Top 10 Foods to Boost Your Immune System in 2024

Top 10 Foods to Boost Your Immune System in 2024

Introduction foods for your immune system:

Immune health has been a hot topic over the last few years, and as we navigate through the winter season supporting our immune system remains a top healthy priority.

We are constantly bombarded with potential pathogens and our immune system is vital to protect us from the damage these pathogens could have on our body. Our immune systems can be compromised due to a range of factors which can lead to us feeling run down and suffering from recurrent infections.

The first line of defence to keep the immune system functioning optimally is diet and lifestyle. Support your immunity by eating a varied and balanced diet, getting regular exercise, good quality sleep, minimising stress, and avoiding factors which lower immunity like excess alcohol and smoking. 

We can also add in supporting supplements like medicinal mushrooms to support our immune health. At Mushrooms For Life, we want to help you to reach your health goals with our array of medicinal mushrooms to support your immune system and overall wellbeing.



Read on to discover our top foods to boost your immune system in 2024…




 Top 10 Foods to Boost Your Immune System in 2024:

Healthy diet and lifestyle practices are vital to support immune system function. It’s also important to avoid excessive amounts of alcohol, refined sugar and processed foods as these can suppress immune function and open you up to infection.

An immune boosting diet is well-balanced and varied, and avoids highly processed foods, trans-fats, and refined sugars.

Our top foods to boost your immune system include a wide variety of foods which provide key nutrients for immunity, from herbs and spices to fruits and vegetables, and not forgetting our favourite immune supporting mushroom friends.

1. Ginger – The Anti-Inflammatory Root

Ginger has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, it’s also a great decongestant. It contains compounds that have been shown to inhibit viral replication and prevent viruses from entering host cells (1). One of its key actives gingerol, has wonderful antimicrobial effects and anti-inflammatory actions in the body.

Take a daily ginger shot, grate ginger into stir-fries and curries, sip with lemon and honey or try our Maitake Ginger Latte when you are feeling under the weather.  

2. Citrus Fruits – Vitamin C Powerhouses

Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemon and limes are very rich in vitamin C, which helps to strengthen immune system function. They are also rich in plant compounds like flavonoids, carotenoids and essential oils that have various health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects (2).

Use citrus juice as a base for dressings or sauce, add lemon slices to water, add grapefruit segments to your salad, or add fresh citrus juice to smoothies.

3. Green Tea – Antioxidant-Rich for Immune Support

Green tea is packed with flavonoids, including high levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been shown to enhance immune function and reduce the risk of a cold (3). Studies suggest that EGCG may have antiviral properties that support the immune system (4).

Try to replace a daily cup of coffee with green tea to support immune function or try our Lion’s Mane Matcha Latte which is rich in EGCG.

4. Garlic – Natural Infection Fighter

Garlic is a traditional remedy for the prevention of colds and infections. In many cultures, it was administered to provide strength and Hippocrates prescribed garlic for a variety of conditions (5). There are over 5,000 peer-reviewed articles on its health benefits.

It is antimicrobial and contains a compound called allicin which helps to kill microorganisms responsible for many infections including the common cold. Garlic appears to enhance the functioning of the immune system by stimulating immune cells and modulating cytokine secretion, immunoglobulin production, phagocytosis, and macrophage activation (6).

Add garlic to soups, stews and sauces, roast and add to dips, pesto and salad dressings.

5. Mushrooms – Nature’s Immune Boosters

Medicinal mushrooms are rich in minerals, antioxidants, and polysaccharides like beta glucans which have strong immunological activity (7), and support many key components of the immune system, from increasing protective immune cells, to supporting effective immune function. 



Many mushrooms also contain a wide variety of antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal compounds. Let’s look at some of the most revered mushrooms for immune support:

1. Maitake has been shown to have beneficial effects on the immune system (8), and potent antiviral action. A great choice if you are feeling run down, frequently travel or are looking for support for winter wellness.

2. Reishi supports production of T-cells which form part of our adaptive immune system and may also provide antiviral support. Also rich in beta-glucans, a type of polysaccharide that has been shown to activate white blood cells, making them stronger and more efficient fighters against diseases (9).

3. Chaga contains betulinic acid and triterpene compounds that are antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. Studies have shown antiviral effects and suggest chaga increases cytokines, which are signalling proteins that help to regulate immune response (10).

4. Cordyceps has been shown to increase the production of protective immune cells and enhance immune response (11). It has also been shown to have powerful antiviral effects; in particular the militaris species which is rich in cordycepin (12).

5. Turkey tail strengthens the actions of the immune system. Its PSK and PSP compounds are immunomodulating, restoring balance to the immune system (13).

At Mushrooms For Life, we have a full range of medicinal mushroom products to support your health and lifestyle needs. Our mushrooms are certified organic by the Soil Association so you can be sure that you’re getting the highest quality product.

Our range is third-party tested which ensures that the mushroom supplements you’re taking are pure and free of contaminants and we never use any excipients, binders, or fillers.

6. Spinach – Packed with Immune-Boosting Nutrients

Dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale are known to have high levels of vitamin C along with antioxidants and beta carotene, all of which help to fight infection.

Spinach also contains a good dose of folate, which research shows may help bolster your immune system (14).

Beyond mixing spinach into your salads, you can blend a handful into smoothies or add to curries, soups, and stews.

7. Yogurt – Probiotics for Gut Health

The gut houses around 70% of immune cells, so is a critical area to focus on when trying to support immunity. To prevent infection, we require a well-functioning and strong immune system and the gut microflora play a key role in this.

Fermented foods like yoghurt are rich in enzymes and probiotics required for healthy gut function. Having a balanced gut flora helps to keep pathogenic bacteria in check, supports digestive function and overall health.

Try to choose plain yoghurts rather than flavoured types which can be full of sugar, look for those with live cultures, or choose other fermented favourites like kefir, and kombucha.  

8. Almonds – Vitamin E and Healthy Fats

Almonds are a source of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin B6, vitamin E and potassium, these nutrients help to regulate and maintain the immune system.

They are rich in healthy fats and vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant which helps to increase T-cell count, these cells directly kill infected host cells and regulate immune response (15).

Make sure to eat them with the skin on, as research suggests this may play a factor in them supporting immune system function (16).

Blend into a smoothie or add to energy balls. Spread almond butter on apple slices or veggie sticks.

9. Sunflower Seeds – A Nutrient-Dense Snack

Sunflower seeds are full of nutrients, including phosphorus, magnesium and vitamins B6 and E.

As mentioned above vitamin E is important in regulating and maintaining immune system function.

Sunflower seeds also contain the vitamin selenium, which research shows can modulate your immune system, protecting your body from chronic inflammation (17).

Add sunflower seeds to porridge, salads, soups, and flapjacks.

10. Chicken – High in Vitamin B-6

Chicken soup is often recommended during periods of illness for good reason. Chicken is rich in vitamin B6, which can reduce inflammation and is needed in the creation of new red blood cells, and zinc, which increases the production of white blood cells. Studies conducted with older adults have linked low levels of vitamin B6 with poor immune response (18).

Broth made from chicken bones contains gelatine and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity.

Use chicken broth as a base for recipes, batch cook grilled chicken to add to salads and grain bowls or try a chicken and new potato traybake.


Diet, and lifestyle are key to staying healthy and supporting our immune system. Try incorporating these foods throughout your diet to support your overall wellbeing and maintain a strong immune response.

We also recommend prioritising sleep, and stress management, supporting your digestive health, and adding a little extra natural support from our medicinal mushrooms when needed.

Medicinal mushrooms are rich in minerals, antioxidants, and polysaccharides and support many key components of the immune system. Consider adding medicinal mushrooms to your wellness arsenal to experience their immune benefits for yourself.

Check out our mushroom supplements for more information on the benefits of mushrooms, discover the range and ways you can incorporate them into your health and wellness routine.