Foods to Boost Immune System: 10 Immune-Boosting Foods You Should Include in Your Diet

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Foods to boost the immune system are vital to keeping you from getting various illnesses and infections. Our immune system is a natural part of our body composed of a network of various cells, organs, and proteins responsible for keeping the body safe from different infections caused by bacteria and microbes.

A weak immune system means a higher risk of getting various illnesses. Unfortunately, as we age, our immune system tends to be weaker due to developmental decline. That’s why in this article, I will share various foods that will help keep your immune system strong even with old age.

How the Immune System Works

We are born with an innate immune system, and this immune system continues to develop as we grow. This is because every time our body gets exposed to different types of microbes, a part of our immune system which is the B-Lymphocytes and T-Lymphocytes keeps a record of the attacker so that when the type of bacteria strikes again, the immune system will be able to produce antibodies that will kill the attacker.

Importance of Having a Healthy Immune System

A healthy immune system is important because it keeps our body healthy and free from any diseases. Without our immune system, we become vulnerable even to a common flu virus.

Sadly, seniors commonly experience weakened immune systems. That's why eating healthy foods such as citrus fruits, vegetables, grains, or seeds is crucial to keep the immune system at its peak. To help you improve your immune system, here are 10 foods that you might want to include in your diet.

10 Foods to Boost Seniors’ Immune System

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits like orange, lemon, lime, and tangerine are just a few citrus fruits that are rich in Vitamin C.

Vitamin C primarily helps in the body’s production of white blood cells which are responsible for fighting bacterial infections. That’s the reason why most people opt for citrus juice drinks in curing common colds and coughs.

A daily dose of vitamin C from citrus fruits is also beneficial as vitamin C is not naturally produced by our bodies.


Adding yogurt to your diet is highly recommended by nutritionists to promote a strong body. This is because yogurt is a high source of vitamin D which is proven to regulate the immune system’s function.

In a recent study, it was mentioned that yogurt is beneficial to enhance the immune system even in immunocompromised people such as the elderly.

In buying yogurt, look for plain yogurts instead of flavored ones, preferably Greek yogurt. This is because flavored yogurts tend to have too much sugar which might not be good for your health. To get the best out of yogurts, try mixing them with strawberries, blueberries, and honey to make them more deliciously healthy.


Of all green leafy vegetables, broccoli is a top choice if you aim to help boost your immune system. It consists of an abundant amount of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, C, and E all proven to enhance the immune system.

According to studies, broccoli also contains high levels of fiber and antioxidants which contribute to your overall health.


During our childhood, we all know what miracles spinach can do. And we are all familiar with one of our favorite cartoon characters, Popeye.

It’s not only packed with high amounts of vitamin C, but it is also rich in other vitamins and nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, potassium, and folate, which not only improves your immune system but also your overall health.

Green Tea

Surprisingly, green tea is one of the great sources of nutrients needed to boost the immune system.

Primarily it is abundant in a compound called Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) which is a potent antioxidant preventing free radicals and cell damage. Not only that, but green tea also contains L-theanine, which helps your T-Cells in producing antibodies.

Black tea can also be a good substitute for green tea, however, due to the fermentation process it undergoes, it might contain fewer antioxidants compared to green tea.


Ginger, though unpleasant to the taste, is a great remedy for coughs, colds, fever, and sore throat. In fact, many food manufacturers use ginger to produce candies or lozenges that help cure sore throats.

Though it might contain fewer nutrients compared to others on the list, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties to help prevent various illnesses. It is said to cure nausea as well.


Almonds are known to contain large amounts of vitamin E which mainly contributes to a healthy immune system.

This favorite nut is also packed with healthy fats that promote healthy body fat composition. The vitamin can easily be absorbed by the body since it’s fat-soluble, which means that it only requires the presence of fats in your body.

Whether you like eating it raw, with other nuts, or with chocolates, Almonds are a healthy and enjoyable snack for the young and old.


This is another fruit that contains tons of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Just like citrus fruits, papaya is very abundant in vitamin C. It is even beneficial to your digestive system as it contains an enzyme called “papain” which is an anti-inflammatory substance. This is supported by a recent study published in the National Library of Medicine.

Not only that, but papaya is also rich in nutrients like folate, potassium, and magnesium, which can help in the production of red blood cells, as well as improve bones, muscles, and skin.


Just like papaya, Kiwi is another fruit that is abundant in various nutrients namely, vitamins C, E, and K, as well as protein, potassium, and folate. Since it’s rich in vitamins C and E, it can enhance the immune system against colds, flu, cough, fever, and other more severe diseases.

What’s good about kiwi is that it is delicious and a great add-on to your yogurt, cereal, oats, and shakes. So if you want to keep your immune system fortified and strong, try adding a slice of two of kiwi to your daily yogurt or breakfast cereal.


To complete the list, I included another people’s fave which is blueberries. Just like other nutrient-rich fruits, blueberries are also a good source of vitamins C, E, and K. It even contains minerals such as manganese, potassium, and fiber.

Aside from Kiwis, you can also add blueberries to your fruit salad, yogurt, shake, or cereal. You can even make a jam out of it for better taste and easier consumption.

Final Thoughts

Our Immune system is one of the most important systems in our body as it acts as the primary defense against various illnesses. Without it, we become vulnerable to sickness. That’s why it’s important to keep our immune systems fortified and strong especially for seniors since they have weaker immune systems than younger ones.

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