Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi

Strengthen Your Immuni-tea!

Tameka Johnson, R.D., L.D

If I asked you to rate the strength of your immune system on a scale of 1 through 10, what would it be? Do you feel like you always catch every little sniffle? Or do you have an iron-clad immune system that keeps even the worst illnesses at bay each year? No matter how strong you think your immune system is, you can practice certain lifestyle habits to help protect yourself from germs and other illnesses while boosting your immunity.

Lately, we have been conditioned to read food labels, choose healthy fats, lower sodium intake and control the amount of calories we consume. The word is out on the health benefits of eating fresh fruits, colorful vegetables and whole grains. This is to encourage you to take advantage of the many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants they offer. But, how often are we focusing on herbs as an avenue to give our immune system a much needed boost? It is recommended to use herbs in place of salt to season food, but how many of us are overlooking a key component to staying well throughout the year and especially during the approaching cold and flu season?

There are certain foods shown to help strengthen your immunity, including:


Whether it’s green or black, teas contain potent disease-fighting antioxidants called polyphenols and flavonoids. Catechins, which are a certain type of polyphenol, are shown to kill certain viruses.


Broccoli is rich in vitamins A and C and glutathione, which helps to boost immunity. For the most benefits, eat broccoli in its raw form either alone or in a dish like broccoli salad or slaw.

Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is highly recommended for soothing cold or flu symptoms, but it can also support a healthy respiratory system by preventing the accumulation of white blood cells in the bronchial tubes. It’s also believed chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce congestion. For the most health benefits, make your own chicken soup and add healthy herbs and veggies like oregano, garlic, cilantro, carrots or onions.

So, be sure to consume a diet rich in nutrients such as A, C and E vitamins, zinc, protein and iron to keep your immune system strong. If an illness such as cold, flu, fever or sore throat should break the barrier, grab your tissues, a blanket and your favorite mug of hot herbal tea to decrease recovery time! As always, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking prescribed medications, check with your Primary Care Network Provider before beginning any new supplements.

Here are some of the vitamins and herbs that can help boost your immunity.

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