6 powerful foods to boost your immune system

In an ongoing series on health, nutrition and becoming a better you, Modern Mississauga has teamed up with local fitness and health enthusiast Julie Cropper to provide tips, advice and inspiration to help you become the best you possible. Got a question for Julie? Send it to info@modernmississauga.com.

Your head hurts, your throat is sore and your nose is stuffy. Cold and flu season has arrived. Before you reach into your medicine cabinet, try heading to your kitchen! Don’t underestimate the power of food.

Have you ever considered how your diet affects your immunity? Orange juice and chicken noodle soup are the common go-to items when we feel the sniffles coming on, but those aren’t the only foods that can help fight off a cold. I’ve been including these six common ingredients into my diet for an extra flu fighting punch.


Garlic does more than just flavor your food! Garlic is one of the best foods you can eat during cold and flu season. It contains a natural chemical (Allicin) which has been shown to increase the body’s ability to ward off bacteria and viruses. I keep a small container of chopped garlic in the fridge and add it to almost all my recipes.


Low in calories and containing almost no fat, mushrooms are high in antioxidants and are a great ally in the fight against viruses. Mushrooms can be thrown into soups, salads, omelettes and used as a side dish! The most powerful cold and flu fighting types of mushrooms are shitake, maitake, and reishi.


A morning dose of yogurt can help keep your immune system strong. Yogurt contains probiotics, which are good bacteria and will help improve your immune system. Look for products labeled with “live and active cultures.”


Oily fish including salmon and tuna are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. This will help kick start your immune system by reducing harmful inflammation and anxiety levels in the body. If you aren’t a fan of fish, try taking a fish oil supplement.


Broccoli is super food packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as numerous antioxidants.   Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can serve. The key to keeping its power is to cook it as little as possible. Try serving it raw as a snack!

Oranges and Bell Peppers

These foods are packed with Vitamin C which will not only help with prevention but will also reduce the duration of a cold. Vitamin C rich foods are good for your overall health, so try adding more citrus fruits and crunchy peppers to your shopping cart! 

Finally, always remember to drink up. Staying hydrated is important to staying healthy. Continue to wash your hands, cough into your elbow and try adding these super foods into your diet for a little extra flu-fighting defense.  

What are some of your favorite flu fighting foods? Let us know! For more health and fitness tips, visit my Facebook page.