16 Organic Superfoods to Boost Your Immune System

Grow these incredible edibles for optimal nutrition.

Credit: Terry Guscott | Stylist: Heather Cameron

Grow these incredible edibles in your garden

As gardeners we are constantly improving our soil and organically feeding our plants to ensure they are healthy, strong and able to fight off disease and pests.

Nutrition is also what supports our immune system, our first line of defence against disease and foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Immune-boosting foods enable our bodies to heal faster, fight off infection, and repair naturally occurring mutations, some of which, if left unchecked, could lead to disease such as cancer. 

Summer gardens can provide an ample supply of important immunity-building nutrients. For optimal health, it is recommended we eat five to seven cups of fruits and vegetables each day. Supplying fibre to support digestive immunity, valuable vitamins such as A, E and B, and minerals like calcium and copper to support blood, bone and skin immunity, the importance of fruits and vegetables to our health cannot be underestimated. 

For the highest level of nutrition, grow organically, consume your harvest within 24 hours of picking, and enjoy as raw as possible. Choose a variety of colours in your fruits and vegetables to ensure a maximum amount of nutritional variety. 


16 top picks for immune-boosting foods to grow in your own garden


An apple a day does keep the doctor away. Like most fruit, apples provide a healthy source of fibre. An increase in fibre is said to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Leave the skin on and eat fresh.

Best way to serve: Wash, core, slice and sprinkle with cinnamon.



The blue-red pigments – anthocyanins – in blueberries improve the integrity of our veins and entire vascular system. Anthocyanins also enhance vitamin C, which blueberries are packed with, thus supporting the immune system. Blueberries are believed to protect against many forms of cancer and also provide support to our eyes.

Best way to serve: Layer fresh berries with low-fat vanilla yogurt.



An excellent source of vitamin C and folic acid, and essential for T-cell development, as well as for the immune system and healthy pregnancy. Broccoli also contains phytonutrients, which help purge our cells of built-up toxins. Sulforaphane supports skin from UV damage.

Best way to serve: Lightly steam and drizzle with light olive oil and lemon.



A natural antioxidant and source of vitamin A and beta carotene, carrots help to slow down cell degeneration. Leave the skin on and enjoy carrots of all colours – red, yellow, orange, and the original purple.

Best way to serve: Juice and pour over fresh ice.



Supplying valuable B5 – important to the adrenal glands and immune system – and reducing fatigue, corn helps transform carbohydrates and fats into useable energy. B5 can be lost due to processing and freezing, so fresh corn, lightly boiled, is recommended.

Best way to serve: Lightly boil and add a touch of thyme, butter and sea salt.



Selenium in garlic helps protect our hearts and reduce metal toxicity in the body. And allicin is a natural antiviral and antibacterial agent.

Best way to serve: Slice off the top, drizzle with grape-seed oil, roast and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with crackers.



Loaded with vitamin C, kiwi is a natural protector against oxidative damage.

Best way to serve: Toss in a fruit salad alongside raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.



Antibacterial and a powerful antioxidant, oregano is also a source of fibre and is supportive of colon health.

Best way to serve: Roast with free-range chicken and olives.



The natural oil of parsley is loaded with vitamin C, flavonoids and myristicin, all of which support a healthy immune system and are considered necessary to fight cancer.

Best way to serve: Chopped into Greek salad.



Sweet, juicy pears are famous for their support of colon health with the fibre they provide. Also beneficial is the copper, which protects against free-radical damage, and vitamin C, which stimulates white blood cells to attack infections. The riper the pear the more the antioxidants.

Best way to serve: Washed, straight off the tree, alongside brie cheese.



Anthocyanins in raspberries naturally control yeast and bacteria in the body; they are also loaded with ellagic acid, a natural protector of cell membranes. High in manganese, vitamin C, and fibre, this fruit is a multi-vitamin in a berry form.

Best way to serve: Slightly warmed over vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of warm local honey.



Mixed greens are a healthy blend of vitamins A, K and C, folate, manganese, chromium, vitamins B1 and B2 and the minerals potassium, molybdenum, iron and phosphorus. These help to support overall health and immunity.

Best way to serve: Freshly cut with a light drizzle of sesame oil, 
balsamic vinegar and dash of sea salt.



This popular cut-and-come-again garden favourite is high in vitamin B2 (riboflavin-2), necessary for normal antibody response – an important part of an activated immune system. B2 also helps protect cells from oxidative (free-radical) damage. B2 is essential to the absorption of other B vitamins obtained from cauliflower, corn or asparagus, so serve spinach alongside other B-vitamin veggies!

Best way to serve: Wash well, serve up fresh in a garden salad with raspberries and balsamic-vinegar/oil dressing.



Beta carotene-loaded, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A and enhanced with B6 and C. Combined, these vitamins may reduce inflammation and provide the antioxidants necessary to the body’s healing process.

Best way to serve: Mash or bake – and always with the skins. 



A perfect summer crop for a garden patch or container, Swiss chard is both nutritious and ornamental. Both the traditional green and the rainbow blend of chard – a cornucopia of vibrant colour – supply substantial amounts of vitamins K, A and C. Vitamin K supports bone growth and health, vitamin A is helpful to the lungs and eyes, and vitamin C boosts immunity. Swiss chard also contains magnesium, a natural boost for nerves and bones. This is considered one of the best vegetables to support our immune systems against colds, flu and cancer.

Best way to serve: Lightly stir-fry on high heat with almond oil.



Lypocene, an antioxidant with anti-cancer properties, is the protective compound offered by organic tomatoes of any colour. Vitamin C is also abundant.

Best way to serve: Slice and serve with broccoli and a light mozzarella.