Want to give your immune system a boost? Don’t go to the pharmacy and buy a “pick me up.” Instead, head on over to your local grocery store and check out the produce aisle!

You’ll find that most of the best foods for the immune system can be found nestled among the lettuce, tomatoes, and apples in your supermarket!

Want to know what the best types of food for immune system health are? Read on to find out more…

Here is a list of the best foods for immune system health:


sauerkraft is among best foods for immune system

Sauerkraut is more than just delicious on your hot dog or Wienerschnitzel, it’s also one of the healthiest foods for your immune system! It is fermented, meaning scores of good bacteria make their home in the pickled cabbage.

This bacteria is the same as the bacteria living in your gut, so they act as reinforcement for the beneficial organisms that handle your digestion and immune function. By boosting the beneficial bacteria, you increase your body’s ability to deal with the pathogens that are ingested via your food.


kombucha tea is among best foods for immune system

Kombucha is a type of tea that is made by fermenting tea leaves. The fermentation process causes bacteria to thrive in the tea. It’s rich in digestive enzymes that do wonders for your intestinal health. It can aid with digestion, detoxify your liver, reduce joint pain, and improve your immune function.

You can easily make kombucha tea with any normal green or black tea, some sugar, and a packet of kombucha starter (similar to the way yeast is used to make bread).


mashrooms are among best foods for immune system

Who doesn’t love mushrooms? They make a delicious addition to soup and other meals, but they’re also loaded with digestive enzymes and special compounds that can boost your body’s ability to fight off infection and disease.

There are even some mushrooms that can help fight cancer, so it’s time to add more reishi, maitake, and shiitake mushrooms to your diet!


kefir is among best foods for immune system

This fermented drink is made from coconut water, grains, milk, and water. It’s loaded with healthy probiotics that improve immune function.

The yeasts in the kefir are known to hunt down and destroy harmful yeasts in your body, detoxify your liver, strengthen your immune system, and even recolonize your intestines with the healthy bacteria your body needs.

Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar is among best foods for immune system

Apple Cider Vinegar is made from fermented apples, one of the healthiest superfoods on the planet! Not only will it help you burn fat and lose weight, but it can also help to promote a healthy pH balance in your body, detox your liver, and fight infections.

Apple Cider Vinegar contains enzymes that help with digestion, stimulate your lymphatic system, deal with heartburn, and boost your overall immune health. It’s one of the most widely available foods on this list and one of the healthiest!

Green Superfoods

best foods for immune system

There are a number of green foods that are considered “superfoods.”  They include chlorella, spirulina, wheatgrass, barley grass, and kale. All of these green foods are rich in antioxidants, which can help to naturally detoxify your body while simultaneously improving your immune function.

Chlorella is a blue-green algae and has many similarities to spirulina. Studies have confirmed that chlorella benefits the entire body as it builds your immune system, supports healthy hormonal function, promotes cardiovascular health,  lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and aids in the detoxification of your body.  It also helps to minimize the effects of chemotherapy and radiation used for cancer treatment.

The more antioxidants you consume, the less risk there is of oxidative stress slowing down your body and suppressing your immunity.

Vitamin-Rich Foods

best foods for immune system

The more vitamins a food contains, the better it will be for your immune system!

  • Vitamin A enhances your immunity on a cellular level and reduces your rate of infections, so eat more orange foods (pumpkin, squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes) to get more beta-carotene.
  • Vitamin C increases phagocyte effectiveness and boosts your body’s ability to protect your cells, so eat more citrus fruits and broccoli.
  • Vitamin E is needed for the production of antibodies, so eat more avocadoes and coconuts.
  • B vitamins are needed for enhanced cellular immunity, lymphocyte production, and reduced infection rates, so eat more whole grains.

Colored Veggies

best foods for immune system

Dark purple cabbage, beets, carrots, dark leafy greens, yellow and red bell peppers, and red tomatoes all contain carotenes, which protect your thymus gland. This gland manufactures the T-cells that protect your body and provide support for many other important immune functions.

By eating more colored vegetables, you give your thymus the protection it needs! These are some of the best foods for your immune system!

Aromatic Veggies

best foods for immune system

Garlic and onions (including shallots and spring onions) are more than just delicious, they’re also very important for your immune health. They contain antiseptic properties and can help to fight off infections.

Garlic is one of the best anti-cancer foods. So be sure to add more of these aromatic veggies to your meals to boost your immune and overall health!

Barley and Oats

barley and oats

These two grains are some of the best for your health, as they are loaded with beta-glucan, a special type of fiber that can fight off pathogens and detoxify your body effectively.

Some studies suggest that these two grains are even more effective than taking Echinacea! Animals who eat oats and barley (for the beta-glucan) are far less likely to contract a disease, so it stands to reason that the same is true in humans!

BONUS: The worst types of food for your immune system

Now that you know what you SHOULD be eating, here are the foods to avoid to have a healthy immune system:

Refined Sugars

  • Obesity and Heart Disease: High intake of refined sugars can lead to weight gain and obesity, conditions closely linked to heart disease. These conditions strain the body’s metabolic and cardiovascular systems, weakening overall health and immunity.
  • Reduced Immune Function: Consuming refined sugars can suppress the effectiveness of the immune system. It interferes with the ability of white blood cells to combat pathogens, reducing the body’s capacity to fight off infections.

White Flour/Grains

  • High Blood Sugar: Foods made from white flour or refined grains quickly elevate blood sugar levels. This can lead to spikes in insulin and eventually insulin resistance, a condition that negatively affects immune function.
  • Dampened Immune Cell Production: The lack of essential nutrients and the impact on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity can impair the body’s ability to produce and maintain a healthy population of immune cells.

Processed Junk Food

  • Attacks Healthy Tissue: The additives, preservatives, and high levels of unhealthy fats found in processed foods can trigger inflammation and lead the immune system to mistakenly attack the body’s tissues, contributing to autoimmune responses and chronic inflammation.

Gluten-Rich Food

  • Internal Inflammation and Immune System Disruptions: For those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, gluten triggers severe inflammation and damages the intestinal lining. This not only disrupts the immune system’s function but can also lead to nutrient malabsorption, further impairing immune health.

GM Corn and Soy

  • Inflammation in the Stomach: The genetic modifications in GM corn and soy can make them harder to digest, potentially leading to inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. This inflammation can compromise the stomach’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients properly, weakening the immune system’s effectiveness.


Bolstering your immune system doesn’t require a trip to the pharmacy for the latest supplement. The better choice involves a simple visit to your local grocery store’s produce aisle. By incorporating a variety of fermented foods, mushrooms, probiotics, apple cider vinegar, green superfoods, vitamin-rich foods, colorful vegetables, aromatic veggies, and whole grains into your diet, you can naturally enhance your body’s defense mechanisms against diseases and infections.

These foods not only offer a plethora of health benefits, including improved digestion, detoxification, and nutrient absorption, but they also play a crucial role in maintaining a balanced and effective immune response. Conversely, it’s equally important to avoid foods that can undermine immune health, such as refined sugars, white flour, processed junk food, gluten-rich products for those sensitive to it, and genetically modified corn and soy.

By making informed dietary choices, you can support your immune system’s health and overall well-being, steering clear of quick fixes and embracing a holistic approach to nutrition. Bottom Line: The key to a robust immune system lies not in a pill, but on your plate.

Ronald K. Wright