top of page


Updated: May 7, 2020

Eating for Immune Health

When it comes to your immune health, it's important to know there ARE NOT any foods, supplements, or other products that will actually boost your immunity.

Adequate amounts of the following nutrients support your immune system to help fight against infection and illness.

Meet your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) by getting foods rich in these nutrients into your daily diet.

If you struggle to get in these types of foods or have a nutrient deficiency, supplementing may help, however food first is always encouraged.



Why: Protein is part of the body's defense mechanism, especially for healing and recovery

RDA: 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight

This is the RDA for most Americans. Athletes may require more protein based on training and goals

Sources: meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy, beans, peas, lentils, soy, nuts & seeds, some whole grains



Why: Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system and protects against infection


  • Males 14+: 900 μg/day

  • Females 14+: 700 μg/day

Pregnant and lactating females have increased Vitamin A needs

Sources: sweet potato, broccoli, spinach, carrots, peppers, cantaloupe, mango, milk with added vitamin A, fortified cereals



Why: Vitamin C forms antibodies to protect against infection and supports good immune health


  • Males 14-18: 75 mg/day

  • Males 19+: 90 mg/day

  • Females 14-18: 65 mg/day

  • Females 19+: 75 mg/day

Pregnant and lactating females have increased Vitamin C needs

Sources: bell peppers, citrus fruit, broccoli, strawberries, brussels sprouts, tomato, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, potato, cantaloupe



Why: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in the body


  • Males 14+: 15 mg/day

  • Females 14+: 15 mg/day

Lactating females have increased Vitamin E needs

Sources: sunflower seeds, almonds, sunflower oil, safflower oil, hazelnuts, peanuts, spinach



Why: Zinc supports a healthy immune system and helps heal wounds


  • Males 14+: 11 mg/day

  • Females 14-18: 9 mg/day

  • Females 19+: 8 mg/day

Pregnant and lactating females have increased Zinc needs

Sources: oysters, red meat, poultry, seafood, beans, nuts, whole grains, dairy products


Other important factors for immune health:

  • Adequate sleep 

  • Stress management 

  • Physical activity 

  • Adequate calories 

  • A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and minimally processed foods

  • Proper hygiene 

  • Adequate hydration

Find this post helpful? Share this page with a friend! 

Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to stay up-to-date on my latest tips, tools, & resources. 

Questions? Need some help with your nutrition? Use the Contact Form to send me a message!
71 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page