Boost Immune Health

6 Fall Foods & Recipes To Boost Immune Health

Did you know that  70-80% of the body’s immune cells are in the gut? Because of this, the gut is the center of the body’s immune system, so you really are what you eat.

The bacteria within the gut play a key role in your body’s overall immune response and are the first to take action against any sort of foreign substance or stressor.

As we swap warm, sunny days to chilly sweater weather, our immune systems are also responding to environmental changes.

As colder temperatures creep in, our body is more prone to illness.

Thankfully, we have nature to best take care and support our body year-round with in-season foods that boost our immune system.

Want to keep your gut happy and healthy this fall while boosting your immunity?

Scroll down to see our top six fall foods that boost the immune system and keep your gut supported. 

We even included some tasty fall recipes that you can easily make at home to share with your friends and family.



Knock, knock! It’s your favorite whole grain coming your way for fall! Barley is a cereal grain commonly found in bread, beverages, stews, and other dishes.

With its whole grain properties, barley provides fiber, vitamins, and minerals to the body, offering a plethora of various health benefits, helping to fight off colds and cold-weather fatigue.

Specifically, barley is rich in B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), as well as beta-glucans, a type of fiber that is linked to various benefits that supports overall wellness of the body.

Additionally, barley holds a high count of copper and ferulic acid, which red blood cells use to form hemoglobin which naturally inhibits cancer cells within the body.

Research shows that incorporating barley into your diet several days a week during colder months can increase the production of good bacteria and hormones within the gut, protecting the body against harmful inflammation.


I don’t know about you, but we love eating spiced almonds in the fall. There’s a reason why almonds are among one of the most popular tree nuts in the world!

Almonds are one the world’s best sources of Vitamin E and contain a hearty dose of healthy fats, protein, and other micronutrients, ranking them as a key source of immunity for the body.

Research even shows that eating the recommended serving of 23 almonds a day can help regulate blood sugar, reduce blood pressure, and lower cholesterol levels.

Moreso, almonds are a fantastic source of antioxidants that improves the immune response to oxidative stress (which contributes to inflammation, aging, and diseases like cancer). 

Citrus Fruits

Nothing quite beats the juicy satisfaction from eating fresh fruit.

What’s even better is that when the trees are boasting colorful arrangements of orange, red, and yellow leaves, you can actually match your food palette with some colorful, in-season assortments of citrus fruits.

Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits are not only delicious in flavor, but delicious for your body! High in Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), citrus fruits naturally boost your body’s production of white blood cells which increases your infection-fighting abilities, helping you from getting sick.

Even more, Vitamin C is water soluble so your body doesn’t store it, meaning it helps flush out harmful bacteria, viruses, and toxins.

The best oranges are ripe between the fall and winter months, so it's the perfect fall fruit to keep around the house while keeping the body happy and healthy.


Deemed the “food of gods,” mushrooms have been used for centuries to boost the health of humans.

While there’s over 2,000 edible mushroom species around the world, there are several that pack an extra punch of health when consumed.

Crimini mushrooms, for example, are an excellent source of zinc, an essential trace element and vital nutrient for optimal function of the immune system.

Other mushrooms such as turkey tail, reishi, lion’s mane, and chaga stimulate microphages in the immune system that support overall gut health and enhance the body’s ability to defeat foreign toxins and viruses. More mushrooms please!


What would fall be without some pumpkin spice?! While they bring out some of the best fall decor and spirit, they also hold a high amount of antioxidants and vitamins that support your gut and overall immune system.

Known for their preventive qualities due to their high source of carotenoids, both pumpkin seeds and meat protect the body’s cells and tissues from free radical damage and degeneration, specifically in the eyes and skin.

Additionally, one cup of fresh pumpkin meat/flesh contains 19% of the daily intake for Vitamin C, meaning you’ll never be short of immune-boosting benefits.

That, along with its high concentration of Vitamin A and fiber work with your gut to ensure proper digestion, bone and heart health, balancing the body’s immune system. Don’t say no to more pumpkin spice! 


This legendary root is popular for a reason. While packing a punch of flavor when topped on sushi and more, ginger provides an incredible package of immune-boosting nutrients to your body.

Ginger contains certain chemical compounds that help your body naturally repel germs and viruses.

Its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties work alongside your body’s immune system to fight off illnesses and diseases, while its high load of antioxidants boost the overall health and wellness of all bodily systems.  


Beef Barley Soup

Who doesn’t want some homemade soup when the weather gets chilly?

With barley based soup, it’s easy to incorporate an abundance of immune-boosting fresh vegetables and herbs to check off all the boxes.

Also read: How to Build (And Actually Keep) Up with Healthy Goals for the New Year

You can also add beef or leave it out if you’re looking for a completely veggie-centric meal.


  • Beef (optional) – stewing beef, such as chuck, bone-in short rib, or fatty brisket
  • Flour
  • Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
  • Veggies
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Tomato Paste
  • Beef Broth or Vegetable Broth
  • Barley


  1. Prep the Beef (optional) – Season the stewing beef generously with salt and pepper. Place the beef in a ziploc bag and add the flour over the beef. Close the ziploc bag and shake until each piece of beef is fully covered in flour. You can also do this in a bowl.

  2. Sear the Beef (optional): Heat some oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef to the pot and cook just until the meat starts to brown about 3 minutes per side. You will have to do this in 2 or 3 batches, since you do not want to crowd the meat. Remove the meat from the pot after you’re done and set aside.

  3. Cook the Base: In the same pot, you will have a lot of brown bits on the bottom. Add more oil if needed, then add the chopped onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms (bonus points if you use crimini, turkey tail, reishi, lion’s mane, or chaga mushrooms!) Cook the vegetables until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic, oregano and tomato paste to the pot and stir. Cook for 30 seconds until aromatic. 

  4. Season and Cook the Beef (optional): Add a bit of the broth to the pot to deglaze all the brown bits at the bottom. Add the meat back to the pot, then the broth and water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a medium, cover the pot and cook for about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want to cook this for so long so that the beef becomes tender, it will melt in your mouth.

  5. Add Barley and Cook: Add the barley to the pot, cover it and cook for another 30 minutes or until the barley is cooked through. Make sure you stir occasionally so the barley won’t stick. If you find that the soup is too thick add more water as necessary until you get the desired consistency, though this is quite a thick soup.

  6. Finish and Serve: Remove the soup from heat and garnish with fresh parsley before serving.

Citrus Salad

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring! Check out this amazing recipe that you can eat for breakfast, dessert, or even as a midday snack, no baking needed! With all the citrus, yogurt, and almonds, you’ll be giving your body an abundance of Vitamin C and antioxidants. 


  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 medium fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed (about 5 cups)
  • 5 clementines, peeled and segmented (seeded if necessary)
  • 1 medium grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds (toasted)


  1. In a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in yogurt.
  2. Just before serving, add fruit and stir gently to combine. Sprinkle with almonds and you’re done!

Pumpkin & Ginger Soup

What do you get when you combine pumpkin’s Vitamin C and fiber properties with ginger’s immune-boosting components? A delectable warm concoction with the flavors of fall! 


  • 1 cups pumpkin
  • 2 shallots
  • 1/3 cup ginger
  • Fresh chives & mint
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 liter organic vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, plus extra to serve
  • 1/2  tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1 lime


  1. Deseed and roughly chop the pumpkin, peel and chop the shallots, then peel and finely grate the ginger. Pick and finely chop the herbs.
  2. Place the pumpkin, shallots, ginger and some oil in a large saucepan and sauté until soft.
  3. Add the vegetable stock, coconut milk and chilli powder. Season, then bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes.
  4. Blitz in a food processor then serve with the fresh herbs, lime juice and a splash of coconut milk.

Mushroom Bruschetta

When you take the first bite of these mini bruschettas, you’ll be wanting to welcome the fall season year-round! Packed full of mushroom-goodness with a hint of garlic and rosemary for added immune benefits, you’ll find these to be quick and easy to make to spice up your fall meals.


  • A baguette
  • Assorted mushrooms - Shiitake, Crimini, Turkey Tail, Reishi, Lion’s mane, and/or Chaga
  • Butter and olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • A splash of dry white wine
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Salt and pepper


Prepare the crostini:

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Slice a baguette into ½”  slices and arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Brush each side of the bread with olive oil, then sprinkle the tops with salt.
  4. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown and crisp.

Saute the mushrooms:

  1. Heat butter and olive oil in a 12″ skillet over medium high until the butter melts.
  2. Add the sliced mushrooms, toss to coat in the fat, and saute until the mushrooms release their liquids, the pan is dry, and the mushrooms are golden brown with crisp edges.
  3. Add chopped rosemary and sliced garlic to the pan. Toss with the mushrooms and sautee 1 minute more.
  4. Add the white wine for additional flavor and to deglaze the delicious browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Continue cooking until all of the wine is absorbed.

Compose the bruschetta

  1. Spread a dollop of ricotta cheese over each crostini.
  2. Top with herby, garlicky sautéed mushrooms.
  3. Garnish with flaky sea salt if desired.
  4. These can be served warm, immediately after preparing, but they’ll also last for about an hour at room temperature.
  5. Enjoy at home with guests! 

Also Read: Best herbs for glowing skin

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