Pile of carrots

Best foods for the immune system

There are so many horrible cold and flu bugs around at the moment that seem to be lingering and taking people a long time to recover from. As more of us have been working at home and not mixing as much we haven’t been exposed to as many bugs and so when we do encounter one, sometimes our immune systems can struggle. As restrictions ease again and more of us are returning to offices and commuting, it’s a good time to put in some extra support for our immune system.

There are plenty of foods that can support your immune system, but here are my top six:


This really is a superfood as far as our immune systems go. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal, so whatever bug you have it can help. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body and can shorten the duration of colds and flu. To get the full benefits of garlic, crush it and allow to stand for 10 minutes before cooking. Even better if your stomach can tolerate it have some raw garlic in salad dressing or add it to pasta sauce just before serving. Find out more about the benefits of garlic in my earlier blog.

Red peppers

Red peppers are one of the highest sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed by our immune cells to fight an infection and is anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Our need for vitamin C increases when we have any type of infection, so it’s really important to keep your levels high if you feel like you are coming down with something. Try stuffed peppers, roasted peppers and adding peppers to salads, soups, frittata etc.

Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium, which is needed by the bodies immune cells to fight infections. Just a couple of brazil nuts a day can keep your levels topped up, so be sure to snack on some brazil nuts.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds contain zinc which is needed by our immune cells. Zinc can also help to prevent viruses from replicating. Adding pumpkin seeds to porridge, energy balls, flapjack, salads and soup is a great way to get some in your diet.


Carrots give us vitamin A which is also a nutrient needed by our immune cells. Carrots are so easy to get into stews, soups, salads, roasted vegetables etc., but for a change try this carrot, apple and ginger smoothie to give your immune system a boost.

Keep your fluids up

Talking of smoothies, it’s important to stay well hydrated to keep your body functioning well and flush out any toxins. Soups, smoothies, herbal teas and water all count as part of your 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day. To support your immune system even further add some anti-inflammatory ginger or turmeric to your drink.

If you haven’t already, you can also download my free guide to Supporting your Immune System over Winter to get more ideas about foods that can support your immune system, along with some recipe ideas for how to get these foods into your diet.

Remember if you would like some help in putting together a personalised nutrition and supplement plan to help support your immune system do book in for a free hormone health review.

Stay well!

Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog  are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Emma Belton Nutrition disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.

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