May 7, 2021
• Updated on
23 Jul

Top 15 Immunity Boosting Foods for Adults

The pandemic has forced many of us into our homes and looking inwards: not just on an emotional level, but also with regards to our health. Building a strong immune system is one way to stay safe from the virus, and this can be done with the right immunity boosting foods for adults. 

Immunity supplements for adults are available over the counter at any chemist, but if you are looking to increase immunity in adults, the best way is to do it naturally, with the right diet. Here is a list of natural immune boosters for adults that you can add to your diet. 

1: Turmeric

If you want to improve immunity in adults, then this is the first spice you should turn to. Thankfully, Indians are no strangers to turmeric, as almost all of our native foods, from dal to sabzis, are cooked using turmeric.

The main active ingredients in turmeric, curcumin and theracurmin, help build immunity and provide relief from cough, cold and sore throat. It can also reduce hay fever symptoms like sneezing, itchy runny nose, and congestion. 

The body cannot absorb the benefits of turmeric as-is, though - it needs to be combined with some kind of fat and black pepper for better absorption. This makes haldi-doodh or turmeric milk a good option to gain maximum benefits from turmeric.

All you need to do is whisk together 1 cup milk, 1 one-inch piece of turmeric and 3 whole peppercorns with 50 ml water in a saucepan. Bring it to a low boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 mins, then strain and serve!

immune boosters for adults

2: Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and seeds like walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds etc are rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids which are very effective in slowing and even resolving inflammation. They also increase the function of neutrophils which are the first responders of infection in the body, helping battle disease.

Omega-3s are very important, therefore, to building immunity. These nuts, along with almonds, contain good amounts of Vitamin E, which are crucial to fighting off sickness. 

immune boosters for adults

3: Curry Leaves

Also known as meethi neem, curry leaves are highly beneficial to the body and quite liberally used in Indian cooking in tadkas and chutneys. Curry leaves contain copper, Vitamin E and Vitamin A, along with Omega-3s, all of which are essential nutrients to help build immunity.

One of the best way to have it is by chewing a few leaves on an empty stomach in the morning. Or, you can add it to poha, upma etc or make chutneys. 

immune boosters for adults
Curry Leaves

4: Moringa Leaves

Moringa leaves are what the Western world call the leaves of the drumstick tree. It is one of the few plants that is completely edible, from the seeds to flowers, leaves and stems. Drumstick leaves contain copper, selenium, Vitamin A and Omega-3s, all of which help boost immunity.

immunity boosting foods for adults
Moringa Leaves

5: Pumpkin Leaves

Pumpkin is a rich source of beta-carotene, but did you know its leaves are just as nutritious? The leaves contain Vitamins C and E. Vitamin E protects against infectious diseases and

enhances the body’s immune response, while Vitamin C benefits cellular function and protects the body against oxidative stress, thereby playing a key role in immune-modulation.

immunity boosting foods for adults
Pumpkin Leaves

6: Radish Leaves

Mooli ka patta are a good immunity booster, containing essential vitamins and minerals. It’s rich in copper which is essential for survival. Copper plays a key role in making red blood cells and maintaining the immune system.

It also contains selenium which is a potent nutritional antioxidant that strongly influences inflammation and immune response.

immunity boosting foods for adults

7: Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, musambi, kiwi, pomelo and grapefruit are rich sources of Vitamin C, which helps keep cold and flu at bay. Vitamin C can also help lower the duration and severity of a cold.

Since the body cannot naturally produce Vitamin C, we must get it from the fruits and vegetables we eat. 

immunity boosting foods for adults
Citrus Fruits - Lemon and Orange

8: Green Tea

Green tea is also good for fighting off colds, and is known to be a powerful antibacterial and antiviral that can kill cold-starting bacteria and the influenza virus. It also contains flavonoids, an antioxidant that boosts immunity. 

immunity boosting foods for adults
Green Tea

9: Yogurt

Yogurt is filled with calcium and probiotics, and research shows that people who consume probiotics on a daily basis have a lower chance of contracting colds and flus than those who don’t. 


10: Zinc

Zinc has an anti-inflammatory effect and has direct antiviral activity. As a result, zinc deficiency may reduce an individual’s innate and adaptive immune responses. 

Zinc is also essential for the normal development and functioning of cells mediating innate immunity, neutrophils, and NK cells. Zinc-rich foods include bajra, sesame seeds, Bengal gram dal and sunflower seeds.

immunity boosting foods for adults
Sunflower Seeds

11: Garlic

Garlic is not only tasty, but also a great cold-curing food. The immune-boosting properties of garlic are thanks to the heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds like allicin.


12: Ginger

Ginger is common in Indian cuisine and can be used in the Sattvic diet as well. It can help decrease inflammation, which can help combat sore throat and inflammatory illnesses. 

immunity boosting foods for adults

13: Red Bell Peppers/Red Capsicum

Bell peppers or red capsicum contain a good dose of Vitamin C, even more than oranges. They are also a good source of beta-carotene and Vitamin A, all of which keep you and your immune system healthy. 

immunity boosting foods for adults
Red Bell Peppers

14: Broccoli

Broccoli is a potent vegetable when jt comes to nutrition: it is packed with Vitamins A, C and E and also has fibre and lots of antioxidants.

It is one of the healthiest vegetables to consume. The important thing is to be sure to NOT overcook it - have it lightly steamed, stir-fried or better yet, raw.

immunity boosting foods for adults

15: Proper Hydration 

Our body is made up of 70% water. We lose water on a regular basis through urine and stool, but this amps up when we’re ill, which is why we feel more tired and fatigued.

Fever leads to excess loss fluid loss and increased metabolism, which in turn causes dehydration. So, even if you aren’t feeling thirsty as such, it’s important to eat hydrating foods (like watermelon, cucumber) and drink fluids to support immune function. 

Drink Lot of Water

This is a pretty exhaustive list of foods - but most of these are easy to come by and can be easily added to your daily diet.

Now that you know the top immunity boosting foods for adults, and how to boost immune system in adults, you can add them to your shopping list and start eating them!

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Check out the Post Covid Recovery Diet Video from Nutritionist Lovneet:


How do you improve immunity power in adults?

Immunity power is a combination of diet, exercise, hydration and sleep. By making sure these elements and balanced, you can improve immunity power. 

How do you improve immunity in adults?

You can improve immunity in adults by consuming nutrient-dense foods that are rich in immune-boosting vitamins and minerals 

Which food can increase immunity power?

There are many foods that can increase immunity power, like green leafy vegetables, Vitamin C rich foods, spices like turmeric, etc. 

How do you improve immunity in adults naturally?

You can improve immunity in adults naturally by consuming the right quantities of whole foods that have immune-boosting properties, like turmeric, oranges, lemons, spinach, curry leaves, yogurt, fish oils, flaxseeds, walnuts etc. 

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Also Read-

How To Increase Immunity In Children
Top 7 Immunity Boosting Drinks (With Recipes!) That Will Keep You Healthy
Diet To Boost Your Immune System
List Of Natural Immunity Boosters
Top 10 Immunity Boosting Foods for Kids
How to Increase Immunity in Children
Top 10 Immunity Boosting Foods For COVID

Lovneet Batra
Lovneet Batra is a clinical nutritionist with over a decade of experience treating patients and educating people on the benefits of a healthy diet. One of Delhi’s most sought-after nutritionists...
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