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Your immune system is a complex network of several organs and tissues and more than 15 different specialized immune cells like T lymphocytes, natural killer cells, and basophils that all work together to defend your body against pathogens, whether they are act from bacteria, viruses or other pathogens. To say it’s quite complex would be an understatement. However, despite the complexity of your immune system, it’s not as difficult to get it to work at its best. In fact, one of the easiest ways to support immune health is to eat a healthy diet.

For some specific habits to follow to boost your immunity, read on, and to learn more about how to eat healthy, don’t miss out on 7 Healthiest Foods To Eat Right Now.


Since no single food will provide all of the nutrients your immune system needs to function at its best, focus on a total diet approach and choose natural, whole foods like fruits and vegetables; lean protein; healthy fats; and whole grains. All of these types of foods can help ensure that you are meeting the recommended daily allowances for key immune-boosting nutrients. The nutrients most closely related to cells of the immune system include vitamins C and D; vitamin K, selenium, lycopene, probiotics, proteins and omega-3 fatty acids.

Most of your meals and snacks should focus on natural whole foods rich in nutrients while limiting processed foods; bakery products; sweets and salty snacks; and alcohol, because these foods and drinks provide “negative nutrients” that suppress the body’s natural immune response.

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Omega 3

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods like oily fish, nuts, seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds, help reduce inflammation and boost immune function. A review study reported that there is 30 years of research supporting the role of omega-3 fats in a healthy immune system.

To maintain a healthy balance of omega-3s and immune-weakening omega-6 fatty acids, try to have foods high in omega-3s in your diet frequently while limiting foods high in processed oils, especially oils. soy, sunflower and canola, which are high in omega-6 fats. Polyunsaturated fats and omega-6 saturated fats have been shown to suppress the immune system when consumed in excess. To limit omega-6 fats and saturated fat, limit high-fat meat and high-fat dairy products, processed foods, commercial baked goods, crackers, and other shelf-stable and frozen packaged foods.


Eating 5 to 8 servings of colorful products can also support your immune health. Look to include a rainbow of colorful foods in your diet, including reds, oranges, yellows, blues, greens, and whites. One color that we shouldn’t forget is brown, the color of mushrooms.

Mushrooms contain several nutrients important for immune function, including vitamin D, selenium, beta-glucans, and antioxidants. One study found that participants who consumed mushrooms daily had improved immunity and reduced inflammation, compared to controls. Include citrus fruits daily for their immune benefits. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and folic acid and many beneficial antioxidants. Try seasonal Cara Cara oranges for the extra antioxidant lycopene they provide. Other products rich in lycopene include watermelon and tomatoes.

a soda

Many foods provide the nutrients your immune system feeds on, while other foods can weaken your body’s immune response. These foods include those high in added sugars, such as sodas, baked goods, and candy. Researchers believe that added sugars suppress your immune response and alter your gut microbiome.

Studies show that people with high blood sugar have higher levels of pro-inflammatory markers and suppressed immune response. Plus, if your meals and snacks are packed with foods and drinks that are high in added sugars, it means you’re probably missing out on these important nutrients for optimal immunity, including zinc.

READ MORE: 19 Ways You Destroy Your Immune System, According To Experts

refuse alcohol

It is okay to drink an alcoholic beverage on occasion, but there is plenty of research showing that there is an association between binge drinking or heavy drinking and immune system health issues. In fact, research shows that alcohol disrupts normal immune pathways, making it harder to defend against colds, flu, and respiratory illnesses. Studies show that alcohol alters beneficial microbes in the gastrointestinal tract, which help trigger a normal immune response. If you drink, follow public health guidelines and do not drink more than one glass per day; but for your immune health, it is best to limit alcohol.

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