Foods to Balance Your Immune System - Garlic

7 Ways to balance your immune system2 minute read

Foods to Balance Your Immune System - Garlic

Are you feeling a bit under the weather? Whether you’re suffering from a sore throat or sniffles, your choice of food can help you fight back.

For best results, don’t just wait until you’re feeling sub-par to follow the below habits. Make them a regular feature of your days, as a strong immune system is one that is consistently supported.

1. Think twice about orange juice

You may think that it’s giving you a boost of vitamin C—but actually, its sugar content could be more of a hindrance than a help. One study found that drinking a glass of orange juice curbed the effectiveness of immune system cells for up to five hours [1]. Instead…

2. Add peppers to your meals

That’s not to say you should avoid vitamin C altogether, as it’s essential for a strong immune system. Instead of drinking orange juice, up your fresh pepper intake instead—100g contains four times your recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

3. Indulge in some oysters

Zinc is also pivotal to your immune system function. In fact, a recent review of 17 trials found that taking zinc resulted in a shorter duration of cold symptoms [2]. Oysters are a rich source of the mineral, as are sesame seeds.

4. Choose oily fish

Vitamin D is another nutrient that helps you fight infections, and it can be found in fish such as sardines and salmon. Don’t like fish? Another option is to go outdoors, as sunlight enables you to synthesise the vitamin yourself.

5. Go for garlic

The Ancient Egyptians recognised that this pungent vegetable had health-giving qualities. Modern science now backs it up, with several studies finding that garlic has antibacterial action against E.coli—a cause of stomach upset [3].

6. Enjoy some mushrooms

The humble mushroom contains special carbohydrates called beta-glucans, which are known to have immune-supporting effects when consumed. Try some oyster or shiitake mushrooms in a quick stir-fry or soup.

7. Get some shut-eye

Good rest is just as important as good nutrition when it comes to keeping well. A review in the European Journal of Physiology revealed that a lack of sleep provokes a stress response, leading to low-grade inflammation and immunodeficiency [4]. So turn in on time!

For individualised and targeted support, please get in touch.

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Dr Thivi Maruthappu


Dr Thivi Maruthappu is the UK’s first and only dual-qualified Consultant Dermatologist and Nutritionist, and the pioneer of the (much-needed!) Nutritional Dermatology field. She runs busy NHS dermatology clinics, conducts academic research and delivers lectures worldwide. She’s also recently authored her first book, Skin Food, which aims to make holistic skincare accessible for everyone.



Porter magazine called her a ‘Global Skincare Expert’, and Caroline Hirons described her as ‘one of the best facialists in the world’. In the skincare industry, Marie Reynolds is in a league of her own. I had the privilege of experiencing one of Marie’s facials as a young journalist—and I can still remember every exquisite detail more than a decade later.

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