In a trying time like this one, it’s important to know that your immune system is working around the clock to keep you at your healthiest. Take an active role in protecting your body by feeding it some nutrient-rich superfoods. We’re listing five of our favorite superfoods that are great for your immune health!
1) Goji Berries
A superfood used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, goji berries are often noted as “the secret to eternal youth”. However, these berries are also extremely beneficial for your immune system! The goji berry boasts a very high level of antioxidants, which are known for their anti-inflammatory abilities and immune system-boosting benefits.
The goji berry is also specifically rich in Vitamins A, C, and E – so rich, in fact, that just one ounce of the goji berry provides you with approximately 36% of the proposed daily value of Vitamin A! All of these vitamins are known to augment and assist in immune function and fight against “free radicals” that have the potential to damage the body’s cells and negatively impact your immune system.
With a slightly sweet-but-tangy flavor, these berries can serve as a unique and tasty immune-boosting supplement to your favorite staples. We recommend blending some goji berries into your morning smoothies or steeping some into your daily tea!
One of the most well-known superfoods, ginger is known for being a powerful immune-booster. Filled with vitamins like iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc, ginger provides the human body with naturally occurring properties that help strengthen and maintain a powerful and healthy immune system.
Research has shown that this superfood is also both anti-inflammatory and has antioxidants. It is known to assist in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease due to its ability to inhibit inflammation in the brain. Additionally, ginger is a natural antibacterial and antibiotic that can help prevent and ward off a number of bacterial infections. It’s also a great anti-nausea agent!
Despite having a quite distinctive taste, ginger can be used as an ingredient in countless recipes and is a perfect way to incorporate an immune-strengthening superfood into your diet. Spice up your salad dressings or include it in your favorite get-better-quick soup!
Spirulina is what some call one of the most nutritionally complete superfoods on the planet. A freshwater blue-green algae that has been used by communities all over the world since the 9th century, Spirulina is chock-full of health benefits – including being great for your immune system.
Spirulina contains a range of vitamins, including vitamin B6, which helps with red blood cell production, and vitamin E, which is known to be an infection-fighting antioxidant. The bluish pigment found only in Spirulina, called phycocyanin, also packs a full punch with its immune health benefits – not only has it been shown to support the creation of white blood cells, but it also exhibits anti-inflammatory effects and promotes heart health.
With a fresh, nutty flavor, Spirulina is a versatile superfood that can be used in a multitude of different recipes to boost your immune health. We love the idea of including it in your post-workout smoothies, salad dressings, and energy-boosting bites. Check out our recipe for some amazing raw lemon-coconut spirulina balls here!
Cacao is a highly prized superfood by a variety of different cultures across the world. Mayan Kings deemed cacao as “Food of the Goods”, and there’s good reason for that. Containing a healthy balance of essential minerals, phytochemicals, healthy fats, and dietary nutrients, this superfood is one of a kind. It is clear that cacao is incredibly beneficial for your health in a number of ways – but one surprising benefit is that it is a highly effective immune system booster!
Cacao is extremely high in antioxidants – in fact, it has one of the highest antioxidant contents of any food in the world. Like goji berries, the antioxidants in cacao assist in protecting your body from damage from free radicals. Additionally, these antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties that help protect and strengthen your immune system and improve your cardiovascular health.
At Imlak’esh, we offer three products that contain just raw cacao – our cacao nibs, wafers, and powder! We love using the cacao nibs as a substitute for chocolate chips – especially in trail mix! Our cacao powder is great to use in your favorite chocolate elixirs, and check out this recipe that uses our cacao wafers and maca powder to create delicious keto cacao almond butter cups!
Look no further than turmeric when searching for an immunity-boosting superfood. Native to India, turmeric is known both as a delicious spice and for its variety of healing properties. Turmeric has been used in a medicinal capacity in South Asia for nearly four thousand years. High in antioxidants and other vitamins, this superfood is an incredible immune-system booster.
Turmeric contains both antioxidant and antibacterial properties and is highly effective in reducing symptom severity of sicknesses like the common cold and influenza. Research has also shown that it also actively protects the body from free radical damage and has also shown to be an effective way to slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease.
Because turmeric is a spice, the possibilities are endless for this superfood. We recommend trying a turmeric latte as an alternative to your morning coffee or including it an immunity-boosting detox soup!