Foods That Help Build Healthy Immune System


Feed a cold starve a fever, or stave a cold feed a fever, anyway you look at it, feeding yourself to boost your immune system can be healthy and tasty. Flu viruses can be hard to fight because the strains are always changing however, there are some things that might foods that help build healthy immune system. Though vitamin C does not make a cold or flu go away, it is a powerful antioxidant and foods such as guavas, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, cabbage, broccoli and green peppers are healthy choices to make.

Omega-3 fatty acids boost immunity by stimulating the body to produce substances called cytokines, which are involved in fighting infections. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acid can include Salmon, walnuts, scallops, cauliflower, cabbage, cloves, halibut, shrimp, cod, tuna, soybeans, tofu, kale, collard greens and flaxseeds.

Another good flu fighter is probiotics which is a type of bacteria that benefits the immune system. Foods such as yogurt, miso soup, certain cheeses and certain kinds of milk contain these helpful bacteria.

Eat plenty of fresh fruits such as berries which have high antioxidant content. Blueberries, are a rich source of polyphenols, potent antioxidants that include phenolics acids, tannins, flavonols and anthocyanins. Pomegranate fruit seeds appear to enhance immune function as well as help keep blood lipid levels healthy which help build healthy immune system.


Mushrooms such as shitake, oyster, and other Asian varieties, are noted for their immune-enhancing abilities. Green is a healthy way to drink your way to health and high quality proteins such as organic lean meat and poultry and pork provides rapid production of cells to support the immune system.

Certain foods and beverages can weaken your immune system, leading to greater chances of getting sick. Sugar for instance can weaken white blood cells. Try to avoid sugary beverages such as soda and concentrated fruit juices. Caffeine is another source that can wreck havoc on the immune system, as it not only will dehydrate you, but has been found to actually deplete vitamin levels in the body. Also avoid alcohol as it slows your immune system.

Flu season is upon us so be sure to take precautions this winter and eat foods that help build a healthy immune system.

Prescription for Nutritional Healing; Phyllis A. Balch;2006
The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food & Nutrition; Sheldon Margen; 2002

Written by Tyler Woods Ph.D.
Tucson, Arizona
Exclusive to eMaxHealth