Because keto places an emphasis on nutritious, anti-inflammatory foods, your body doesn't have to constantly get rid of toxins. This frees your immune system up to focus on removing the viruses and bacterias that cause colds or the flu.
Having a strong immune system can prevent you from getting sick, lessen your symptoms, and shorten the duration of your illnesses.
Here's a list of 20 immune-boosting keto foods that can help you stay healthy!
1. BroccoliThere's a reason broccoli is considered a superfood by many health experts. It contains a powerful antioxidant called sulforaphane, as well as essential minerals like magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and iron—all of which can help boost your immune system .
2. GarlicPeople have been using garlic for hundreds of years to treat illnesses. It contains a compound called alliin, which has been shown to help reduce inflammatory signals in the body .
It's also a versatile spice you can use in soups, stir-fry dishes, and other keto-friendly recipes.
3. GingerLike garlic, ginger has been used for therapeutic reasons for many centuries. Multiple studies show that it can treat ailments like colds, nausea, arthritis, migraines, and hypertension .
Fresh and powdered ginger both work, so you have options as to how you want to incorporate it. Add powdered ginger to a smoothie or add fresh ginger to a soup or broth. It’s also popular in hot tea.
4. TurmericMuch has been made in recent years of the health benefits of turmeric. Like garlic and ginger, it's another ancient herb that's gaining popularity because science is showing how good it is for us. Turmeric powder contains curcumin, a powerful compound full of antioxidants that reduce tissue inflammation and regulates your immune system .
5. SpinachA good rule of thumb to follow: if it's green and natural, it's probably good for fighting off the cold and flu. That's because spinach, like broccoli and a few other green items on this list, is full of phytonutrients that keep your systems running optimally.
It's full of niacin, zinc, and fiber, the latter of which promotes good gut health, which is essential for preventing disease and illness .
6. MushroomsMushrooms also help with immunomodulation, which is the regulation and maintenance of a healthy immune system. Compounds inside of these fungi affect stem cells, white blood cells, and other cells that help keep your body free of foreign objects .
7. AlmondsIf you're on keto, you already know that almonds are full of healthy fats and proteins. You may not know they also give your immune system a boost. A 2010 study found that the skins of almonds, in particular, have a powerful antiviral effect .
8. Green and Black TeaBoth green and black teas are full of flavonoids, an antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body and reduces tissue inflammation . Tea can also help soothe symptoms if you're already feeling a cold coming on, so it's always good to have some on hand.
9. Brazil NutsBrazil nuts come from an enormous tropical tree, and are one of the richest sources of the mineral selenium found in nature .
Selenium is an antioxidant that, like flavonoids and others on this list, helps reduce the effects of oxidative stress in the body. This enhances your immunity to viruses and bacterial infections, and also has a powerful anti-aging effect on the body.
10. Olive OilAs a keto dieter, olive oil is probably a staple of your diet. It's one of the healthiest oils you can use to cook with, along with coconut oil and avocado oil.
Perhaps you know that olive oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fats. These are extremely heart-healthy and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. But olive oil also reduces inflammation, which can help protect you from colds, the flu, and even various types of cancer .
11. SardinesSardines are an oily, cold-water fish. These types of seafood are often rich in EPA and DHA, two types of omega-3 fatty acids that are good for brain health and immunity .
For such a small fish, they actually pack quite a nutritional punch. Sardines also contain minerals like phosphorus, calcium, potassium, iron, and selenium.
12. BlueberriesThere's a reason immune-boosting smoothie recipes often contain blueberries.
These low-carb fruits are a rich source of anthocyanins, another antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress and reduces tissue inflammation .
They also contain rich amounts of fiber and varying amounts of more than 10 essential vitamins and minerals .
13. SalmonSalmon is another coldwater oily fish that's packed with EPA and DHA. Like sardines, it can help reduce inflammation and improve your body's health.
A 3-ounce piece contains over 18 grams of protein, so it's a great food to eat after exercising . (And if you're trying to boost your immunity, working out regularly is important.)
Salmon pairs well with lemon, which is also an immune-booster .
14. PoultryThere's a reason that chicken soup is the cliche food item for fighting illnesses.
Try slow-cooking the whole bird. This way you get a rich bone broth full of vitamins, minerals, and collagen to cure your cold symptoms!
15. Greek YogurtFull-fat Greek yogurt contains probiotics, which are live bacteria that promote a healthy gut . Your gut is home to billions of tiny bacteria, all of which need to be fed to stay happy and healthy.
As it stands, science is only on the cusp of understanding how deeply connected a healthy gut is to maintaining homeostasis and immune system health .
16. StrawberriesHere's another low-carb, keto-approved berry you can eat to ward off the common cold.
Like blueberries, strawberries are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals that promote overall health.
There are about 8 grams of net carbs per cup of strawberries, so limit your intake to one or two cups if you're on a ketogenic diet .