Foods That Boost the Immune System

Finding dinner ideas that are not only delicious but meet the nutritional needs of your family can be a tall order.

Here is how you can turn quick and easy recipes into meals that are healthy, immune-boosting and scrumptious.

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruit is loaded with vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient for the human body. Not only does it help in the growth and repairing of tissue and the absorption of iron, but it’s also an antioxidant.

Since the human body is not able to make or store vitamin C, it has to come from your daily diet. Adding infection-fighting vitamin C in the form of citrus fruit such as lemon, lime, orange grapefruit, naartjies and clementines to your diet will do wonders for your immune system.

So, add a healthy squeeze of orange juice to your next butternut soup for some extra zest and vitamin C. Or perhaps opt for a fresh salad layered with orange, grapefruit, fennel and avocado.

Greek yoghurt

Greek yoghurt, or other yoghurts that contain live active cultures, are laden with illness-fighting probiotics. Probiotics have been proven to stimulate a range of antibodies in your system that help your body to fight diseases.

Thinking of having a fresh salad to accompany your meal? Add a creamy yoghurt-based dressing for extra nutritional impact. You can even add yoghurt to a bottle of ready-made salad dressing for convenience. Alternatively, use plain yoghurt in marinades as a way to tenderise proteins or in dips to add creamy, fresh flavour.


Spinach is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals that are great for your immune system. Also rich in vitamin C, spinach contains multiple antioxidants, dietary fibre and beta carotene, all of which earn it the accolade of superfood.

To retain all the best immune-boosting properties of spinach, it’s best cooked as quickly as possible.

So, if you are in need of a great salad as a meal or to accompany a meal, consider using spinach as your leafy base – it’s delicious and pairs beautifully with cranberries, apples and hard cheese such as Parmesan.

Sweet potato

Often used as a healthy but yummy alternative to its starchy sibling, sweet potato is also nutritionally great for your immune system because it’s packed with vitamins A and C. Sweet potato delivers a healthy dose of three powerful antioxidants, anthocyanins, beta carotene and chlorogenic acid, which support your immune system in its work. Load up a curry or stew with sweet potato not only to help stretch the meal but also to add extra nutritional oomph. Are you looking for a  side dish to serve with homemade Friday night burgers? Why not try sweet potato fries with an easy 1000 island dip.

Add some of these immune-boosting foods to your meal to take quick and easy recipes to the next level for your family.

The Gardener