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6 Snacks That Will Boost Your Immunity This Winter

February 11, 2023
Cookie Dough Oat Energy Bites
Courtesy of Pinch of Yum

During winter months, our immune system is often challenged by the changing weather and the seasonal flu and cold. Thankfully, there are many immunity snacks that can keep us healthy with ingredients like garlic, ginger, turmeric, citrus fruits, and leafy greens. Garlic, for instance, is a natural antimicrobial and antioxidant, while ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is known for its immune-boosting benefits, and citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons are rich in vitamin C.

While some of these ingredients (like the fruit) are great standalone immunity snacks, others need to be incorporated into tasty options that are portable and easy to make; after all, we’re all so busy and always on the go, but that doesn’t mean we can’t nourish our body properly.

Dietitians Samantha MacLeod, MS, RDN, and Anita Mirchandani, MS, RD, CDN, advised on how to add these ingredients into creative immunity snacks to support overall health and protect against nasty colds. And if you’re not sure if certain foods will not work for you if you have a weakened immune system, MacLeod recommends consulting with a medical professional like a gastroenterologist for additional assistance.

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1. Bone Broth

pot of bone broth

Courtesy of Minimalist Baker

According to MacLeod, we can’t talk about the immune system without talking about gut health because 70 to 80% of immune cells are present in the gut and impact overall digestion. One of the best ways to boost immunity is with bone broth. This recipe, made from leftover roasted chicken, is packed with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. You can sip on it as a delicious, savory beverage or use it as the base for winter soups and stews- your call!

Try the recipe from Minimalist Baker.

2. Instant Pot Coconut Milk Yogurt Bowls

Instant Pot Coconut Milk Yogurt Bowls

Courtesy of Detoxinista

In our opinion, the perfect immunity snacks should not only be delicious, but also easy to make. Yogurt bowls provide probiotics, coupled with inflammation-fighting flavanols from blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries.

According to Mirchandani, not everyone can stomach dairy, so this coconut milk plant-based yogurt is a great vegan alternative. For an additional boost of healthy fat and protein, feel free to add crushed nuts or hemp seeds to this bowl.

Try the recipe from Detoxinista.

3. Cookie Dough Oat Energy Bites

Cookie Dough Oat Energy Bites

Courtesy of Pinch of Yum

Oats are a nutritious whole grain with several immune-boosting properties because they are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals like zinc and selenium. Plus, oats are easy to digest and can help regulate blood sugar levels which is why they are a prime ingredient in any immunity snacks you prepare this winter.

These oat energy bites taste like dessert, but you definitely won’t feel bad eating them for breakfast or a midday snack. For an additional immunity boost, Mirchandani also recommends adding cinnamon, almonds, and hemp seeds.

Try the recipe from Pinch of Yum.

4. Sweet Potato Turmeric Soup with Almond Croutons

Courtesy of The Endless Meal

Sweet Potato Turmeric Soup with Almond Croutons

Turmeric is such a versatile ingredient that can easily be incorporated into smoothies, savory dishes, chutneys, and omelets. This hearty turmeric soup takes under 30 minutes to prepare and is sure to be a permanent addition to your lunch rotation. Plus, the soup lasts up to three months when frozen so you can eat it all winter long. Add it to your lunch rotation and will remain a winter staple for you and your loved ones because it lasts up to three months when frozen. What we especially love is the addition of sweet potato which contains beta-carotene to fight inflammation.

Try the recipe from The Endless Meal.

5. Good-for-Your-Gut Gluten-Free Lemon-Chia Muffins

Good for your gut muffins

In some people, gluten can trigger an allergy that may damage the gut over time. In order to protect immunity, it’s important to keep starch intake under control to regulate blood sugar, which does affect the body’s immune response. These gluten-free lemon-chia muffins are so tasty and will keep you energized all morning long and the best part is that they take under an hour to prepare and cook.

Try the recipe from Clean Plates.

6. Tofu Quiche

Tofu Quiche

Courtesy of Minimalist Baker

For those who are quiche aficionados but don’t necessarily want dairy if it upsets their stomach should opt for this tofu alternative. The recipe calls for silken tofu and a host of vegetables including leafy greens like broccoli, kale, or collard greens (which are great for immune boosting) for a healthy, crispy, and savory brunch staple.

For an additional immunity booster, MacLeod recommends adding kraut which is packed with hard-to-find probiotics. You can add kraut as a topper to promote gut balance and create a healthier immune system.

Try the recipe from Minimalist Baker.

Read next: 11 Superfoods To Boost Your Immune System Right Now

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