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Immune Boosting Foods and Control of Coronavirus


The ability of organisms to fight against unknown microorganisms and harmful substances is known as immunity. Blood plays a vital role in improving immunity due to the appearance of white blood cells or tissues that fight against infectious diseases. Sometimes they are unable to recognize these organisms. Due to this reason, we need to boost immunity with a balanced diet that contains essential nutrients. Newly developed respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV-2) occurred in Dec 2019, known as coronavirus disease appeared in Wuhan, Hubei Province, in China and later day by day spread all over the world almost 88 countries affected by this virus. Symptoms have ranged from mild to severe. Serious symptoms are difficulty in breathing, loss of speech and chest pain or pressure, as well as the adverse effect on the immune system, that’s why people with the weaker immune system may lead to death. Still, there is no vaccine against this disease, but this can be controlled by consuming healthy diets to boost the immune system. Increase dairy food intakes like colostrum, yogurt, cheese or fermented dairy drinks, consume fruits and vegetables, cereals, herbs and spices, functional and nutraceutical foods to strengthen the immune system. Citrus fruits (orange, kiwi, lemon, grapefruits), which are the richest source of vitamin-C, plays an important role in immune-boosting due to its antioxidant properties and fight against infectious diseases. Limit the amount of salt, sugar, and fiber, consume plenty of water to keep hydrated, wash hands, avoid meetings or gatherings.


The immune systems protect the host against infectious and toxic diseases and defend from contagious agents present in the environment, such as parasites, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. The immune system acts to protect pathogens from viruses to parasitic worms and differentiate from their own healthy organism’s tissue (Suzanne and Gregory, 2004; Robert and David, 2019; Charistopher et al., 2020). In immune development, blood plays an important role due to the presence of white blood cells in some tissues, and in blood have the ability to prevent unrecognized organisms. Some immune cells made blood plasma contain antibodies that protect from any unrecognized protein or protein similar substances to such protein that form the antigen generator or antigen (Marzaei et al., 2019). Some work on precipitation these unrecognized proteins to separate them, so that’s why known as precipitins, as well as some act on agglomerate of microorganisms or red blood cells are known as agglutinins similarly some work on neutralizing of toxins known as antitoxins (Laruen, 2019). The immune system prevents diseases caused by microorganisms, but sometimes it fails to defend from such diseases. A germ invades successfully and makes sick. During this situation, it is possible to protect against such types of germs by boosting the immune system with diet, keeping your immune system healthy naturally with an adequate diet. Some antioxidants contained from the diet, such as (vitamin-E, vitamin-C, polyphenolics, and carotenoids (Sandy, 2020; Biotics, 2019).

During 2019 an ongoing epidemic respiratory syndrome occurred known as newly discovered coronavirus disease mainly spread through a sneeze, cough droplets of the infected person, and spread ratio was increased day by day. Its symptoms range from mild to severe. Firstly, discovered in animals than transfer to humans. The first time this viral infection discovered in Wuhan, Hubie province in China, with the passage of time, there was no proper medicine or vaccine for the treatment, they mainly affect the immune system in people with weak immunity are less able to fight even may cause death. To control this viral infection, improve the immune system with an adequate diet, which provides a rich source of vitamin-C. To improve the immune system, increasing the amount of health-promoting diets like dairy products such as colostrum (Lei et al., 2020; Meena and Neesah, 2013).

Yogurt plays a vital role in fighting against infectious diseases and improves immunity. Cheese is a natural source of yeast, which reduces cholesterol, also increases the number of useful microorganisms that strengthen immunity. Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source to improve the immune system, such as citrus fruits, including oranges, lemon, grapefruit, kiwi are the richest source of Vitamins C, E, zinc, and selenium are widely used to enhance immunity to fight against coronavirus. Vegetables like beetroot, cabbage, red onion, garlic, ginger, carrot, and pumpkin are good sources of improving immunity. Whole grains, legumes like oat, barley, millet, corn fortified with vitamin-C because they have antioxidant properties to fight against infections and provide strength (Linda, 2005; Young et al., 2005; Abhishek et al., 2020). Drink plenty of water to digest properly or improve immunity, also a natural source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, or other trace elements. Limit the amount of salt, sugar, and fiber, wash hands with sanitizer, stay away from meetings or groups.


In December 2019, ongoing epidemic pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China is causing global concern came from meat and seafood market, but later day by day they spread over china and far away, including United State (Chaolin et al., 2019; Chih-cheng et al., 2019). This virus firstly discovered in animal to human and later spread person to person.  Later, WHO finally name the disease Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on February 12, 2020. The first-time new cases were discovered outside China and the rate of infected people was greater than china on February 26, 2020. The virus was spread to almost 113 countries. WHO states that cases of coronavirus increase day by day by 13 folds in 2 weeks and still no parameters to prevent this virus. On March 11, 2020, recorded patients 118,162, and almost 4290 deaths (Fengxiang et al., 2019). Symptoms of COVID-19 vary from mild to severe. Coronavirus mainly affects the immune system (Nanshan et al., 2020).

Coronavirus in Pakistan:

The Pakistan Federal Health Minister identified two coronavirus patients in Islamabad and Karachi on February 26, 2020. A total number of confirmed cases after 15 days increased to 20, one in Baluchistan with a 12-year child, 14 patients in Sindh Province, and 5 in Gilgit Baltistan all recently visited London, Iran, and Syria. Pakistan’s government took several steps like an established system to screen every person that had traveled from china or other countries, which were affected like Thailand, South Korea, and Japan (Rashid et al., 2020). The Pakistani National Institute of Health (NIH) provides awareness related to COVID-19 in Pakistan. During the early stages of this pandemic Pakistan poor in diagnostic facilities, that’s why they collect primers from japan and kit from China (Tauseef et al., 2020). Just certain quarantine centers presently established in Pakistan one in (Islamabad, Peshawar, and Lahore) and two in Quetta and Karachi. On April 12, 2020, 6002 reported patients and 111 deaths (Nasir et al., 2020) Pakistan government unable to fight against this virus Prime Minister of Pakistan gave massage to Pakistani to cooperate each other in this critical situation and stay away to everyone for protection (Dr. Sumbal et al., 2020).

Coronavirus Symptoms:

Symptoms appear mild to severe after 12 to 14 days, such as sore throat, chills, headache, fever, shortness of breath, muscle pain, cough, and loss of taste or smell. COVID-19 mainly weakened or affect the immune system (Mashhood et al., 2020).

Prevention of Coronavirus:

COVID-19 spread person to person this virus increased when contact with certain bodily fluids, like droplets in a cough as well as through touching an infected person than these hands touch to your mouth, nose, eye (Chen et al., 2020). Stay away from gathering or meeting in groups, don’t cough your hand, clean hands with sanitizer for at least 20 seconds, cover your nose and mouth with face masks, stay way to maintain distance at least 6 feet (Petra and Nigel, 2020). Limit your salt or sugar and fat intake (Kunling et al., 2020).

Control of  Coronavirus:

During this critical situation, when there is no proper vaccine is available, take a good nutritious diet that boosts the immune system, which is the only single way to fight against this virus (Mark and James, 2020). Coronavirus affects the immune system mainly those people that have a weak immune system are at high risk and mostly lead to death. To fight against this virus, improve your immune system with a balanced diet that contains essential nutrients (Kamyar and Linda, 2020).

Important Food Groups that Improve the Immune System

1. Immune Boosting Dairy Products:

Dairy products like skimmed milk, fermented milk, turkey, and yogurt. Dairy products provide unique health benefits as compared to animal foods or plant foods. Due to its unique health benefits, such as reduce diabetes, blood pressure, and heart disease, improve bone health scientific research link to dairy products (Lie et al., 2020). It is necessary for growing children and adolescents for growth, development and maintenance (Sameer et al., 2016). Cheese is a natural source of yeast, lower blood cholesterol, intestinal ulcers, malignant tumors, and increases useful microorganisms that strengthen the immune system (Sumanpreet et al., 2018).

2. Immune Boosting Fruits and Vegetables:

Fruits and vegetables provide essential nutrients that play a vital role in keeping a healthy immune system such as vitamin E, C, D, selenium, zinc omega-3 fatty acid. Citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, clementines, tangerines, lemons, and limes, which contain Vitamin C, helps to build up the immune system also increase the blood white blood cell, which is key to fight against infections (Gbenga,2020). Broccoli is the healthiest food that provides vitamins (A, C, and E) and minerals, as well as fiber or other antioxidants (Daniel, 2018). Garlic is the healthiest natural food source that provides strength to the immune system because they contain sulfur-containing compounds such as allicin, lower blood pressure, and fight against infections. Ginger helps to decrease cholesterol, chronic pain, sore throat, and inflammatory illnesses. Spinach is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and beta carotene that can boost the immune system (Sumra et al., 2019). Papaya has digestive enzyme papain, which has an anti-inflammatory effect also contains folate, potassium, and magnesium helpful for overall health. Kiwi contains essential nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, and K and folate. Vitamin-C increases white blood cells to fight against infections and boost the immune system. Further fruits and vegetables that boost immune system include beetroot, cauliflower, carrot, pepper, radish, watermelon, parsley, celery, red onion, pumpkin, eggplant, tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, turnip, peach, dates, apricot, cherry, berries, avocado, strawberry, oranges (Rahgu, 2020).

3. Immune Boosting Cereals and Legumes: 

Cereals like oats, which are called the queen of cereals due to its high nutritive properties include carbohydrates, protein, phosphorus, trace elements, iron,  minerals, and vitamins help to maintain blood sugar level in the blood, anti-carcinogenic, beneficial for heart diseases, improve the immune system. Barley has a high amount of fiber, a good source of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, vitamin K, folic acid, vitamin-B, trace elements (chromium, sulfur, iron, iodine, copper, selenium, and molybdenum (Kalpana, 2019). Quinoa is a rich source of protein as compared to barley and rice, high fiber content, and contains 11 amino acids. It also has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties (Roslynn, 2020). Flaxseed, chickpeas, lentils, barley,  oats, sesame, red beans,  non-peeled brown rice, fennel, corn, soybeans, and wheat are a rich source of micronutrients, fiber, protein, carbohydrates, a good source of unsaturated fat such as omega-3 fatty acid (Sawsan, 2020).

4.  Immune Boosting Nuts:

Nuts such as almonds, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts are a good source of minerals and vitamins like copper, vitamin B6, zinc, selenium, iron and vitamin-E, these have antioxidant properties and also improve the immune system (Isa et al., 2019; Sawsan and Walid, 2020; Luxita, 2020).

5. Immune Boosting Fruit and Vegetable Juices:

Peach, carrot juice,  pineapple juice, cranberry juice, orange juice, cucumber with lemon juice,  apricot juice and lemon juice, pear juice, pomegranate juice (Mahima et al., 2020)  strawberry juice, (Ben, 2020) grapefruit with lemon juice and raspberry juice, fresh apple juice, celery juice, asparagus juice, Beet juice, black grape juice and fresh cabbage juice (Lamia et al., 2020).

6. Immune Boosting Green Foods:

Juice from organic cauliflower, organic oats grass extract, organic wheat plant Chlorella, organic barley leaf extract, organic parsley, organic green dandelion, marine Green Algae, sea dulse, spirulina, Marine Vegetables, green broccoli, organic kale and sea kelp (Daniel, 2017).

7. Immune Boosting Functional Foods:

Mushroom, tempeh (fermented soybean product), turmeric, fiber, black tea,  oligosaccharides, (Rahul and Kale, 2020) fermented dairy products, fish oils, wheat germ, flaxseed oil, green tea, olive oil, corn oil, garlic, raspberries, ginger, lignin, lycopene, seafood rich in omega-3 which boost the immune system, as well as vitamins, improve immune functions and defend against infections such as vitamins E, D, C, A, Folic acid, B12 and B6 (Kalpana, 2020).

8. Immune Boosting Mineral Elements:

Minerals and vitamins play a vital role in improving the immune system, including copper, iron, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc (Patricia, 2017). Vitamin B6, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B, Pantothenic acid, Riboflavin, Thiamine, Niacin, and vitamin E, C.  (Kathleen and Vasso, 2019; Ranail et al., 2020).

9. Immune Boosting Nutraceutical Foods:

Nutraceutical foods that boost immune systems such as Immuno C Babe-Ton Sachet, Bee Pollen 500-poll energy 520 mg-Roy Alton, Echinacea Purpurea 200 mg + Syrup — Echinacea drops — Furan Capsules, Lmmulant (Echinacea Purpurea 175 mg) Lmmulant Capsules Plus (Echinacea Purpurea 125 mg + Goldenseal Root 500 mg), Prostamune Capsules (Echinacea Purpurea + Pumpkin Seed oil + Pumpkin Kamela + Vitamin-C), Immuno Flu Capsules, Lmmuntvita Capsules, Lmmulant Sachet and Lmmulone tablets (Devi et al., 2019; Jiefan et al., 2019; Ajanth et al., 2019).

10. Immune Boosting Volatile Oils:

Essential oils to improve immune systems such as oregano, niaouli, peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, coconut oil, chamomile, and lemon essential oil antibacterial function (Shaista et al., 2020; Arshad et al., 2019).

11. Drinking-Water Improves the Immune System:

Water is an essential part of life; it has wonderful benefits. Water contains essential nutrients, i.e. vitamins and minerals to improve the immune system, reduce toxin and germs, help digestion, lower blood pressure, increase white blood cells, help to carry oxygen to body cells that perform certain functions (Jen-Chung et al., 2019; Netombie et al., 2019).

12. Immune Boosting Food Products:

Beet and cabbage kraut, water kefir, fermented pickles, beet kvas, curtido, fermented hot sauce, turmeric sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, raw apple cider dressing, sweet potatoes with miso, ginger and scallions, purple cabbage salad, coconut milk, carrot soup, vegan broccoli (Charlesetal., 2019; Mohanetal., 2019).


To control this newly developed disease when there is no vaccine to treat in this critical condition as well as they spread day by day or people with weak immunity may lead to death only single way to fight against this viral infection to improve immunity with an adequate diet including dairy foods, fruits, and vegetables, cereals and legumes, vitamins, minerals, functional or nutraceutical food drinking water, nuts). Specially consume vitamin C in an abundant amount to fight against infectious diseases such as coronavirus or strengthen the immune system. These food groups provide essential nutrients to tackle this situation to improve immunity. Follow preventive measures such as washing hands again and again with a sanitizer, avoid grouping or gathering, stay away from every person to maintain distance at least 6 feet.


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  • Author: Mamoona Aslam (M.Phil Food Science and Technology)
  • Supervisor: Dr. Saima Tehseen (Assistant Professor)
  • Address: Department of Food Science and Technology, Government College Women University Faisalabad, Pakistan
  • Email:



8 thoughts on “Immune Boosting Foods and Control of Coronavirus”

  1. Mamoona aslam

    Informative during this pandemic for people how yo boost immune system to fight against this virus by natural source such as fruits and vegetables etc

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