5 Diet-Friendly Meals to Support Your Immune System

by Danielle Omar, RD
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strong immune system is important during the cold and flu season. While quality sleep, regular exercise, proper hand-washing and social distancing all play a role in maintaining a healthy immune system, the foods you eat can also help. These recipes all contain specific ingredients that support immunity with antioxidants, key vitamins and minerals.

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5 Diet-Friendly Meals to Support Your Immune System

GLUTEN-FREE

5 Diet-Friendly Meals to Support Your Immune System

Why it made the cut: Citrus fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, an important nutrient that supports the immune system and, in particular, helps with white blood cell formation to fight infections. Yogurt contains vitamin D and probiotics, which are great for gut health. Finally, almonds are rich in vitamin E, an oft-overlooked nutrient that supports immunity.

KETO

Why it made the cut: Eating salad for breakfast is a fantastic immune system win. This recipe contains several immune-supporting phytonutrients; it has carotenoids from spinachhealthy fats from avocado and vitamin C from roasted cauliflower.

LOW-CARB

5 Diet-Friendly Meals to Support Your Immune System

Why it made the cut: Coconut milk and broccoli offer immune-boosting benefits. Coconut milk contains lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid known for its antiviral and antimicrobial properties, which can help strengthen the immune system. On the other hand, broccoli is rich in vitamins C and E, as well as antioxidants which can enhance the body’s defense mechanisms against infections. Consuming both coconut milk and broccoli can provide a synergistic effect, promoting a healthier immune response.

MEDITERRANEAN

5 Diet-Friendly Meals to Support Your Immune System

Why it made the cut: You may not think of chicken as an immune-supporting food, but it contains nearly 1/3 of your needs for vitamin B6, which is important for forming healthy red blood cells, a key player in immune function. This recipe is also rich in vitamin A, iron, B vitamins and calcium, all of which help keep your immune system functioning optimally.

VEGAN

Why it made the cut: This recipe contains veggies high in immune-supporting vitamins A and C, including carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. It also has turmeric-rich curry powder and curry paste, plus ginger — all of which contain anti-inflammatory compounds known to support a healthy immune system.

Originally published December 2020, updated November 2023

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About the Author

Danielle Omar, RD

Danielle is an integrative dietitian, culinary nutritionist, author and consultant, frequently lending her love of creating to high-profile food and nutrition media outlets. She’s a regularly featured blogger and founder of foodconfidence.comwhere she inspires men and women on their journey to become their healthiest self. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

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