5 Good Foods to Build Your Immune System

Do you easily get a cold or flu? Have a weak immune system?

The immune system is the body's defense mechanism against infections and diseases, so you you need to boost your immunity. But how?  

Learn about the 5 Top good foods that help to build your immune system and help you to get faster over a respiratory virus infection, the common cold or the flu...

 Watch this short video on natural remedies for cold and influenza-like illnesses

1. Vegetables from the Onion Family (Red, White and Yellow Onions, Garlic, Leeks and Shallots) and Horseradish

Onions, Leeks and Shallots are vegetables from the allium genus that have many health benefits, especially for the immune system.

They contain antioxidants, such as quercetin, that can fight inflammation and protect against infections.

They also have sulphuric compounds that can reduce phlegm and congestion in the respiratory tract.

Onions are a good source of vitamin C, which is essential for immune health and collagen production.

Eating onions regularly may help prevent or treat common colds, allergies, and other illnesses.

Combined, they contain many broad-spectrum antimicrobial and immunity-boosting compounds, some of them stronger than common antibiotics!

2. Bone broth (and Vegetable soups made with bone broth)

Your grandmother had it right! Old-fashioned chicken broth not only provides the fluids you need and tastes good, but also contains a combination of vegetables and nutrients from them, the chicken and the bone broth that strengthen your immune system. Make sure to choose a free-run, preferably pastured chicken and organic vegetables for maximum effect.

I've written about the amazing benefits of bone broth here (with recipes)

3. Citrus fruits, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Bell Peppers

Citrus fruits and some vegetables contain a lot of  Vitamin C, which we need to support our immune system and fight microbes in times of illness.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that supports many functions in the body, including immune system health.

It helps protect the cells from oxidative stress, enhance collagen synthesis, and modulate inflammation.

Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C, especially citrus fruits, berries, broccoli**, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, spinach, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, and tomatoes. Eating a variety of these foods can help you meet your daily requirement of vitamin C, provide many other valuable nutrients and boost your immune system.

Did you know that most animals are able to produce their own Vitamin C as needed? And when sick, they produce extra?
As we can't produce it ourselves, we need to either eat lots of fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C (and they deteriorate with longer "shelf" time...) or take a supplement. Generally, 2 g per day (2,000 mg) is safe. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any serious illness, take prescription medication or want to take more.

4. Honey

Honey is a natural product that has many health benefits, especially for the immune system.

Honey contains antioxidants, phytonutrients, and sugars that can enhance the immune system in various ways.

Antioxidants are substances that protect the cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can harm the DNA and other cellular components. Free radicals can contribute to aging, inflammation, and chronic diseases.

Honey has a high antioxidant content, mainly from flavonoids and polyphenols, which are plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects.

 Antioxidants can also modulate the immune system by stimulating or suppressing the activity of certain immune cells.

Phytonutrients are plant chemicals that have various biological functions, such as antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Honey contains phytonutrients from both the nectar of flowers and the bees' own secretions.

These phytonutrients can help fight off infections by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

They can also enhance the immune system by increasing the production of lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that recognize and destroy foreign invaders.


Sugars are the main components of honey, accounting for about 80% of its weight. Honey contains mainly fructose and glucose, which are simple sugars that can be easily absorbed and used by the body for energy. Honey also contains small amounts of complex sugars, such as nigerooligosaccharides, which have immunopotentiating effects.

This means that they can stimulate the immune system by activating certain immune cells and enhancing their functions.

Honey is a delicious and natural way to support your health and well-being.

Summary: 

Honey, especially natural, raw, unpasteurized honey or the specialty honey called manuka honey, is well-known for its antimicrobial properties.

And if dissolved in warm (not boiling) milk  (organic dairy or non-dairy milk),  it coats your throat, soothes, helps with coughs and even helps you sleep!

5. Mushrooms

Especially adaptogenic mushrooms, like reishi, shiitake or maitake, but also the “common” button mushrooms contain health-promoting substances.  

Evidence continues to emerge, confirming how mushrooms’ proteins, trace minerals, polysaccharides, amino acids and fiber promote overall health and support and regulate your immune and hormonal systems.

 If those foods don’t do the trick or you feel that there may be more going on, read this blog post on whether it is a cold or something more serious…

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