Foods Good for Immune System and The Vitamins and Minerals Contain in Them

Foods good for immune system provide many substances including vitamins and minerals which is essential for keeping us strong and healthy. You can’t expect a quick burst of vitamin and boost your immunity after eating any food.

A healthy immune system requires a balanced healthy diet. Some of the major vitamins and minerals needed for your immune system are given below.

foods good for immune system

1. Vitamin C

It will provide protection against infections, cardiovascular disease, immune system deficiencies, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling. Vitamin C containing foods are:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Bell peppers
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Strawberries
  • Papaya

There are plenty of fruits are available that contain vitamin C. But sadly, people don’t eat enough fresh fruits, vegetables, and other foods good for immune system.

2. Vitamin E

Like Vitamin C, Vitamin E also acts as a powerful antioxidant that protects your body from infection. It is a vitamin that dissolves in fat. It can be seen in high-fat plant foods such as:

  • Almonds
  • Peanuts/peanut butter
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Oils such as sunflower, safflower, and soybean oil
  • Hazelnuts

It can also be found in vegetable oils, meat, eggs, etc. People with certain genetic disorders and low-weight premature infants may have Vitamin E deficiency. They should eat a well-balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables to get enough Vitamin E. The Eatwell Guide will let you know UK government recommendations on eating healthily and achieving a balanced diet.

food with minerals

3. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is important for good vision, building immunity, and cell growth. It also fights infection. There are mainly two types of Vitamin A. The first one is the active form of Vitamin A, Retinoids which comes from animal foods such as meat, fish and dairy. The second one is Beta-carotene which comes from plants.

  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Butternut squash
  • Cantaloupe
  • Dark green leafy vegetables

4. Vitamin D

It is known as the sunshine vitamin. Because, when skin is exposed to sunlight, Vitamin D is produced as a response. It is naturally available only in a few foods like

  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Vitamin D fortified like milk, orange juice and cereals
  • Egg yolks

Unlike other vitamins you may need a supplement to get Vitamin D. You can get foods rich in Vitamin D from a health store online. The regular balanced diet will help you enhance immunity.

immune system diet

6. Iron

Most of the iron inside the body found in the haemoglobin of red blood cells and myoglobin of muscle cells. Iron plays an important role in the transportation of oxygen and carbon dioxide. It can be found in foods such as:

  • Meat
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Spinach
  • Cereal

Iron is commonly used for treating anaemia.

7. Zinc

Zinc is needed for creating new immune system cells. Since the body does not store excess zinc, you need to consume it as part of the regular diet. Common dietary sources of zinc include:

  • Oysters
  • Crab
  • Lean meats and poultry
  • Baked beans
  • Yoghurt
  • Chickpeas

8. Selenium

It is found in soil, water, and some foods. It has a huge effect on the immune system. It protects the body from infections. Most of the selenium inside the body comes from the diet. Animal foods are the best sources of selenium.

  • Seafood (tuna, halibut, sardines)
  • Meat and liver
  • Poultry
  • Cottage cheese
dietary minerals


There are more vitamins and minerals which are not listed in this article. Depending on the place you live you can’t always get fresh foods that help the immune system and keep you healthy. Each of the vitamins and minerals mentioned above has its own merits and they play a vital part in immune system functioning. Try to consume the vitamins and minerals necessary for the body as part of a regular diet and stay healthy.

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