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The Immune System Diet

January 04, 2018

The immune system is one of the most incredible infrastructures in your body.

It rushes to action at the first sign of a harmful virus, bacteria, fungus, or parasite.

When supported with the right foods, your immune system can handle most challenges that it’s presented.

The right nutrients work synergistically together to keep your immune system vital and strong.

You can follow an Immune System Diet regularly to keep your health supported or come back to it any time you’re faced with an immune challenge.

The Immune System Diet

A balanced diet is the key.

Excessive dieting and poor nutrient intake depresses immune health. Overeating lowers immune response, too.

Focus on a balanced diet that includes:

  • a healthy protein with each meal (organic poultry, eggs, kefir, beans, legumes)
  • a healthy fat with each meal (avocado, seafood, nuts and seeds, unrefined oils like coconut oil or olive oil)
  • 5-9 daily servings of fruits and vegetables
  • 1-3 daily servings of whole grains (oats, spelt, quinoa, millet, brown rice)

Strive to fill half your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables at each meal. A plant-based diet is naturally anti-inflammatory and immune protective, reducing risk of degenerative problems like arthritis, heart issues, and even some types of cancer.

High Antioxidant Foods

High antioxidant foods quench free radicals (unstable molecules that cause damage to cells) in the body . Free radicals are produced through exposure to toxins, illness, and natural aging.

Antioxidant foods help repair cell damage caused by free radicals, and can even neutralize carcinogens.

The highest food antioxidants come from: berries; dark skinned grapes; spinach and other dark leafy greens; orange veggies like squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes; garlic and onions; green and white tea.

Choose organic for these foods when possible. Research shows organic foods have higher antioxidant levels and lower metal levels, important for extra immune protection.

Enzyme Active Foods

High enzyme foods are a key to a strong immune system. Low enzymes mean we end up with undigested proteins in our blood.

Your white blood cells are then pulled from their jobs to take care of the undigested food, weakening immune response.

Enzymes are sensitive to heat. Wet heat above 118 F. and dry heat above 150 F. destroys them. Raw foods are usually best for enzyme activity.

Include fresh fruit and vegetable juices, sprouts, papaya, pineapple, mango, and bitter greens like dandelion or kale regularly to increase natural enzyme activity and immune power.

Cultured Foods

A healthy adult gastrointestinal (GI) tract contains around 2 pounds of microflora! Cultured foods are full of probiotics, which maintain balance in the GI tract. Experts theorize that about 80% of your immune response resides in the GI tract.

Probiotics improve antibody production, manufacture B vitamins, detoxify chemicals, normalize pH, and help crowd out pathogens like E. coli, salmonella, and overgrowth of candida yeast.

They encourage high enzyme activity that improves food assimilation and digestion. There are many good cultured foods to try. Organic yogurt, kefir, lassi, miso, kimchi, and raw sauerkraut are a few that top my list.

High Chlorophyll Foods

Chlorophyll is similar to human hemoglobin, except it carries magnesium in its center instead of iron. Eating chlorophyll-rich foods supports the health of red blood cells and helps to kill germs.

Chlorophyll rich foods help cleanse the liver, releasing drug toxins and metals, and are powerful antioxidants for immune strength.

Have a green superfood drink with wheat grass, barley grass, spirulina, or chlorella each day possible to build immune response and support the body’s natural cleansing process.

The Next Steps For Strong Immune Response

Just as the right foods nourish your body and strengthen immune response, the wrong foods can load you with chemicals, slow down digestion, and weaken immune response.

The American diet of processed foods, 20% sugars and 37% fat, is a poor choice for immunity. Definitely stay away from foods in a box, fast foods, and eating on the run for your immune health.

Keep fresh fruits and vegetables readily available whenever you need a quick boost. Skip processed foods on your next grocery run to ensure you’re eating for nutrition and not consuming empty calories.

Drink plenty of liquids (juices, herb teas, and water) to keep your elimination systems flowing well.

For the best results with your diet, exercise regularly and make sure to get plenty of sleep. The body does a tremendous amount of immune restoration work while you sleep.


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Eating Well Editors (2016). Healthy immunity diet guidelines. Retrieved from Eating Well,
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Kaplan, G. (2015, Nov.) 11 Rules for the ultimate anti-inflammatory diet. Retrieved from Mind Body Green,
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