Home Health And Wellness Tips 7 Immunity-Boosting Foods To Add To Your Summer Salad

7 Immunity-Boosting Foods To Add To Your Summer Salad

10 min read

It’s the height of summer time in the northern elements of the planet. And, when you’re like most individuals, the very last thing you in all probability really feel like doing is spending hours cooking; a scorching stove or a scorching oven doesn’t essentially mix nicely with a scorching day.

That’s why salads are such a go-to in the summer months. Not only are salads quick, straightforward, and healthy meals, however lots of them require zero cooking—which is a particular selling level through the scorching summer time months.

But salads are more than a handy, no-heat summer time meal. Depending on what you set in and in your salad, it’s a meal that can additionally ship some critical immune-boosting benefits—which is more essential this summer time, because the world continues to battle COVID-19, than ever.

“Whole plant foods offer a wide variety of essential vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals—compounds in plants that work with nutrients and each other to protect our cells and support our body systems,” says sports dietitian Kelly Jones. “Phytochemicals especially support our immunity through antioxidant roles, where they act to protect our cells from damage caused by oxidation, as well as support healthy gut bacteria, which in turn help to regulate immune system function.”

Let’s take a look at seven foods you’ll be able to add to your salad to assist increase your immunity this summer time:


Every salad needs a base. And if you need your salad to deliver immune-boosting benefits, use greens in your base—the darker the better.

“Darker greens contain higher levels of phytochemicals as well as more vitamins A and C, both nutrients that support immune and antioxidant processes,” says Jones. “Spinach also offers more vitamin E than many other lettuces, and vitamin E is an immune nutrient many Americans don’t consume enough of.”

“Kale, mustard greens, collard greens, chard, red leaf lettuce, and watercress are packed with the phytonutrients the immune system needs to optimally function,” says Nichole Dandrea, RDN, founder of Purely Planted. “Green vegetables are rich in folate, as well as phytonutrients, including lutein and zeaxanthin.”


Typically, mushrooms are delicate in taste, making them a versatile ingredient that would work in a lot of salads. But what mushrooms are not delicate in? Immune-boosting benefits.

“Even the most common variety of mushroom—like white, crimini, and Portobello—have been studied for their immune-modulating and enhancing abilities,” says Dandrea. “Additionally, mushrooms may increase an important immune-balancing compound called secretory IgA.”


Lemons, limes, oranges, citrus fruits of all types…all are full of antioxidants, all are rich in vitamin C, and all are good additions to your salad.

“Citrus fruits, in their whole form, are rich in protective antioxidants like vitamin C, which can help to support immunity and make you less susceptible to infections,” says Dandrea. “Oranges make delicious dressings and salad toppers, [and you can] also consider adding lemon and lime juice to salad dressings.”

Red Bell Pepper

If you actually need to get the immunity-boosting benefits of vitamin C, past citrus fruit, there’s a salad topper that’s even better—and that’s pink bell pepper.

“Red peppers have twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits,” says Dandrea. “They also contain vitamin E and beta-carotene, which also play a role in immunity.”

“Bell peppers…can boost the production of white blood cells that play a key role in ridding the body of unwanted microbes,” says Emily Danckers, RD. That’s all because of the massive dose of vitamin C it delivers.


Walnuts will add a nice crunch to your salad—they usually’ll also add vitamins that can help help healthy immune perform.

“Walnuts…aren’t just delicious on a salad; they also contain vitamin E and omega 3s,” says Danckers. “Vitamin E has been shown to boost immune function by affecting T cells, and omega 3s are anti-inflammatory.”


If you need to add a bit sweetness and a critical quantity of antioxidant power to your salad, sprinkle a handful of berries over your greens.

“All types of berries including strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, are high in phytonutrients and vitamins that can foster a healthy immune system,” says Dandrea. “Blueberries also have a phytonutrient called pterostilbene, which has been shown to fight disease.”


Plants aren’t the only immune-boosting foods you’ll be able to add to your salad. If you need to up the protein—and up the advantages to your immune system—attempt incorporating salmon into your salads.

“Adding salmon as your protein source in salad also means providing a healthy dose of omega-3 DHA, the lively type of this healthy fat that helps the physique interact in proper inflammatory responses,” says Jones. “Salmon is also rich in vitamin D. While it’s best known for its role in bone health, vitamin D has been shown to have antioxidant properties and a direct role in our immune system functions.”

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