What do you do when you start feeling a little under the weather? You might reach for some kind of pill or supplement to help boost your immune system, fortifying your defenses and keeping you going through the sniffles or a fever. While these can definitely be effective, I’d like you to consider an alternative: dietary choices that favor certain foods and will ultimately keep you healthy! Below, find 7 magical foods, incorporated into 14 delicious Greek recipes that will make sure you are feeling great.

Citrus Fruits (Oranges and Lemons)

When the sniffles start creeping in, many people turn to vitamin C supplements or fizzy vitamin drinks. But why not savor the real deal? Load up on citrus fruits like grapefruits, oranges, and lemons, as they’re rich in immune-boosting vitamin C. And Greek recipes are jam-packed with these ingredients. Let’s start with this Orange Crush Greek Yogurt Smoothie, reminiscent of those classic 1960s ice cream pop sold off of carts on the street! Easy to make, healthy to boot, it’s the perfect quick Mediterranean diet meal on the go. Or make a dressing that goes with everything: Lemon-Honey-Mustard Ladolemono me Meli kai Moustarda is my favorite Greek recipe for a classic dressing!

Use it over simple, fresh greens salads. It’s also great over grilled seafood, such as shrimp and squid. You can try adding a grated knob of ginger to this as well as some fresh herbs of choice, such as chopped dill, parsley, mint or basil.


Button Mushrooms

Beyond their delicious earthy flavor (and their excellent place as a meat substitution in many recipes), button mushrooms offer B vitamins like riboflavin and niacin, crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system. They’re also packed with selenium, and high selenium = high immunity. And there are all kinds of Greek recipes for button mushrooms! Giouvarlakia (sometimes spelled Yiouvarlakia) is a classic Greek comfort food traditionally prepared with ground meat and rice shaped into little balls, cooked in broth, and mixed with avgolemono, the Greek egg-lemon sauce.

But in this version, mushrooms and avocado replace the meat and egg, respectively and the result is a vegan, immune-boosting masterpiece. You can also try Button Mushrooms in Red Wine with a Touch of Cayenne, a great side dish to festive and everyday main courses. 


Is there any ingredient more versatile than the chickpea? Chickpeas are more than just a protein and fiber powerhouse; they’re also a source of zinc, a vital mineral for immune health. And some of my all-time favorite Greek recipes also happen to be chickpea-focused! This delicious recipe for Quick Lemony Chickpeas & Spinach epitomizes the simple way that healthy, plant-based Mediterranean ingredients come together in the Greek and Mediterranean diet.

Chickpeas can also go in a healthy, Greek hearty salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and feta – it’s a great Mediterranean diet recipe and an easy dish for lunch or dinner.


Fermented Foods

Warm Broccoli Salad with Greek Yogurt and Toasted Almonds

Strengthening your immune system often starts in your gut. Incorporating fermented foods like probiotic olives and Greek yogurt can enhance the presence of beneficial gut bacteria, a key component in a strong immune system. This, in turn, can boost antibody production. And while yes, you can definitely enjoy Greek yogurt all on its own or with a simple drizzle of honey, but there are plenty of recipes that call for this delicious and healthy ingredient. This Warm Broccoli Salad with Greek Yogurt and Toasted Almonds is simple but elegant, with toasted almonds and a tangy dressing that uses Greek yogurt.

Extra virgin olive oil is what makes this a perfect Mediterranean diet recipe. And Greek yogurt is used again in Roasted Orange Squash with Pomegranate Jeweled Greek Yogurt – the most delicious way to transition into fall!




I absolutely love garlic, and it features prominently in lots of Greek and Mediterranean diet recipes – and even better, it’s known for its immune-boosting benefits, particularly allicin, a compound. Get it in a dressing with this Mushroom Salad with Garlicky Dressing, filling and delicious and sure to keep you healthy. Yet another garlicky dressing crops up with this Tomato Salad with Red Peppers, Garlic, and Herbs



Classic Spinach Pie

Spinach is great in salads and more, and it’s such an amazingly healthy ingredient! Spinach is packed with vitamin C, beta-carotene, and antioxidants. There’s perhaps no spinach recipe more Greek than this Classic Spanakopita, or Spinach Pie.

The timeless appeal of spinach, onions and feta are why this iconic savory pie is such a classic, and its health benefits don’t hurt! Spinach also makes the perfect addition to this Avocado-Spinach Tabouleh, a grain salad that is great as a side or a main. 


Sweet Potato

I absolutely love this nutrient-rich vegetable, and it’s one that I end up using nonstop when fall arrives. This veggie is abundant in beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A, a key player in boosting your immune system. This recipe for Black Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Red Onions, and Cilantro could even be eaten as a snack or a dip, filled with refreshing flavors that will make you feel healthier immediately. Looking for sweet potato in a salad? Try Sheet Pan-Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Kale – it has a vegan basil pesto that you’ll want to put all over everything!