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4 Power Powders to Supercharge Your Immunity

Emotional ups and downs, environmental pollutants, poor sleep, bugs on elevator buttons – all stressors that can inundate our immune system on a daily basis. Over time, these immune challenges can compromise our ability to not only ward off the usual round of colds and flus circulating the workplace and schoolyard, but potentially several more odious conditions such as heart disease.

And as parents and kids slowly transition back into “real life” post-summer break, chances are high that more people will be susceptible to catching at least a sniffle or cough in the coming months. Thankfully, research is finding that certain superfood powders have a nutritional make-up to fortify the immune system that can help keep everyone in your family on their feet. And we have heard a heck of a lot about immunity during COVID times since a healthy immune system plays a big role in limiting the severity of the virus symptoms.

So keep your immune system in fighting shape for the long haul by welcoming these feel-good powders into your kitchen. While stirring any of these powders into yogurt or blending into smoothies are easy ways to use them, here are four unique (and delicious!) ways to add more to your day.

1. Elderberry Powder

With nearly everyone concerned about immunity these days, it’s not surprising that elderberry has experienced an upsurge in interest. For seemingly eons, the fruit of the Sambucus tree has been used by cultures around the globe to strengthen immune function, a benefit with support from modern day research. For instance, this study determined that the use of elderberry can be very effective at reducing upper respiratory symptoms due to viral infections including influenza and the common cold. Music to the ears of any parent with children prone to coming down with school-year sniffles. Since elderberries have a high skin-to-flesh ratio, they are especially rich in anthocyanins, potent antioxidants that can lessen oxidative stress and inflammation in the body and fire up the immune system. Interestingly, anthocyanins have received scientific interest as a potential way to improve brain functioning as we age. As with all berry superfood powders, it’s important to use an elderberry powder that has been freeze-dried, which preserves its nutritional value.

Make: Elderberry Vinaigrette

In a bowl, whisk together 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp. Navitas Organics Elderberry Powder, 2 tsp. grainy Dijon mustard, 1 chopped shallot, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.

2. Camu Powder

This pucker-inducing Amazonian fruit is known for containing record-breaking amounts of vitamin C. A mere teaspoon delivers more than seven times the daily requirement for this immune-benefiting nutrient. In other words, if you work some camu powder into your diet, there is no need to supplement with vitamin C. It appears higher intakes of vitamin C can support the immune system using a multi-pronged approach, including increasing the production of immune cells such as white blood cells and helping neutralize harmful free radicals generated from environmental stressors including air pollution. So it’s not surprising that a healthy dose of vitamin C can help reduce the duration and severity of colds. Interestingly, all this vitamin C can also help our bodies better absorb the form of iron found in plant-based foods like beans and lentils. Far from a one-hit-wonder, the camu berry also supplies a surfeit of phytochemicals that can further fire up your immune system and deliver anti-aging benefits.

Make: Granola Camu Chia Pudding

Place 1/3 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk, 1 package (12 ounces) soft tofu, 1 cup strawberries, 2 Tbsp. Navitas Organics Camu Powder, 2 tsp. honey, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp. ginger powder and a pinch of salt in a blender, and blend until smooth. Divide mixture among two wide-mouth jars and stir 3 Tbsp. Navitas Organics Chia Seeds into each jar. Seal shut and chill overnight to thicken. When ready to serve, top each jar with some granola and chopped nuts.

3. Superfood + Immunity Blend

If you are hunting for another way to ramp up your intake of immune-boosting vitamin C, look no further than Navitas Organics' Superfood+ Immunity Blend: a winning mix of camu, orange and acerola cherry powders. All you need is a teaspoon of this power powder to benefit from more than five times the daily need for vitamin C. The vitamin C payload is thanks in part to acerola cherry, a sweet-tart fruit native to verdant areas of Central and South America. Higher intakes of vitamin C can be particularly effective to athletes, including runners whose training can place them at risk for suffering from upper respiratory infections like the common cold. On top of supporting immunity, higher intakes of vitamin C have been linked to a lower risk for diabetes and high blood pressure. Best of all: the citrusy flavor of this blend will make anything you add it to taste like sunshine!

Make: Superfruit Gazpacho

Place 2/3 cup water, 2 Tbsp. Navitas Organics Superfood+ Immunity Blend, 3 chopped tomatoes, 1 chopped red bell pepper, 1 chopped peeled cucumber, 1/4 cup fresh mint, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 chopped scallion, 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a blender, and blend until nearly smooth. With the machine is running on low speed, slowly drizzle in 2 Tbsp. olive oil through the top feed tube. Chill for at least two hours before serving.

4. Acai Powder

Tasting like a lovechild of berry and chocolate, this edible gift from the Amazon region of South America has off-the-chart antioxidant levels, which may give it cancer-fighting, immune-elevating efficacy. Anthocyanin antioxidants are what lend this blueberry sized berry its fetching deep blue hue. A novel way in which such plant-based chemicals can support a robust immune system is by helping to support a thriving microbiome in our digestive tracts. And we now know there is a strong connection between our microbiome and immune health. That makes these great balls of energy a perfect way to power your day.

Make: Minty Acai Balls

Soak 1 cup pitted dates in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain well and pat excess moisture away with a paper towel. Place 1 cup raw almonds in a food processor and blend into the size of coarse sand. Add drained dates, 3 Tbsp. Navitas Organics Acai Powder, 1/3 cup fresh mint, 2 tsp. lemon zest, 1 tsp. cinnamon and salt, and blend until mixture clumps together. Roll mixture into 1-inch sized balls. You should get 10 balls.