give them their sweet taste and also give the immune system a boost.  One study found that the polysaccharides from purple sweet potatoes enhanced the function of a type of white blood cell (macrophages) that stimulates the effect of other blood cells and could also stimulate the production of antibodies when needed.    

If you grow purple sweet potatoes in your own garden, you could also try eating the leaves, which have components that enhance antibody production and immune cell function.  

#6 Leafy Greens
Leafy greens of the brassica species are some of the most nutrient-dense foods, and they contain immune-strengthening vitamins, minerals, macronutrients, and phytochemicals.

They contain:

Brassica vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, and turnips.

REFERENCES

Occhipinti, A. (2023, January 31). Foods that strengthen immune function. https://www.afpafitness.com/blog/foods-that-strengthen-immune-system-functionality

Advanced Search on this topic

Other Articles in this category

Jan 31, 2024 | Conscious Eating
by Carrie Jackson   While plant-based milks have been around for centuries, they have historically played second fiddle to other dairy alternatives,…
Dec 29, 2023 | Conscious Eating
by Veronica Hinke   Shaped like a butterfly, the thyroid gland in the neck plays a critical role in overall health, as it produces a series of …
Nov 28, 2023 | Conscious Eating
by Madiha Saeed, M.D.   Inclusivity and respect are at the heart of a memorable and enjoyable experience around the holiday table. “Nothing can spoil…
Oct 31, 2023 | Conscious Eating
by Veronica Hinke   A plant-forward menu can be one of the best gifts that a host can give this holiday season. It is also more likely than ever that…

Customer Service

KnoWEwell News Updates