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Are There Foods You Can Eat to Boost the Immunity for HPV?

author image August McLaughlin
August McLaughlin is a certified nutritionist and health writer with more than nine years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in various magazines such as "Healthy Aging," "CitySmart," "IAmThatGirl" and "ULM." She holds specializations in eating disorders, healthy weight management and sports nutrition. She is currently completing her second cookbook and Weight Limit—a series of body image/nutrition-related PSAs.
Are There Foods You Can Eat to Boost the Immunity for HPV?
A close-up of roasted almonds in a bowl. Photo Credit badmanproduction/iStock/Getty Images

More people are affected by the human papillomavirus than any other sexually transmitted disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although most people do not experience notable symptoms, certain types of HPV can cause warts on your genitals or in your throat, or cancer in your genitals, anus, neck or head. In 90 percent of cases, the immune system eliminates symptoms within two years. Emphasizing nutritious foods in your diet may enhance this process.


Nuts are top sources of magnesium -- a mineral your body requires for healthy bones a strong immune system function. Although full-fledged magnesium deficiencies are rare, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, most people in the United States consume too little. One ounce of almonds, cashews, peanuts or mixed nuts provides 15 to 20 percent of adults' recommended daily intake of magnesium. Nut butters, such as almond and peanut, also provide rich amounts.

Cold-Water Fish

For heightened immune function, the Cleveland Clinic suggests limiting or eliminating red and fried meats from your diet and relying upon fish for protein instead. As saturated fat sources, fatty meats may increase inflammation, which is one way your body responds to infections and disease. Cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring and halibut, contribute rich amounts of protein, which supports immune function, and omega-3 fatty acids -- healthy fats with anti-inflammatory properties. Halibut is also a valuable source of magnesium.

Whole Grains

Whole grains have not been stripped of valuable nutrient content during food processing. As a result, they provide more antioxidants, such as selenium and magnesium, than refined grains such as white flour. Antioxidants support your body's ability to resist and heal from illnesses. The rich fiber content of whole grains also promotes strong immune function, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Valuable options include oats, barley, wild rice, brown rice and air-popped popcorn.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are prime sources of antioxidants such as betacarotene, vitamin C and lycopene. To reap the most immune system-boosting benefits, the Cleveland Clinic suggests not overcooking vegetables, which reduces some of their nutrient content. Particularly antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables include berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, cantaloupe, tomatoes, bell peppers, leafy greens and broccoli.

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