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Immune boosting foods that you probably have not heard of


We often rely on citrus fruits like oranges and vegetables like bell peppers for their vitamin C content to boost our immune system. But there are lesser-known foods out there that can pack an even stronger punch! Let’s venture into the realm of immune-boosting nutrition and uncover some hidden gems.

Goji Berries

In recent times, goji berries have gained recognition as a “superfood.” Originating from Asia, these dried berries have a history in traditional Chinese medicine. They have compounds that enhance the immune system by boosting white blood cells. They also provide antioxidants that improve immune function. In a study, older individuals who took goji berry supplements showed a stronger immune response to a flu vaccine compared to those who took a placebo. You can add goji berries to your diet in simple ways.

Fermented Foods

Fermentation, an ancient and natural process, plays a vital role in cultivating beneficial bacteria for the microbiome. Alongside its digestive benefits, this process contributes to a stronger immune system. Fortify your immune system by introducing fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers, kimchi, miso, and fermented tofu to your eating regimen. These particular food selections stimulate the production of antibodies, bolstering your body’s ability to combat harmful infections.

Bone Broth

Renowned for its efficacy in combating colds and flu, bone broth has been cherished for centuries. Abundantly enriched with essential vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory amino acids, this nourishing liquid actively fights infections while purifying the body by eliminating toxins. It’s best when cooked for 24-48 hours for potent benefits.

Ugli Fruit

An amazing fruit that blends the best qualities of oranges and grapefruits. Replete with a diverse array of polyphenols and flavonoids, this fruit is overflowing with goodness. These compounds deliver a myriad of benefits, encompassing inflammation reduction, virus and allergy fighting capacities, cancer-fighting properties, and antioxidant support. Moreover, the fruit boasts dietary fibre content, fostering a healthy gut and reinforcing the immune system.


This is an ancient starchy, gluten-free vegetable. Arrowroot is used mostly as a thickener in food, but it also has immune-boosting properties. Extracts of arrowroot powder exhibit cytotoxic activities that aid in building immunity by boosting cells within the immune system. Arrowroot is a grain-free, starchy flour great for baking baked goods or pancakes and giving them that slight chewiness that you’re looking for.


Mushrooms are an immune powerhouse. They contain powerful compounds that can boost health and improve the immune system. The turkey tail mushroom has garnered significant attention in scientific studies owing to its exceptional disease-fighting abilities and immune system enhancement. It is one of the most studied mushrooms, alongside immune-boosting varieties like shiitake, maitake, and cordyceps.

The key to incorporating immune-boosting food in your diet is variety; eating one of these foods will not be enough to fight off infections, even if it is consumed regularly.

The Role of Nutrition in Immunity

It’s crucial to understand that there is no instant immune-boosting meal or exclusive diet. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals will strengthen your body’s immune defences and key nutrients such as vitamins C and D, zinc, selenium, iron, and protein are essential for immune cell growth and function and can be obtained from a variety of plant and animal-based meals.

Common Foods for Immunity

  • Fruits and Vegetables: They are a powerhouse of important vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Eat oranges and red bell peppers.
  • Protein-rich Foods: Such as lean meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, and beans.
  • Nuts, Seeds, and Whole Grains: These foods contribute to a healthy immune system by providing essential nutrients like zinc, selenium, and vitamin E.
  • Dairy Products or Fortified Alternatives: These are good sources of vitamin D and probiotics, which are beneficial for immune health.

The Importance of Gut Health

Recent research suggests that a strong immune system depends on having a healthy gut. Eating foods with lots of fibre, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils, can help keep our gut healthy. We can also try fermented foods like live yoghurt or kefir to support our gut.

Lifestyle Factors and Immunity

In addition to practising a balanced diet, other elements of your lifestyle significantly impact the functioning of your immune system. Engaging in regular exercise, obtaining sufficient sleep, and adopting effective stress management techniques are all integral for supporting a healthy immune system.

  • Regular Exercise: Consistently participating in moderate exercise can give your immune system a boost and help it combat infections.
  • Adequate Sleep: Ensuring you get enough sleep is essential for a well-functioning immune system. During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines that contribute to its effectiveness in fighting off diseases.
  • Stress Management: Managing stress is important as chronic stress can suppress your immune response and make you more susceptible to infections. Including stress-reducing activities such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or engaging in enjoyable hobbies can support the strengthening of your immune system.

In conclusion, while no single food or lifestyle change can guarantee immunity against sickness, a well-balanced diet rich in a range of nutrients, combined with a healthy lifestyle, can help support and optimise your immune system.

If optimising your immune system and discovering the foods that can provide a turbo-boost are your goals, our Nutritionists or Functional Medicine Practitioners are here to help. They can provide valuable insights on serving sizes and recommended daily intake to ensure a balanced intake of vital nutrients. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised advice and expert guidance.

For more nutritional information

This article was written by our team of specialist therapists at Perfect Balance Clinic. If you would like more specific advice about how our team can help you with this condition or symptoms you may be having, please complete the contact form below and one of the team will get back to you shortly.

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