Undoubtedly, getting a flu shot every year is the only way to keep your immunity and your health in check. However, flu shots may cause side effects, including headaches, muscle aches, pain, nausea or vomiting, sore throat, and fever. Many people have taken an alternative approach to help their immunity: taking certain food ingredients that can naturally boost their immune system. Here are key ingredients you can add to your diet to help with immunity naturally:

1. Vitamin C

To boost your immune system, you need an interferon substance, which is made by the body when faced with an external agent that seeks to harm it. Vitamin C is essential for interferon production. This substance can be found in oranges and lemons, but if you take a supplement for better results, take a dose of 500 milligrams daily. Vitamin C is also a large contributor to improving mental health. Studies have shown that those who have been diagnosed with depression often have low levels of vitamin C. However they found that their mood improved after they received vitamin C. 

2. Proteins

Your body needs protein to produce interferon. Proteins found in most foods are the ones you should be taking, such as chicken, eggs, red meat, and fish. Better Brand protein powder is a random option to add to your diet if you don't want to take the time to cook. It contains over 23 grams of protein and only has 1 to 2 grams of carbs, which makes it an alternative to other protein powders that are lower in protein but higher in carbs. Having a high protein diet has been linked to mental health as well. Foods rich in protein produce key neurotransmitters that help prevent anxiety and depression. 

3. Folate/Folic Acid

Folate is a substance your body produces that helps with many functions, such as cell division, making red blood cells and healthy brain function. If you are taking folic acid in supplement form, it is important to take it if you have high blood pressure or kidney issues. Standard doses of 1,000 micrograms per day can help boost your immune system naturally by helping to get rid of bacteria that get into your bloodstream.

4. Iron

Iron is an essential part of human blood. Iron deficiency can happen if you have anemia, making you more prone to sickness and infection. To avoid becoming anemic, try taking a daily multivitamin or eating foods rich in iron. The liver is one such food. Other sources include red meat and enriched rice.

5. Zinc

Zinc is important for your immune system and helps fight off infection. Zinc helps to support your immune system in fighting a cold or flu virus, so it shouldn't be taken too close to when you think you may already be sick because it can cause damage to other organs. Taking zinc in supplement form will help increase your immune system's production of white blood cells and antibodies. Oysters have the highest zinc content, followed by red meat, fish, poultry, and beans.


Many things these days can compromise your health and make you ill, but the benefits of having a healthy immune system far outweigh the risk of getting sick. The better you care for yourself, the less susceptible you will be to diseases. By taking care of yourself every day, you are taking care of your immune system. Taking good care of yourself will also help fight off whatever illness you might think has come along to attack your body and throw off your health.

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