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9 Superfoods That Boost Immune System & Health

Written by Shelby Torrese

Reviewed by Liz Brown

If you’re looking to naturally boost your immune system to fight off illnesses, these are the 9 best foods that boost immune system and health!

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It’s no secret that our immune system is our first line of defense against colds and viruses. This is why it’s crucial to boost immune system function and understand ways to do so. Traditional medicine, such as prescriptions and medication, has a time and place. Functional wellness, however, such as eating whole foods that boost immune system function, should be a priority in every household. (Especially one with kiddos!)

Understanding how to take care of ourselves, and knowing how to support our bodies is empowering. It empowers us and our families to make healthy decisions, and have the knowledge and confidence to make those decisions.

What decisions, though?

Food decisions! As mentioned, one of the simplest ways to learn how to boost your immune system is through food. Learning which foods help to boost immune system function can help you make healthy choices at least three times per day! In some cases, these foods may even be available in our own backyards.

Today’s blog post is going to be all about learning about nine of my favorite foods that boost immune system function. I’ll offer some information about the benefits of these foods, and even one of my go-to supplements that include some of them.

foods that boost immune system

1. Matcha

First for many reasons, is matcha! This trendy, superfood is a latte lovers’ dream. Think of matcha as green tea’s overachieving older sibling. It’s brighter, more popular, and packs a bigger nutritional punch. For one, matcha has been shown to reduce stress. [1] Stress is a known immune system suppressant. The less stressed we are, the greater capacity our body has for dealing with other functions–such as keeping our immune system strong. Don’t worry, be happy, drink matcha!

2. Spinach

Popeye was onto something with his undying love for spinach. If you want to know how to boost your immune system, spinach is a must! It’s certainly considered a superfood for a reason. It contains protein, minerals, and vitamins. [2] Substantial amounts of them, too! Specifically, spinach is rich in essential vitamins A, C, and K. These vitamins help to reduce oxidative stress and blood pressure levels, which are all key to a healthy immune system. The great thing about spinach is you can consume it in so many ways. You can freeze it and blend it in smoothies, you can mix it into salad greens, saute it in pasta sauces, and so much more. Out of all of the foods that boost immune system function, spinach is a personal favorite of mine.

3. Elderberry

I’m sure you recognize the name elderberry. It’s the poster child for foods that boost immune system function. It’s a common throat lozenge “flavor”, and can be found in nearly every cold and flu medicine. For good reason! Elderberries are packed with antioxidants. This is important for fighting off free radicals, and fighting oxidative stress like spinach does. [3] It’s pretty uncommon to find elderberries in your local grocery store, but you’ll surely find them as ingredients in over-the-counter immune-boosting medicines. I like taking elderberries in supplement form whenever I start to feel like I’m coming down with something. It usually helps fight off colds before they even start!

4. Lemon Juice

Who doesn’t love lemons?! The tart, sweet, citrusy burst of flavor also contains so much immune-boosting goodness. Lemons contain high levels of vitamin C and fiber. In fact, it’s said that most adults do not get enough vitamin C. [4] Lemons are another easy ingredient to add to your diet. You can wake up to a warm glass of lemon water, add it to your salad dressings, or even add the zest as a delicious tangy garnish. This one immune-boosting fruit you don’t want to be missing out on.

5. Spirulina

Spirulina is a blue-green algae superfood! It may sound off-putting, but it’s packed with immune-boosting nutrients like various B vitamins, vitamin E, antioxidants, chlorophyll, and more. In fact, it was made “famous” by NASA after being used on space missions for its anti-inflammatory properties, and of course, because it helps to boost immune system function. It’s even been said to have anticancer, antiviral and antiallergic effects. [5] Spirulina can be found in powders, capsules, gels, and even a paste-like substance. It can be easily masked in smoothies, and is one superfood that is 100% worth the price tag.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric! The yellow-orange powder making its way into everything from cafe lattes to curry, to ice cream and skincare. You’d think we’d be sick of it by now, but it’s just too beneficial to not keep enjoying it. Because it can be both savory or sweet, it’s easy to consume in so many different ways. Turmeric is best known for the presence of circumin, which is a powerful antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, anticancer effects. [6] In short, it packs an immune-boosting punch.

7. Alfalfa

Alfalfa (including alfalfa sprouts) is an unlikely source of immune-boosting power. They are nutrient-dense plants packed with vitamin K. This vitamin can help maintain bone mineral density, and reduce the risk of fractures. For this reason, alfalfa has been said to be beneficial for people with osteoporosis. [7] While a less common salad green, alfalfa, or alfalfa sprouts make a great addition to any meal. They can be tucked into sandwiches, topped on salads, or even used as a garnish on veggies.

8. Chlorella

Chlorella is another beneficial algae and is in the same family as spirulina. It has been shown to help decrease the load of heavy metals [8], and boost immune system function. [9] It’s also similar to spirulina in the sense that it can be mixed and masked into smoothies. However, due to the high price point, I prefer to purchase it as a supplement that also includes other superfoods.

9. Orange

Last, but certainly not least, is oranges! These delicious citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C. I feel like this is the first vitamin you learn about when learning how to boost your immune system. Whether you eat or drink oranges, they’re a great way to help boost your immune system. I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone that doesn’t like oranges, but if for some reason you don’t, you can always find orange in immune-boosting supplements. Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient that helps optimize cell and tissue levels. It helps to reduce inflammation, and of course, boost immune system function.

How To Boost Your Immune System Easily

Before you run out to the grocery store for all of these ingredients, know that there’s an easier way. A more sustainable way to learn how to boost your immune system is by working a supplement into your daily regimen. Not only is it easier and cheaper than purchasing a bunch of different things you may not necessarily know what to do with, but it’s also a lot easier to stay on top of. For example, Skinny Greens includes unique blends of superfoods to help boost immune system function that includes matcha, lemon, chlorella, spirulina, alfalfa, turmeric, and more. Not only does it taste delicious, but it’s as easy as taking one scoop per day. Eating whole foods is great, but when you have a packed schedule or limited time to cook, Skinny Greens is a great alternative. Every sip is one step closer to a strong immune system!

Mentioned In This Post

Skinny Greens Green Superfood Powder

Juicing made easy! Skinny Greens has 34 essential superfoods, stress-relieving adaptogens, & pre and probiotics for all of the daily nutrients your body craves.

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About The Author

Shelby Torrese

Nutrition, Movement & Meditation Coach

Shelby Torrese is a wellness enthusiast (and matcha fanatic!) from Miami, FL. She attributes her love of movement to her mom, a personal trainer, and her love of food to her dad, a farmer. She studied creative writing in college while getting her yoga certification, and went on to pursue fitness and nutrition in grad school. Her go-to advice is, “Balance,” and she is a firm believer that the ocean can cure just about everything.

  • Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher
  • NASM Certified Nutrition Coach
  • M.S. in Human Performance


Reviewed By

Liz Brown

Fitness & Nutrition Expert (CPT., FNS.)

Liz is a health & wellness expert, writer, and editor with over a decade of experience in the fitness & nutrition industry. She emphasizes research and simplifies complex topics to help make healthy living simple and sustainable. When she isn't researching and writing, she's sharing delicious recipes, easy DIYs, and home decor tips on her blog and social media.

More from Liz, visit: Personal Blog, TikTok, Instagram


  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer(since 2012)
  • NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist (since 2014)
  • Credentialed Coach Practitioner, Coach Training Academy
  • B.A. Liberal Studies (Health & Nutrition Sciences)
  • A.A. Liberal Arts (STEM)

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