SUPER Foods to Boost Immune System AND Reduce Stress
I know, I know. There’s that buzzword “superfoods” again. But before you divert your attention elsewhere, I just have to share with you that these magical nutrient-dense foods are so called SUPER for very good reason! I hope you’ll give them a try to see how easy it is to add these foods to boost immune system and reduce stress to your daily routine in an extremely delicious way!
We live in such a fast paced world filled with so many distractions and the never-ending pressure to push ourselves beyond our limits. It is easy to forget why we are here, let alone find the time to take care of ourselves along the way.
My approach is to slow down as much as I can, especially during my busiest times, breathe, forgive myself, tune into my body, remember that I can choose again, and support myself with nourishing adaptogenic SUPER foods to boost immune system and keep my stress levels down.
In my new book Healing Tonics, Juices, and Smoothies: 100+ Elixirs to Nurture Body and Soul I describe superfoods as “nutrient-dense foods considered advantageous for overall well-being.
They are usually consumed in smaller dosages than their edible counterparts. For example, you wouldn’t eat more than a few tablespoons of cacao powder, while you could eat an entire bunch of kale.”
Throughout the book you’ll find so many different uses for the superfoods listed below (along with SO many more), as well as fun facts, my favorite sources, an entire ingredient glossary covering their health benefits, and more.
Adding any of these superfoods into your life is a quick and easy way to boost your immune system and overall wellbeing. When our bodies are stronger, they are more adept at combating all the toxins and stressors that come at us daily.
With more energy and freedom we are able to better handle stress and establish a more balanced state to walk through life. These superfoods are delicious, nourishing, and supportive, helping us find optimal health.
Narrowing this list down to just 11 is pretty difficult, and next week my list might be different as my body’s needs shift and knowledge expands, but these have all been such an integral part of my life for quite some time, so they’ve definitely earned it.
11 Best Superfoods to Boost Immune System
Also known as Indian ginseng, Ashwaghanda is a root used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine that is high in antioxidants.
It is used to fight cancer and diabetes, regulate the thyroid and adrenal glands, increase stamina, relieve stress, reduce inflammation, treat asthma, promote sexual health, and ease arthritis pain.
I'm sure you see why it tops this list of foods to boost immune system!
Moringa leaf powder is a magical green superfood native to Africa and Asia that is easily grown and very sustainable; the seeds and roots are also used medicinally and for water purifying benefits.
It provides significant amounts of protein, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and E. This powerful plant also delivers a good source of antioxidants, fights inflammation, relieves some symptoms of diabetes, supports brain health, protects the liver and cardiovascular health, and shows antifungal and antibacterial benefits that are beneficial to healing wounds, blood and urinary tract infections, and digestive issues.
This is a great, lesser-known supergreen that can be added to your green smoothie recipes, chia pudding, raw desserts, and more.
Tumeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family indigenous to southwest India that’s used fresh or dried as a powder.
Most known for the active ingredient curcumin, turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years with a wide range of health benefits.
It acts as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, antibacterial, and antiviral. Consuming with both black pepper and healthy fats (i.e., coconut milk, coconut oil, nut or seed butters, etc.) tremendously enhances its bioavailability in the body, which increases the profound positive medicinal benefits it has to offer.
Spirulina is a cyanobacteria that is considered to be one of the most potent foods on the planet! Spirulina detoxifies heavy metals, eliminates candida, lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol, boosts energy and endurance, alleviates allergies and sinus issues, speeds weight loss, prevents cancer, and so much more!
It is high in antioxidants and chlorophyll, is a complete protein source, and is a good source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, C, D and E, as well as calcium (26 times that of milk), potassium, chromium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, sodium, selenium, and zinc.
It is also a highly absorbable source of iron. If you have the ability to get your hands on fresh spirulina, make sure to give it a try; it is leaps and bounds more magical than it’s dried counterpart!
WANT THE ABOVE 4 SUPERFOODS IN 1 EASY DRINK?
Learn more about Blender Babes' favorite (and tasty!) way to get these harder to find superfood ingredients here.
Nettle is a safe and extremely nourishing, supportive, adaptogenic herb that grows in abundance as a wild edible.
It has an extensive list of health benefits including being used to ease joint paint and arthritis, support urinary issues, clear eczema, stop internal and external bleeding, purify the blood, relieve congestion, reduce inflammation, boost immunity, support oral health, and promote thyroid health.
- USE TIP: I regularly drink the tea, add dried powder to my blended drinks, use the tea as the liquid base for homemade milks, and cook with it in soups, to name a few.
Chaga is widely regarded as the “king of medicinal mushrooms,” known by Siberians as the “Gift from God” and the “Mushroom of Immortality.”
It grows primarily on birch trees in colder climates in the Northern Hemisphere and is very woody. It is inedible unless decocted into a tea, ground into a fine powder, or extracted in alcohol. We source ours from local wild crafters utilizing sustainable practices.
Chaga is used for longevity, immune support, digestive support, as an anti-cancer, is extremely high in antioxidants and nutrients, and it is considered the most potent adaptogen.
- USE TIP: I like to keep a pot of chaga brewing on my stove (especially in the winter) and will use it as my liquid for brewing coffee or tea, cooking grains or beans, as a soup stock base, and so much more!
Also known as Tulsi, Sanskrit for “the incomparable one,” Holy Basil is regarded in Ayurveda as an “elixir of life,” known to promote longevity.
It can be used to care for oral health, relieve stress and muscle pain, reduce inflammation, support the respiratory system, and treat fever, asthma, and heart disease.
- TIP FROM THE BOOK: The trifecta of shilajit, holy basil, and ashwaghanda is one of my staple superfood combos. I add it to so many of my drinks and always have a jar of it pre-blended and ready to go!
Raw cacao (in the form of nibs, powder, paste, or butter) is the pure, unprocessed form of the well-known cocoa or chocolate.
It is packed with powerful antioxidants, as well as many vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, sulfur, iron, manganese, potassium, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, C and E.
Cacao is used as a mood enhancer, aphrodisiac, and hormone balancer.
Raw cacao also helps to prevent heart disease, resets metabolism, improves skin health, increases cognitive function, boosts energy, aids digestion, and provides the body with healthy fats.
The word cacao is derived from the Mayan word ka’kau’. It was a drink of the Mayan gods, and the beans were used as currency, often hollowed out as counterfeit.
Everything is better with cacao! Try upgrading that cocoa powder for the real deal and making this superfood raw chocolate candy recipe!
Maca is a deliciously sweet and slightly malty root vegetable that grows in the high Andes of Peru and has long been used for its potent medicinal benefits.
Maca is a safe adaptogen that is rich in vitamins B, C, and E and provides a good dosage of amino acids, calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and phosphorous.
It is also used as an aphrodisiac to increase libido and endurance.
- USE TIP: This is a superfood that I like to take occasional short breaks from, as it may become ineffective with long-term consistent use; when I return to using it regularly I feel the benefits much more. Due to its increase in popularity and the research on its many health benefits, this plant has recently become highly sought after, with prices increasing with the interference of Chinese brokers. Be careful where you source this superfood.
Hemp seeds are insanely powerful nutritional superheroes! They are filled with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, rich in protein and healthy fats, and a good source of vitamin E, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, and zinc.
Hemp seeds are used to reduce the risk of heart disease, support skin health, relieve symptoms of menopause and PMS, and aid digestion.
- USE TIP: I love adding these to any smoothie or hot or cold elixir for a creamier, more protein-rich drink! They’re also amazing sprinkled on salads.
Nicknamed the “Destroyer of Weaknesses,” Shilajit is an organic mineral pitch known as the “rock of life” from the terrain of the Himalayas. It is considered the root of Ayurvedic medicine.
Taken alone this herb will strengthen the immune system, fortify cells and muscles, and can be used as an anti-oxidant, an anti-stressor, anti-allergen, and anti-asthmatic.
It is also historically regarded to increase longevity and have nutritional, cleansing, and detoxifying properties. When taken in conjunction with other Ayurvedic herbs their benefits are said to be tenfold.
- STORAGE TIP: Do not refrigerate or leave in a cool, moist space, as shilajit will turn to a still useable, yet rocky, gooey substance.
To I hope you enjoyed my list of the best super foods to boost immune system and reduce stress in your life! 🙂
To learn more about how to use these amazing superfoods, and many more check out my new book Healing Tonics, Juices, and Smoothies: 100+ Elixirs to Nurture Body and Soul.