10 Foods + Recipes That Boost The Immune System

My Top 10 Foods and Recipes that Help Boost the Immune System

Being in the midst of cold and flu season is tough, especially if you’re older or have young children in the home. 

More so now than ever, you have a very good reason to help keep yourself healthy and your immune system strong now and year-round!

If you landed here and you’re not on the 17 Day Diet, no worries.

This post really isn’t about losing weight, although the recipes featured in this post will help you maintain a healthy immune system AND help you lose weight on a low carb diet.

 

It’s more about how to keep yourself healthy all year long, and especially during the winter and spring months when the flu is most prevalent.

Citrus Fruits Help Boost Your Immune System

Obviously, there are more than 10 foods to help your immune system stay strong. If I listed them all, the list would surely be 10 times longer than it is now!

Plus, we all know that citrus is great to give your immune system a boost.

Citrus almost always gets the spot light when it comes to a healthy support system. However, there are a few other foods that contain more Vitamin C than citrus fruits, so I thought it would be a great idea to share them on this list, too!

So while I didn’t include citrus fruits on the top 10 list, we’ll give it an honorary mention right here!

Citrus Fruits contain vitamin C and therefore help maintain a healthy immune system

10 Foods + Recipes That Boost The Immune System

Here are my Top 10 foods that boost the immune system and my favorite low-carb recipes for each immunity-boosting food to make it easier for you to incorporate more nutrient-rich foods into your everyday lifestyle.

Top 10 Foods + Recipes that Boost The Immune System

1. Almonds

Almonds are perfect for your immune system. They are high in Vitamin E and that acts as an antioxidant and help fight off bad bacteria.

If you find yourself prone to getting a cold every year, fill up on almonds!

Almonds contain Vitamin E and help boost your immune system

Here are a few ways to incorporate almonds into your diet:

  1. Add 10 almonds to your daily snack
  2. Top your salad with almonds
  3. Use unsweetened almond milk as a base for smoothies, granola or high-fiber cereal
  4. Add sliced almonds to your oatmeal

Almond Recipes for your Immune System

Here are a few of my favorite recipes to incorporate almonds into your every day diet to help boost your immune system:

Use homemade unsweetened almond milk as a base liquid for your smoothies, cereal or granola for the extra boost in immune system health
Homemade Unsweetened Almond Milk – courtesy of SimplyKetoDiet.com (grab the almond milk recipe here)

2. Berries

Berries help boost your immune system because they contain higher amounts of Vitamin C.

When you incorporate dark berries such as blackberries, blueberries and strawberries, you’re also going to benefit from flavanols, which are a wonderful antioxidant that will help you stay protected during the cold and flu season.

Berries are high in Vitamin C and help support your immune system during cold and flu season

Here are a few ways to incorporate berries into your diet:

  • Use frozen mixed berries in your green smoothie
  • Top your favorite summer salad with berries
  • Top your plain yogurt with your favorite berries

Berry Recipes to Help Boost Your Immune System

Top your chocolate chia pudding with antioxidant-rich berries for that extra boost for your immune system

3. Broccoli

According to this article about broccoli from Livescience, broccoli is full of vitamins and minerals. In addition to the usual suspects such as fiber, Vitamins C, B6, and V, broccoli also contains a host of other beneficial immune-boosting as described as follows by Livescience:

Broccoli is also packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants. Phytochemicals are chemicals in plants that are responsible for color, smell and flavor. Research shows that they have numerous healthful benefits, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Phytochemicals in broccoli are good for the immune system. They include glucobrassicin; carotenoids, such as zeaxanthin and beta-carotene; and kaempferol, a flavonoid. 

Broccoli, high in Vitamins and Minerals, help keep your immune system healthy

Here are a few of my favorite ways to serve up broccoli:

  • Add broccoli to your stir fry recipes
  • Add broccoli to your favorite casserole dishes
  • Add raw broccoli to your favorite salad or slaw
  • Add broccoli to your favorite chicken soup
  • Steam and serve broccoli as a side dish (easiest way to get broccoli on the dinner table)

Broccoli Immune Boosting Recipes

Chicken Cabbage & Broccoli Stir Fry is freezer friendly and super easy to reheat
Chicken Cabbage & Broccoli Stir Fry recipe will help boost your immune system

4. Ginger

Not only is ginger one of my top picks as a natural detoxifying food, it’s also great for supporting your immune system during the cold and flu season.

According to this article from The Active Times, ginger contains a long list of antioxidants and vitamins:

Ginger is a strong antioxidant that has been shown to naturally boost the immune system. It contains tons of vitamins, some of which are magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium. Ginger helps kill cold viruses and has been said to combat chills and fever. It is also a great detox — ginger root helps relax the intestinal tract and eliminate intestinal gas.

Ginger contains a lot of Vitamins and Minerals which help your immune system stay strong

Here are a few ways to incorporate ginger into your diet:

  • Add fresh ginger to your stir fry
  • Add fresh ginger to your soup
  • Add fresh ginger to your smoothie

Ginger-Infused Recipes to Help Support Your Immune System

MaryPat's Creamy Apple, Carrot & Cauliflower Soup
MaryPat’s Creamy Apple, Carrot & Cauliflower Soup is great for boosting your immune system with fresh ginger in this recipe

5. Green Tea

There’s a reason why green tea is a staple with the 17 Day Diet. Not only does it help with weight loss, but it contains a lot of antioxidants that help keep your immune system strong, especially during cold and flu season.

According to this article from EatingWell, green tea is perfect for supporting your immune system:

Polyphenols, potent plant antioxidants, are what’s believed to give green tea its immune-boosting effects. One laboratory study suggested that a particular type of polyphenols called catechins may kill influenza viruses. 

Green tea is not only great for weight loss, but it helps keep your immune system healthy with all the antioxidants it has!

Here are a few ways to incorporate green tea into your diet:

  • Add a few cups of hot or cold green tea at meal time
  • Add matcha green tea powder to your smoothie

Green Tea Recipe to Help Support Your Immune System

Dinner Smoothie Recipe for the Transitional Day Fast for the 17 Day Diet
Dinner Smoothie Recipe for the 17 Day Diet is the only smoothie that contains anti-oxidant Matcha Green Tea Powder for that extra boost to your immune system

6. Poultry

Our favorite poultry, chicken and turkey, are great proteins to help maintain a healthy immune system. These are filled with generous amounts of Vitamin B6, which help boost your immune system.

There’s a reason why eating chicken soup helps you when you’re sick!

Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is packed with Vitamin B6 which helps give your immune system a healthy boost during cold and flu season

Here are a few ways to incorporate more chicken or turkey into your diet:

  • Add ground chicken or turkey to your breakfast scramble
  • Add chicken or turkey to your soups or stews
  • Top your anti-oxidant rich salad with lean poultry
  • Keep cooked chicken or turkey breast on hand to munch on when you get hungry in between meals

Chicken or Turkey Recipes to Help Support a Healthy Immune System

A close up shot of this yummy Lemony Chicken and Kale Detox Soup reveals a fiber and protein rich soup that is not only satisfying, but delicious, too!
This Lemony Chicken and Kale Detox Soup is perfect to protect your immune system during cold and flu season

7. Red Bell Peppers

All bell peppers are good for you, but the red variety are extra special!

Even though citrus fruits are also a great immunity booster, red bell peppers actually contain twice as much Vitamin C than citrus fruits.

This is the main reason why red bell peppers made the list!

Red Bell Peppers contains twice the amount of Vitamin C than Citrus fruits making this veggie perfect for keeping your immune system strong

Ways to incorporate red bell peppers into your diet:

  • Use red bell peppers in recipes instead of the other colored peppers
  • Add sliced red bell peppers to your salad
  • Use sliced red bell peppers with your hummus as a daily snack
  • Add red bell peppers to soups

Recipes Containing Red Bell Peppers for Immunity Support

Mahi Mahi with Citrus-Herb Salad
This Mahi Mahi with Citrus-Herb Salad over Riced Cauliflower is perfect for immune health, especially when you use red bell peppers instead of other colors!

8. Shellfish

Shellfish such as crab, lobster and clams are high in zinc which help boost your immune system. Shellfish such as shrimp, contain an antioxidant called Selenium which helps support a healthy immune system.

Many types of shellfish contain zinc and other antioxidants that help boost your immune system

Ways to incorporate shellfish into your diet:

  • Top your green salad with your favorite shellfish
  • Use shellfish in a creamy salad (crab instead of tuna)
  • Add shellfish to your soups and stews

Shellfish Recipes That Support Your Immune System

Yummy Grilled Lemon Sriracha Shrimp
This Grilled Lemon Sriracha Shrimp is a perfect immune boosting recipe!

9. Spinach

Spinach is another superfood that made this list because it’s filled with immune-boosting properties. Not only is spinach packed with Vitamins K, A, B2 and C, but it’s also filled with minerals such as potassium, magnesium and iron.

Being such a nutrient-dense food, spinach helps with so much besides the immune system.

Spinach is jam packed with Vitamins and Minerals giving your immune system the healthy boost that it needs

Ways to incorporate more spinach into your diet:

  • Use this green for your salad base
  • Add spinach to your smoothies
  • Add spinach to your breakfast scramble

Recipes Containing Spinach to Help Boost your Immune System

Skillet Garden Eggs is such a healthy and delicious breakfast!
Incorporate spinach in your breakfast scramble for the extra immune support!

10. Yogurt

We all know yogurt is a great source of probiotics which help keep your gut healthy. When choosing a yogurt, it’s always best to choose a plain yogurt that has live active cultures in it. 

Not only is yogurt great for digestion, it also helps support your immune system because yogurt contains Vitamin E and zinc.

Not only does the probiotics in yogurt help support a healthy immune system, but so does Vitamin E and zinc that can be found in yogurt

Ways to incorporate more yogurt in your diet:

  • Use as a base for salad dressings and sauces (instead of mayo, use yogurt)
  • Use yogurt instead of mayo in recipes
  • Use yogurt as your liquid base in smoothies
  • Top your plain yogurt with immune boosting berries and a drizzle of honey

Recipes Using Yogurt for Maintaining Immune Health

 
Buffalo Chicken Salad with Greek Yogurt - modified for the 17 Day Diet
Buffalo Chicken Salad made with Greek Yogurt is filled with probiotics and other vitamins to help keep your immune system strong and healthy!

Other Recipes to Help Boost The Immune System

The 17 Day Diet cycle food lists are filled with immune-boosting, nutrient-rich foods that will help keep you strong and healthy, especially during cold and flu season.

Here are a few other recipes you may want to try for that extra support:

Chicken Lombardy Recipe
Chicken Lombardy is filled with lean proteins to help keep your immune system strong

Meal Plans to Keep Your Immune System Strong

Overall, the 17 Day Diet is perfect for keeping your immune system healthy. Here are a few meal plans that are nutrient-rich and will give your immune system a boost:

17 Day Diet Cycle 1 Meal Plan

Sample Menu for Cycle 1 of the 17 Day Diet

3 Day Detox Meal Plan For Weight Loss

3 Day Detox Meal Plan for Weight Loss includes detoxifying foods and recipes to help you lose weight!
This 3 Day Detox Meal Plan contains nutrient-dense recipes to help keep your immune system strong

Bonus: CBG Oil To Help Support Your Immune System

Getting in all the yummy immune-boosting foods is always a priority above everything else. Another way to supplement your diet to help support your immune system naturally, is by incorporating essential oils, including CBG Oil (aka Cannabigerol) from the hemp plant.

CBG is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. CBG’s parent, CBGA, or otherwise known as the precursor to CBG, is known as the “mother” of all cannabinoids. CBG, along with the more known CBD, and other cannabinoids start out as CBGA before being converted to their current state.

Busy Bee's B-Clear CBG Oil is specially formulated to help support your immune system
This is a pic of me holding a bottle of my B-Clear CBG Oil for immune support

Many cannabinoids from the hemp plant share in the same benefits, while some have their own unique way of supporting your overall general health and wellness.

My company, Busy Bee’s Wellness, offers a wonderful oil to help support your immune system. It’s called B-Clear CBG Oil and it is specially formulated with CBG along with other essential oils to help provide the support you need.

Conclusion: Boosting Your Immune System

Eating a heathy diet consisting of nutrient-rich foods (such as the ones on this list), drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of sleep and exercise, taking your daily vitamins and supplements, and keeping your stress levels low, will all help boost your immune system and keep you healthy, especially during cold and flu season.

Spring Cleanse Meal Plan to Support Your Immune System

The Spring months are always the perfect time to clean out your pantry, welcome in new fruits and vegetables and get a fresh meal plan that will take advantage of all the seasonal foods that will help support your immune system, especially during the cold and flu season.

My Fresh & Clean 17 Spring Cleanse opens once a year (every April) to enjoy the Spring season together.

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