“Eating a well-rounded, balanced diet, like the Mediterranean diet, that’s packed with vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats is another way people can improve their immune system,” says Dr. Ford. A plant-based diet has similar data behind it in terms of infection prevention.
“The majority of the immune system is found in the lining of your intestine, so it’s a good idea to support your gut and microbiome with lots of good bacteria,” he says. Many people look to probiotics to supplement their gut with good bacteria, but Dr. Ford stresses the importance of a whole-foods diet rather than taking a probiotic supplement — unless you’re taking probiotics for a specific purpose, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Consider adding foods that are rich in probiotics to your diet, such as yogurt or fermented foods like kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut.