As we write this in February 2022, the world is experiencing a pandemic and many people are concerned with keeping themselves as healthy as possible. It’s important to make sure our immune systems are functioning at their best. This is especially true for people with pre-existing conditions; exposure to any type of illness can further compromise their health.
One way to help ensure a healthy immune system is by incorporating immune-boosting foods into your diet. Eating immune-boosting foods regularly keeps the immune system strong and makes it better prepared to fight off sickness and infection.
You can hear us discuss these awesome immune-boosting meals here or read on for a summary of everything we discuss.
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What Are Immune-Boosting Foods?
Before we get into discussing immune-boosting meals, let’s talk about the individual foods that go into those meals. After all, the whole is only as good as the sum of its parts!
Immune-boosting foods are those that help our bodies fight off potentially harmful microorganisms like bacteria and viruses. Foods that contain antioxidants and immunostimulants can help boost the immune system by strengthening our immune response against these foreign invaders.
Back in episode 321 of the Vegetarian Zen podcast we spoke to Dr. Brooke Goldner, a board-certified medical doctor and author of three bestselling books: Goodbye Lupus, Goodbye Autoimmune Disease, and Green Smoothie Recipes to Kick-Start Your Health and Healing.
In our interview, Dr. Goldner discussed how she cured herself of
Foods that contain the vitamins and nutrients below can help increase your immune function.
Vitamin C – sources include:
- citrus fruits
Vitamin A – sources include:
- sweet potatoes
Beta Carotene – sources include:
- root vegetables
Vitamin E – sources include
Probiotics – sources include:
- fermented foods
Polyphenols – sources include:
- red fruits
- green tea
Herbs and Spices – sources include:
Some foods that cause an inflammatory response in your body and should therefore be avoided are:
- processed foods
- fried foods
- red meat
- refined carbs
- trans fats
- saturated fats
Now that you have an idea of some of the individual foods that can help you build up a healthy immune system, let’s get to those immune-boosting meals!
10 Immune-Boosting Recipes
1. Lazy 1-Pot Vegan Tom Yum Soup from Minimalist Baker
This sweet and sour vegan soup from Minimalist Baker includes garlic, limes, onion, and ginger for a tangy way to boost your immune system.
2. Israeli Tahini Toast from The Edgy Veg
Start your day with this easy-to-make breakfast (or snack) that is made with colorful peppers, lemon juice, and tomatoes. While many tahini toast recipes contain honey, this recipe for Israeli Tahini Toast from The Edgy Veg does not. It’s 100% vegan!
3. Miso Mushroom Bowl from Feasting at Home
If you’re looking for a savory umami-flavored soup, look no further than this Miso Mushroom Bowl from Feasting at Home. Top it off with sprouts or seeds for an extra immune boost.
4. Sweet Potato Nachos from 80 Twenty Nutrition
I’ve mentioned that Tex-Mex food is my FAVORITE type of food. So much so that had our wedding catered by a vegan Tex-Mex restaurant. Nachos are at the top of my list of favorite foods, so you can imagine how excited I was to find this recipe for Sweet Potato Nachos from 80 Twenty Nutrition. Add pickled jalapenos for an added boost of both flavor and probiotics.
5. Instant Pot Cauliflower Tikka Masala from Full of Plants
If you love Indian food, this one’s for you. This Instant Pot Cauliflower Tikka Masala from Full of Plants adds plenty of spices and can be topped with cashews for an added crunch.
6. Quinoa Stuffed Peppers from The Simple Veganista
My mom made the BEST stuffed bell peppers. While hers were not vegan, these Quinoa Stuffed Peppers from The Simple Veganista are easy and packed with nutrition and make for a great weeknight dinner.
7. Kale, Tangerine, Pepita Salad from Marisa Moore
This recipe for Kale, Tangerine and Pepita Salad from Marisa Moore works well as a light lunch or dinner salad. The hearty, leafy kale with tangy tangerine juice is not only healthy but is a great midday energizer.
8. Vegan Pad Thai with Tofu from Forks Over Knives
A few years ago I completed the Forks Over Knives Cooking course by
9. Vegan “Bone” Broth from Wholehearted Eats
Never fear, this recipe for Vegan “Bone” Broth from Wholehearted Eats contains ZERO bones. While traditional bone broth obviously does involve slowly simmering bones, this broth substitutes a healthy mix of immune-boosting veggies, miso, garlic, ginger, and chili. Add some jalapenos to spice it up.
10. Inner Goddess Raspberry Breakfast Bowl from Pinch of Yum
We’re rounding out our list of yummy immune-boosting meals with a breakfast recipe. This Inner Goddess Raspberry Breakfast Bowl from Pinch of Yum calls for frozen mangoes and peaches in addition to raspberries and is ready in less than 20 minutes. Top with granola, nuts, and coconut cream, if desired.
Our Immune-Boosting Drink Recipes
I enjoy smoothies and wellness shots fairly regularly. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Wellness Shots
- Allergy and Asthma Relief Smoothie
- Hot Lemonade
- Strawberry Pineapple Smoothie Recipe
- Summer Spirulina Smoothie Recipe
If Cooking Is Not Your Thing…
Whether you are super busy or just don’t enjoy cooking, you still have some options. Many restaurants are starting to incorporate plant-based meals into their menus to meet demand from customers.
Splendid Spoon prepares and delivers delicious plant-based meals directly to your doorstep on a subscription or on-demand basis. In addition to some delicious immune-boosting meals, they also offer wellness shots and smoothies for a quick pick-me-up.
We hope these recipes have provided you with some inspiration and ideas for combining immune-boosting foods to create supercharged immune-boosting meals.
If you want to learn more about cooking to heal your body and stay strong, check out Culinary Rx from
In addition to learning basic kitchen techniques you’ll learn about:
- nutrients your body needs (the micronutrients and macronutrients)
- how to read labels
- how to make smart choices when dining out
Further Reading and Resources Used
- Foods that Fight Inflammation (Harvard Health Publishing)
- Quick-Start Guide to An Anti-Inflammation Diet (Harvard Health Publishing)
- 15 Foods that Boost the Immune System (Healthline)
- 8 Energy-Boosting Wellness Shots
- 10 Easy, Powerful Food Combining Tips That Actually Boost Your Health
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