Vitamin C has a reputation for being a feel-good nutrient, so it will come as no surprise that this list is full of foods with high levels of it. In the body, vitamin C behaves as an antioxidant, which means it protects cells from free-radical damage. Consuming it also helps the body better absorb iron, which is critical for normal immune-system function.
Although foods high in vitamin C won’t stop your flu symptoms, eating them regularly may help prevent illness down the line. There are other ways that foods fight infection and strengthen immune response. (Grandma wasn’t wrong about chicken soup, for example: The mixture of hydrating broth, healing herbs, fiber, protein and antioxidants makes the meal actually therapeutic.) Here are 11 of the best foods for your immune system.