14 foods with immune boosting and antiviral properties

Are you looking for ways to help yourself in the light of the recent COVID virus pandemic?

Since currently, there is no medical treatment for the virus, apart from trying not to be exposed, one of your best defences against the infection is your immune system.

A healthy immune system is more than capable of dealing with any virus.

So, how do you create a healthy immune system?

The simplest way I know to boost your immune system is through food.

To that point, today, I wrote an article on 12 foods with immune-boosting and antiviral properties.

Let's jump straight in and look at an old favourite, apples.


There is an old saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Well, there is often a lot of truth in ancient wisdom.

In a 2007 study that explored the habits of children living on the island of Crete, researchers found that children who consumed apples, along with other fresh produce, as part of their diet, had more excellent safeguards against both allergies and asthma.


Unfortunately, not all chocolate is equally healthy. Milk chocolate, for example, has relatively few immune-boosting properties.

The darker the chocolate, the more numerous the health benefits.

Dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonoids, antioxidants that help protect our cells from damage and inflammation.

A recent study found that among people who consumed one dark chocolate bar every day for a week, the chocolate increased immune-supportive white blood cells.


The berries and flowers of the Elderberry plant have both immune-boosting and antiviral properties.

Elderberry has sparked a lot of interest among the natural health community since it is highly effective against the Human Coronavirus, NL63, which is similar to the COVID-19 virus.


Garlic, a member of the lily family, has well known and longstanding health benefits.

Garlic's immune-boosting and antiviral properties come from a sulphur-containing compound called allicin.

Allicin is effective for reducing the severity of cold and Flu symptoms and strengthening the immune system.


Ginger has been used for thousands of years in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.

Ginger has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

One study, investigating the impact of ginger on immune cells and antibodies in smokers compared to non-smokers, found that, while both groups benefited from the ginger in varying ways, non-smokers had heightened numbers of antibodies in their blood, suggestive of a more aggressive response to infections.

Jalapeno Peppers

Jalapeño peppers, a type of chilli, get their hot taste from a compound named capsaicin. Capsaicin serves as an anti-inflammatory agent and may alleviate arthritis symptoms.

A 2015 study found that eating chillies frequently was linked with a lowered risk of premature death.

Matcha Green Tea

Matcha Green Tea is made from young green tea leaves that are steamed and then ground into a fine bright-green powder, has a rich, almost sweet, vegetal taste.

Whereas regular green tea contains antioxidants called flavonoids, matcha green tea includes very high levels of a class of antioxidants called catechins. Studies suggest that catechins can boost immune function.


Whole oats contain beta-glucan, a compound that stimulates our white blood cells to fight infections.

Oats are also an excellent source of selenium and zinc, two critical components for a robust immune system. To reap the most significant benefit from oats, choose steel-cut or rolled oats rather than instant varieties.

Numerous studies show that beta-glucan heightens the immune system's capacity to ward off viruses.

Oily Fish

Oily fish is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which is useful in lowering the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death from heart disease.

But recent research investigates its likely beneficial impact on the immune system as well.

One study observed that high DHA fish oil concentrate could promote a healthy immune response in middle-aged, overweight adults.

Olive Oil

Olive oil has many health benefits, not least of which is oleocanthal, an organic chemical that has similar inflammation properties to ibuprofen.

Putting two or three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil each day, drizzled on salads or vegetables, will do wonders for immune health.

A study that contrasted the impacts of daily consumption of olive oil to soybean, corn, and butter observed a notable increase in white blood cells amongst subjects who ate olive oil.

Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms contain polysaccharides, active antiviral compounds equipped with extraordinary immune-boosting properties.

In one study, people who ate between 5 and 10 g of mushrooms every day for a month had enhanced immune markers.


Tumeric, a golden yellow spice, performs a primary role in curry dishes and has been employed for ages in Ayurvedic medicine to heal a variety of conditions, such as allergies, diabetes, and ulcers. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is responsible for the majority of its health perks.

Studies have revealed that curcumin improves immune system responses.

Did I Miss Anything?

Did I miss your favourite immune-boosting or antiviral food?

Which food are you going to try first?

Either way, leave a comment below.