Boosting Immune Health

Now more than ever, boosting our immune health is essential. Our daily lifestyle factors should be working together to boost our immune system. There are many factors involved in accomplishing this with a holistic approach. The goal is to eat from each color of the rainbow while focusing on choices to help ensure everyone gets enough vitamins and minerals to maintain good health and a robust immune system.

About 80 percent of our immune system resides in the gastrointestinal tract. Food can be medicinal or toxic, so let us review the foods that can help boost immunity and where meal planning can positively impact one’s total wellness. Fruits and veggies provide various antioxidants, which protect cells from damage and disease.

Foods rich in antioxidants include:

blueberries are loaded with antioxidants and flavonoids and help reduce inflammation because they contain natural antihistamines and minimize symptoms of colds and viruses

green vegetables such as broccoli

dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard, and mustard greens

apple skins contain quercetin, which is a flavonoid that decreases inflammation

pears are loaded with anti-inflammatory flavonoids in their peels.

Certain supplements can be an immune booster.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is absorbed best when taken with fat. Keep this in mind when consuming vitamin D. If a food already contains fat naturally (for example, fatty fish), it is not a concern. Remember to pair food with a meal or snack containing fat to absorb it fully.

Zinc is one of the essential minerals that can help boost the immune system. Food sources are beans, nuts, red meat, shellfish, potatoes with skins, baked beans, pork, chicken, pumpkin seeds, cashews, chickpeas, and mushrooms.

Ultima electrolyte powder offers an immune boost compared to the sugar-laden electrolytes on the market. Just add a pinch of the powder to an eight-fluid-ounce glass and enjoy the yumminess and extra electrolytes.

Boost immunity with prebiotics and probiotics as they create a better balance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria. Prebiotics are plant fibers that stimulate the growth of good bacteria. Intestinal health and restoring the integrity of your gut barrier are among the most important goals for optimal health. The human gut has ten times more bacteria than all human cells in the entire body, with over 400 diverse bacterial species. The beneficial bacteria in our gut are responsible for our gastrointestinal function, provide protection against infections, regulate our metabolism (a big one for weight management), and comprise approximately 80 percent of our immune system. Maintaining a healthy balance of the beneficial bacteria, aka ‘good flora’ over the bad bacteria, is crucial in reducing symptoms of GI distress and IBS, preventing UTI, and yeast infections, shown to reduce inflammation, treat eczema and asthma, and minimizing the occurrence of bladder cancers. Also, the abundance of beneficial bacteria is linked to improving mood, psychological health, behavior, cognitive improvement, chronic fatigue, acne, pneumonia, herpes, food allergies, insulin resistance, and leaky gut. 

What can disrupt your beneficial bacteria and allow the bad bacteria to take control and negatively affect your health? 

Here is a list of the common offenders:

  • antibiotics in medicine form
  • NSAIDs, steroids, antacids
  • Antibiotics given to animals that you consume their food products; products from animals given antibiotics: meat, milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter
  • sugar
  • refined grains
  • processed foods
  • chlorinated and fluoridated water
  • antibacterial soaps
  • pesticides
  • chemicals
  • hormone imbalances
  • stress

Excellent food sources of prebiotics are:

jicama root



Omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), help boost the immune system.

Yummy food sources are:

pumpkin seeds


hemp seeds

chia seeds

ground flaxseeds

Vitamin C is the powerhouse for immunity. Food sources include citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and even strawberries.

Behind every disease is inflammation, so work on reducing your food intake of inflammatory foods and beverages. Reduce or avoid the foods that trigger inflammation and add the foods that curb inflammation.

Remove these inflammatory foods from your eating regime:

  • foods high in sugar, artificial sweeteners
  • saturated fats
  • wheat and gluten
  • corn
  • dairy products
  • white flour in bread, cereal, rice, pasta
  • processed soy isolates
  • white potatoes, night-shades
  • processed, packaged foods
  • conventional deli meats and meat products
  • fried foods
  • iodized salt
  • food additives, artificial colors, dyes
  • alcohol

It is not just food and supplements that can boost the immune system.

Other ways to strengthen the immune system include healthy lifestyle factors such as consistent restful sleep, physical activity, and positively reducing stress. Stress affects digestion, the beneficial bacteria on the gut lining, the immune system, the quality of sleep, and the adrenal system. It depletes magnesium, Vitamin C, and B vitamins, which are our neurotransmitters, balancing our mood and handling the fight-or-flight stress response.

Here are some stress-reducing foods:

  • Turkey contains tryptophan and makes you feel relaxed.
  • Wild Salmon contains Omega-3 fatty acids that keep cortisol and adrenaline balanced.
  • Walnuts and Pistachios assist in lowering blood pressure.
  • Apricots have a natural muscle relaxant and help reduce stress.
  • Oranges regulate blood pressure and hormone levels.  
  • Green leafy vegetables rich in folate help to manufacture neurotransmitters like serotonin.
  • Eggs contain tryptophan and increase serotonin levels.
  • Blueberries increase serotonin levels.  
  • Chocolate decreases cortisol levels. 
  • Keep it organic whenever possible because pesticides and glyphosate are very toxic. So what’s the big deal with being exposed to all these toxins? It’s simple, toxins disturb your immune system, and then there’s a battle between immune functioning and balance of internal functioning. Start removing the toxins in your environment and lifestyle. Be mindful of your toxic load and focus on reaching your optimal health. 

Another healthy lifestyle factor to consider when wanting to boost your immune system is emotions. Talk about your feelings with open communication with those around you. Keeping your emotions and feelings all bottled up will stagnate one’s health. Implementing deep breathing and meditation can help alleviate stress and anxiety while boosting the immune system. The time and dedication to reaching one’s total wellness of mind and mind are worth the commitment.

We deep dive into all these topics in the Total Wellness Empowerment Membership. If you are finally ready to take charge of your health and life, become a member today.

If you want a career you love and set your schedule to build your best life now, then register to become a certified health coach today. Why wait?

Here’s to your success and reaching total wellness of mind and body.

Nancy Guberti is a Functional Medicine Specialist, Nutritionist, and Author, and she is passionate about empowering others to become their health advocate. She is the founder of Total Wellness Empowerment Membership & Podcast, Look and Feel Great Method, and Total Wellness Empowerment Institute. Learn more & be empowered at



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