Foods to boost the immune system

Boosting the immune system with food will help keep our body healthy and our defences high. Learn how!

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What is the immune system?

A balanced and well-tailored diet is the foundation for a strong and resilient immune system, protecting us from disease and promoting optimal health.

The immune system is responsible for protecting us from attack by any foreign element by setting up a series of resistance mechanisms to counteract the intruder. This defence will be more active if the body in question is well-nourished. Food is the key to maintaining a strong immune system, but it must be accompanied by constant physical activity and emotional care to keep those elements that try to make a dent in our defences at bay.

Food is essential for the proper development and functioning of the cells, organs and tissues that are part of the immune system.

An appropriate consumption of calories throughout the day, based on fruits and vegetables (rich in vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals), combined with a sufficient amount of quality proteins and good fats, promotes the reinforcement of our defences.

Foods to boost the immune system

  • Red pepper, very rich in vitamin C
  • Broccoli, rich in vitamin C and E and beta-carotenes, which act as antioxidants. Steaming is the recommended form of cooking to best preserve all its nutrients.
  • Mushrooms, low in calories, but rich in selenium, copper, potassium and B vitamins.
  • Blueberries, with antioxidant action that delays cellular aging. In addition, its fibre content improves the functioning of the microbiota.
  • Pomegranate, which contains polyphenols and flavonoids, making it a great antioxidant.
  • Salmon, with a high level of Omega-3.
  • Nuts, as they have a high content of vitamin E, which helps in the function of the immune system, and fibre, which regulates the intestinal microbiota.
  • Garlic, whose minerals include selenium, with antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral power.
  • Ginger, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory spice that should be eaten in moderate amounts.

Mushroom frittata with spinach

Ingredients (4 people)

400 g portobello mushrooms
200g fresh baby spinach
1 leek
4 large eggs
50 ml semi-skimmed milk
50 g Manchego cheese
40 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper

Method | 40 minutes 

  • Preheat the oven to 150º with top and bottom heat. Next, grease a round mould about 23 centimeters in diameter with a few drops of oil and line its base with baking paper. Sauté the chopped garlic in a pan with oil, along with the thinly sliced leek.
  • Add the chopped portobello mushrooms and cook until almost tender. Add the baby spinach and sauté with the rest of the vegetables for five minutes.
  • In a bowl, beat the eggs with a pinch of salt, and add the grated Manchego cheese, milk and sautéed vegetables. Transfer the mixture to the mould and bake for 30 minutes or until set.

Energy: 257 kcal

Carbohydrates: 6 g

Simple sugars: 5.12 g

Protein: 13.5 g

Fat: 19.9 g

of which saturates: 5.29 g

polyunsaturates: 2.35 g

monounsaturates: 10.08 g

Cholesterol: 225 mg

Fibre: 5 g

Salmon with sea fennel 

Ingredients (2 people)

45 g basmati rice
60 ml coconut drink
60 ml water
240 g salmon fillets
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
2 garlic cloves
20 ml extra virgin olive oil
100 g broccoli

Method | 30-35 minutes 

  • Preheat the oven to 200º. Cook the rice with the water and coconut drink and keep it warm until ready to serve. Steam the broccoli.
  • Lay out the salmon fillets in a dish suitable for cooking en papillote. Pour the lime and lemon juice over the fillets. Mix the extra virgin olive oil with the garlic and drizzle over the salmon.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, until it flakes easily by pricking with a fork. Serve on a bed of rice with the broccoli next to it.

Energy: 357 kcal

Carbohydrates: 20.4 g

Simple sugars: 1.5 g

Protein: 18.02 g

Fat: 22.6 g

of which saturates: 5.7 g

polyunsaturates: 2.7 g

monounsaturates: 11.7 g

Cholesterol: 40.2 mg

Fibre: 1.61 g

Blueberries and walnut cup

Ingredients (4 people)

80 g walnuts
4 dates
125g blueberries
100ml oat milk
10 g grated coconut

Method | 15 minutes 

  • Crush the nuts together with 2 dates, so that it is like a kind of crumbled cookie but stickier.
  • Place this base in a wide dessert cup. Gently squeeze with your fingers to bring together and give it greater consistency.
  • Blend the blueberries together with the oat drink and the remaining 2 dates.
  • Pour the resulting cream into the cup and scatter the grated coconut and some fresh blueberries over it.

Energy: 181 kcal

Carbohydrates: 20 g

Simple sugars: 8 g

Proteins: 4.3 g

Fat: 9.4g

of which saturates: 2.54 g

polyunsaturates: 4.65 g

monounsaturates: 1.55 g

Cholesterol: 5 mg

Fibre: 4.5 g