20 Foods to Boost Immunity Naturally

13 min read

To safeguard from the diseases, Immune System plays a vital role even if it is Coronavirus or Covid-19. While as of now, there is no treatment available for Coronavirus, nor any vaccination is available; there is only one solution to it, i.e. strong immune system. You should adopt certain dietary and lifestyle changes to enhance your immune system effectiveness. It will strengthen the natural defense system that will help you fight harmful pathogens or disease-causing organisms. There are some foods that you can inculcate in your diet to have a strong immune system and for the purpose, we have compiled a list of 20 foods to boost immunity naturally. To enhance your immune system effectiveness, inculcate these natural foods in your diet and your body will defend and fight against the various diseases.

Immunity biologically is a balanced state of multicellular organisms having adequate biological defenses to fight disease, infection, or other unwanted biological invasions. The immune system serves as a host defense system that comprises many biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against diseases. [1] Depending on the acquisition, immunity may be described as either passive or active.

  • Active immunity involves the self-production of antibodies by the body, and the memory cells subsequent development.
  • Passive immunity involves the acquisition of antibodies from other sources and therefore memory cells are not developed.
  • Herd immunity is also known as herd effectsocial immunitypopulation immunity, or community immunity. It is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through vaccination or previous infections. Thereby provides a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune. In a population in which a large number of individuals possess immunity, those people being unlikely to contribute to disease transmission, chains of infection are more likely to be disrupted, which either stops or slows the spread of disease.[14]

The Foods that boost the Immunity

Researchers have long recognized that people who live in poverty and are malnourished are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. There is a need for research to investigate the effects of nutrition on the immune system of humans. However, there are certain foods that may help keep your immune system strong, thus plan your meals to include the following powerful immune system boosters:



Almonds are a great source of Vitamin E, which helps in preventing and fighting off colds. However, this powerful antioxidant is key to a healthy immune system. It is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Almonds are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats.

Black Pepper

black pepper

Available whole, crushed, or ground into powder, black pepper is carminative. Black pepper prevents intestinal gas and warms the body so it promotes sweating, which helps rid the body of toxins. The research shows that black pepper may contain not only anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and fever-reducing actions but immune system enhancing properties as well.



Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Broccoli is full of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fiber and many other antioxidants. Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables, and to keep its power intact is to cook it as little as possible.

Lemon and Citrus fruits


Vitamin C helps build up and strengthen the immune system. Vitamin C also increases the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections. Most of the citrus fruits are high in vitamin C that offers such a variety to choose from, it’s easy to add a squeeze of this vitamin to any meal.

You need daily vitamin C for continued health, because your body does not produce or store it. Popular citrus fruits include:

  • grapefruit
  • lemons
  • limes
  • oranges
  • tangerines



Garlic is found in almost every cuisine in the world because it has a variety of strong immune-boosting properties. It is antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial. One study found that a group of participants who took a garlic supplement had significantly fewer colds than the control group who didn’t take the supplement.[8]

Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections and are also slow down the hardening of the arteries. Its immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as Allicin.



Ginger is another ingredient people turn to after getting sick because it may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may help with nausea as well. Ginger may also decrease chronic pain and might even possess cholesterol-lowering properties.[9]

Green tea


Both green and black teas are a good source of flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Green tea also has plenty of Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), another powerful antioxidant. The studies show that EGCG has enhanced the immune function.[10]

In the fermentation process, the black tea goes through destroys a lot of the EGCG. Whereas, the Green tea is steamed and not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved. Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine, which may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in the T cells.



Honey is known for its amazing benefits such as aiding in weight boosting energy, treating cough, improving sleep, treating burns and wounds, preventing heart diseases, and curing a hangover. Honey is also known to increase T and B lymphocytes, antibodies, eosinophils, neutrophils, monocytes, and natural killer cell generation during immune responses in tissue culture.

It’s antioxidant and antibacterial properties help improve the digestive system and strengthen the immune system. Honey is full of antioxidants, which are very effective for the removal of free radicals from the body.



Kiwi has multiple essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C in good quantity. These nutrients help boost the white blood cells to fight infection and keep the rest of your body functioning properly.



Papaya is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. A medium-sized papaya has the daily recommended amount of vitamin C.[11] It also has a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects. Papaya is also enriched with potassium, magnesium, and folate, all of which are beneficial to your overall health.

Red bell peppers


Red bell peppers contain almost 3 times more vitamin C than an orange. They’re also a rich source of beta carotene. As it strengthens the immune system, vitamin C may help you maintain healthy skin. It also has Beta Carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A, which is required to keep the eyes and skin healthy.



Spinach is full of Vitamin C and numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of the immune systems. Spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients.



Shellfish are a really good source of zinc which gives a boost to the immune system. Zinc is normally overlooked while selecting the vitamins and minerals, although it is a required ingredient for immune cells can function as intended.

Sunflower seeds


Sunflower seeds are a source of various nutrients, including phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamins B-6 and E. Vitamin E is important in regulating and maintaining immune system function. Sunflower seeds are also incredibly high in selenium. Just 1 ounce contains nearly half the selenium that the average adult needs daily.[12]



Turmeric is a key ingredient in many curries and has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Research shows that high concentrations of curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive color, can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage.[13]



Yogurt stimulates the immune system to help fight diseases. Plain Yogurt can also be a great source of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is trusted to boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases.

Immunity boosting activities

Get enough sleep

Inadequate or poor-quality sleep is linked to a higher susceptibility to sickness. Getting adequate rest may strengthen your natural immunity. Also, you may sleep more when sick to allow your immune system to better fight the illness.[2]

Engage in moderate exercise

Moderate exercises such as Jogging, biking, walking, swimming, and hiking can reduce inflammation and promote the healthy turnover of immune cells. Research shows that moderate exercise can boost the effectiveness of vaccines in people with compromised immune systems. What’s more, regular, moderate exercise may reduce inflammation and help your immune cells regenerate regularly.[3]

Manage your stress levels

The immune system is not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. We are self-healing organisms. A healthy immune system only needs good regular sleep, nourishment, exercise, and meditation to block the release of stress hormones and increase immune function. Meditation, yoga, and other exercises reduce the stress level that can help keep your immune system functioning properly. Long-term stress promotes inflammation, as well as imbalances in immune cell function.[4]

Supplements to boost immunity

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there’s no evidence to support the use of any supplement to prevent or treat COVID-19.5 However, the following supplements may improve the immune system which increases the defense capabilities of the body.

Vitamin C

In the past few decades, a growing body of research has shown that vitamin C is, in fact, important to the health of your immune function.6 You can boost your intake of vitamin C by eating more vegetables and fruits high in vitamin C—such as peppers, spinach, kiwi, broccoli, grapefruit, strawberries, and oranges. You may also want to take a vitamin C supplement to boost your intake of this vitamin.


Zinc is a mineral that has been shown to be essential for immune function. In fact, some studies have found that patients with zinc deficiency developed severe immune dysfunctions over time.[7] Eating foods high in zinc is always a good option, such as chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, cashews, oysters, oats, and yogurt.


You have many options to change your lifestyle and dietary changes to strengthen your immune system. Adding just one of these foods won’t be enough to help fight off the infections, even if you eat it regularly. Please consult your nutritionist for serving sizes and recommended daily intake of these foods so that you do not get too much of a single nutrient and too little of others.

You should also try reducing your sugar intake, staying hydrated, working out regularly, getting adequate sleep, and managing your stress levels. While these suggestions may boost your immunity and reinforce your body’s defenses against harmful pathogens, that doesn’t mean they’re effective against COVID-19 Coronavirus.


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immune_system
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30920354
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26477922
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24798553
  5. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/in-the-news-in-the-news-coronavirus-and-alternative-treatments
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2277319/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11697022
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4436156/
  10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2013.12.876
  11. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/786704/nutrients
  12. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/784460/nutrients
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4802396
  14. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_immunity

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