Today I am sharing a roundup of immunity supporting recipes that are fantastic for boosting the immune system!💥💪🏻We could all use a little boost right now, am I right?
It’s been a weird week or two, friends. After feedback on Instagram stories, I decided to put together a few (hopefully) helpful posts related to concerns on everyone’s minds! First up, by request: immunity supporting recipes.
Before you fire off any complaints, accusing me of monetizing a crisis, please don’t. Ad revenues are way down for all of us bloggers, FYI. I am simply trying to use my expertise to provide any information that you might me helpful during this time.
Also, this post will be helpful to refer back to every cold and flu season. So you might want to pin it or bookmark it for reference later on.
I am not claiming that any food has the power to cure anything. Also, availability is only somewhat limited at the time of this post. If availability does become more of an issue, please eat what is available to you, without fear, stress or worry.
As for now, people are requesting this. It makes me happy to see people take a renewed interest in cooking at home. We just all want to eat really yummy food that also happens to keep us at our best, amiright?! Okay, let’s dive in, friends.
Immunity Boosting Foods
First, let’s start with what foods boost immunity. I am not a medical professional, but I can google with the best of them. 🙃😉Source: These were taken from Cleveland Clinic, WebMD and Medical News Today.
Choosing foods rich in vitamins, minerals and antimicrobial properties will give you the most benefit. I am focusing on ingredients, so I can pinpoint which recipes to recommend to y’all. Here is a brief overview of immune boosting foods.
- Watermelon – high in an antioxidant called glutathione. It strengthens the immune system so it can fight infection.
- Yogurt – Probiotics, found in yogurt and other fermented products, may ease the severity of colds. Look for labels that say “live and active cultures.” Yogurt is also rich in Vitamin D, which supports immune system.
- Spinach – High in vitamin C and folate, which helps your body make new cells and repair DNA
- Tea – white, green or black – polyphenols and flavonoids, which seek out cell-damaging free radicals and destroy them
- Sweet potatoes – beta-carotene. In your body that turns into vitamin A, which combats damaging free radicals. This helps bolster the immune system and may even improve the aging process.
- Broccoli – vitamins A and C, and the antioxidant glutathione
- Garlic – especially raw garlic. Raw garlic can help beat infections thanks to its ability to fight bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
- Ginger – high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory
- Carrots – high in Vitamin A
- Red peppers – excellent source of Vitamin C, and lower in sugar than fruits
- Citrus fruits – high in Vitamin C
- Pineapple – high in Vitamin C and manganese
- Almonds – Vitamin E, magnesium and Fiber
- Dark chocolate 🎉- contains an antioxidant called theobromine, which may help to boost the immune system by protecting the body’s cells from free radicals.
- Blueberries – contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin, which can help boost a person’s immune system. Recent studies show that flavonoids play an essential role in the respiratory tract’s immune defense system.
- Vitamin B6-rich foods – include chicken and cold water fish such as salmon and tuna. Vitamin B6 also is found in green vegetables and in chickpeas (yay, hummus!)
- Zinc-rich foods – oysters, crab, lean meats and poultry, certain beans, yogurt and chickpeas. Zinc appears to help slow down the immune response and control inflammation in your body.
- Oregano and thyme – have some properties that fight bacteria, viruses and inflammation.
Immune Boosting Recipes
Here are some of my recipes that use some, or many, of the above ingredients.
Immunity Boosting Soups
Chicken bone broth – using this as a base will give a nutritious boost to any soup. I keep a bag in my freezer where I save chicken bones, ends of carrots, onions and celery, garlic, etc. I have even added herb stems and such. All of these things make delicious homemade broth. And they are all things you would normally throw away.
Lemon chicken orzo soup – powerful ingredients like garlic, lemon juice, thyme and oregano. Make it with bone broth to give it even more of a boost.
Chicken noodle soup – many of the same ingredients as above.
Lentil soup – lentils, potato, carrot, celery, garlic, oregano, thyme and lemon juice. Add spinach (or kale!) if you have it. Or leave it out if you don’t.
Vegetarian chili – lots of beans, tomatoes, garlic and spices.
Black bean soup (made fro dry beans) – I have both a slow cooker black bean soup and an Instant Pot black beans soup, and you do not have to soak the beans for either recipe. Also contains red pepper and garlic.
Tomato vegetable soup – tons of veggies in this one, and you can use mostly canned and frozen. I have even thrown in leftover veggies in this one that needed to be used up such as black eyed peas, lima beans, etc.
Immunity Boosting Veggies and Side Dishes
Spinach salad with mandarins – use canned or fresh mandarins or clementines and any type of greens you have. Grapefruit or orange slices would be great in this too.
Immunity Boosting Main Dishes
Mediterranean tuna salad – great on sandwiches, pita or crackers too.
Baked chicken drumsticks – save those bones for broth!
Baked chicken breast (4.95 out of 5 stars, rated by 48 people at the time of this post) – fully thaw chicken breasts first. You can skip lemons if you don’t have any.
Air Fryer chicken breast – another popular one! Again, fully thaw your chicken first. And pay attention to cook time and size of your cut for best results (see notes section in recipe card of the post).
Immunity Boosting Snacks
Dark chocolate covered strawberries – If you can get your hands on fresh strawberries and dark chocolate (chips or baker’s block of melting chocolate), make this for sure! Sprinkles are optional.
Immunity Supporting Smoothies
Frozen fruit is really great to keep on hand! Most of my smoothies mix frozen fruit with a fresh banana. You can use frozen bananas too. You just may want to let them thaw a little to help out your blender.👌🏻
Green monster smoothie – packed with immune-boosting nutrition from mango, ginger, kale and pumpkin seeds. Pineapple chunks are a great sub for mango in this recipe. 👌🏻If no pumpkin seeds, you can either skip them, or opt for Greek yogurt (any type will work, but I use unsweetened plain most often). You could also use soaked cashews or soaked almonds (to make them softer), or almond butter.
Blueberry smoothie – vegan and dairy free, but you can totally add a bit of yogurt in place of the seeds if you prefer.
Strawberry banana smoothie with Greek yogurt – my kids’ favorite smoothie at the moment. We use almond milk, but any milk (dairy or other plant milk) will work! We use plain Greek yogurt, but again, just use whatever yogurt is available to you.
That concludes the roundup, friends! Stay tuned for another roundup coming soon: pantry and freezer friendly recipes. And be sure and stay connected on social media! We are Insta-storying lots of our day to day activities and what we are cooking.
Stay safe and healthy, friends.🙏🏻🥰