There are so many supposed methods for boosting your immune system floating around the internet these days. Many of them are based on evidence, but countless other approaches have no scientific merit whatsoever. Before you begin in-depth research into how you can enhance your immunity, I recommend trying the most simple and effective strategy out there: start eating more delicious immune-boosting foods.
One food category that is typically effective in helping to boost immunity is berries. The black raspberry is one of my favorites because of its high levels of health-promoting properties. Its dark color is an indication of its high bioactive concentrations such as ellagic acid, ellagitannins, anthocyanins, and quercetin. Researchers have found that black raspberries appear to modulate dendritic cells (the ones you learned about in college biology that act as messengers to the body’s immune system).
The compounds found in blackberries also have positive effects on cancer. Patients with Barrett’s esophagus, a precancerous lesion, were given black raspberry and the results show that black raspberries make the lesion less aggressive, reducing the cellular changes that herald the progression to cancer. The same has been seen with precancerous polyps.
Beyond immune function, black raspberries have also been shown to have positive effects on patients with pre-diabetes and activation of stem cells. Researchers working at the Korea University Anam Hospital in Seoul found that patients who consumed black raspberry powder had a reduction in the stiffness of their blood vessels – an indication that the vessels were getting healthier and a reflection of the beneficial effects of more circulating stem cells.
One easy way to consume black raspberries regularly, that many people are unaware of, is in powder form. It is easy to add to smoothies while maintaining the beneficial properties and delicious flavor. I enjoy BerriHealth’s Black Raspberry Powder because it is super high quality. One of my favorite BerriHealth recipes is the Black Raspberry and Pomegranate Frosty because it boasts all of the benefits of black raspberry plus pomegranate juice, which I am also a major fan of (find out why here).
BerriHealth’s Black Raspberry and Pomegranate Frosty
- ½ cup 100-percent pomegranate juice
- ¼ cup of cold water
- 1 banana
- 2 rounded teaspoons of BerriHealth’s Black Raspberry powder
- 1 rounded teaspoon of ground flaxseed
- 1 cup ice cubes (more or less according to your taste)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy a delicious smoothie packed with powerful anthocyanin antioxidants.