FOOD

13 Foods and Supplements to Support the Immune System

April 29th, 2020

Keeping colds at bay is an ongoing challenge, so we rounded up the best foods and supplements to help support your immune system. Whether you’re looking to clean up your diet with fresh produce picks or need a new multivitamin, keep reading for everything you’ll need.

Foods That Strengthen Your Immune System

The foundation of any wellness-boosting pantry starts with our list of the best foods for strengthening the immune system. Keep these ingredients on your grocery list and you’ll have the basics for tonics, warm beverages, and recipes for every meal of the day.

Turmeric

Turmeric (a plant in the ginger family) has a long history in Ayurvedic medicine. Although more research is needed, this spice is known as a source of curcumin, a natural polyphenol compound believed to support a range of health conditions.

Try it: Turmeric Wellness Tonic

Perfect for winter—or any season, really—this citrus-packed sip features plenty of orange and lemon juice, plus turmeric powder, ginger, and a touch of cayenne for kick.

Ginger

Ginger has been known for helping to settle upset stomachs since at least the 16th century. While the aromatic root offers many benefits, it’s most well-known as a remedy for nausea, especially for pregnant women experiencing morning sickness.

Try it: Cod With Ginger Bok Choy, Sweet Potatoes, and Lemongrass Broth

This Thai-inspired recipe features a base of lemongrass broth swirled with crunchy bok choy and flaky cod. It takes less than 30 minutes to make and is sophisticated enough to serve as a light main course at your next dinner party.

Lemongrass-lime cod

Honey

Raw honey is a sweet superfood known for offering minerals, vitamins, and enzymes in every spoonful. Raw honey has many nutrients such as vitamin B6, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, and more, which may help fight off infections, support digestion, and offer a natural energy boost.

Try it: Manuka Honey Apple Butter

You can always add a drizzle of honey to hot tea and call it a day, but take things up a notch with decadent apple butter. This spiced spread is a creamy addition to oatmeal, toast, or even a topping for ice cream.

Bone Broth

When you boil animal bones in water for hours, it results in a nutritious drink or base for soups and sauces. Known for its stores of collagen, calcium, phosphorus, glucosamine, and other essential amino acids, bone broth has been studied for the past 80 years and shows some promise as a remedy for inflammation. “Laboratory tests of chicken soup determined that chicken soup inhibits the activity of neutrophils—white blood cells that are the “first responders” of inflammation.”

Try It: DIY Turkey Bone Broth

This broth makes the most out of Thanksgiving leftovers. During other times of year, swap chicken bones for a similar result.

Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV is a fermented vinegar that contains a cloudy sediment inside each bottle—known as “the mother”—that boasts proteins, enzymes, fiber, and amino acids. One of apple cider vinegar’s claims to fame is acetic acid, an antiseptic agent that’s naturally antimicrobial and which may kill bacteria and pathogens.

Try it: Elderberry Switchel

For elderberry immune support, whip up a switchel. This drink is made with only four ingredients (including ginger, water, and elderberry syrup) and is great for when you’re feeling under the weather. You can also check out even more recipes made with apple cider vinegar on the blog.

Oregano

Oregano is a popular herb in Mediterranean cooking (especially Greek and Italian cuisine). Nutritionally, oregano is known for rosmarinic, an antioxidant that may support your immune system. One test-tube study found that oregano essential oil helped block the growth of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, two strains of bacteria that can cause infection.

Try it: Italian Baked Chicken With Cherry Tomatoes

Here’s a one-pan meal that infuses chicken breasts with extra flavor. Think bright, juicy tomatoes, herbaceous basil and oregano, and plenty of garlic.

Italian Baked Chicken


Best Supplements for Immunity

Maintaining a healthy diet is a smart way to take care of yourself year-round, but you can also get some added support with supplements. This list features some of our most popular supplements on Thrive Market to incorporate into your routine.

Navitas Organics Camu Powder

The camu berry is known for its abundance of vitamin C (not to mention potassium, calcium, and amino acids). This convenient powder is an easy way to up your nutrient intake—add a serving to your favorite warm drink, smoothie, or yogurt.

Beekeeper’s Naturals Propolis Throat Spray

A spray a day keeps a cold away? That’s the idea behind this propolis spray, made with nectar straight from Canadian bees. Propolis is known for being anti-inflammatory, and may help relieve colds and sore throats.

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Matcha Latte With Maitake

Choosing mushroom immune support supplements are a great pick for your wellness routine. Each packet of this fungi-powdered latte is made with ceremonial-grade matcha, coconut milk, and maitake mushrooms.

Source Naturals Wellness Formula Herbal Defense Complex

For added support, each of these capsules combines herbs, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals formulated to boost your well-being.

Gaia Herbs Rapid Relief Black Elderberry Syrup

This concentrated syrup delivers the equivalent of 14,500mg of fresh elderberries per serving, with no preservatives, artificial flavors, or high fructose corn syrup.

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Once Daily Women’s Probiotic

Looking for the best probiotic strains for your immune system? Here’s a shelf-stable probiotic formulated just for women. Each daily capsule blends 16 probiotic strains and 50 billion CFU to support digestive health.

Kuli Kuli Organic Moringa Powder

Green smoothie lovers will adore moringa powder. Each scoop offers iron, calcium, and vitamins like A, C, and E and makes a great addition to your breakfast routine.

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Nicole GulottaNicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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