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SuperFood Secrets by Jenny Travens 1. Kale At just over a dollar a bunch, kale is a member of the dark, leafy greens group. It's loaded with vitamin C and vitamin B as well as calcium. Want to relieve depression? Eat kale. Emeril's Sauteed Kale Yield: 2 to 4 servings Ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1?2 teaspoon crushed red pepper 3 cloves garlic 2 bunches kale, roughly chopped 1 cup vegetable stock or water 1 teaspoon salt Method: In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. After 10-15 seconds, add the crushed red pepper, garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds. Add the greens, in batches, stirring between additions until the greens wilt slightly. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the stock, salt and cayenne and cover, continuing to cook until greens are just tender, 4 to 5 minutes longer. 2. Broccoli This low cost cruciferous vegetable has it all. Cruciferous vegetables are known for a compound that neutralizes toxins in the liver and helps cleanse the system. Broccoli Stir Fry 1 tbsp sesame seeds 1/4 cup vegetable stock 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp dark sesame oil 1 tbsp peanut oil 1 pound broccoli florets, rinsed and dried, chopped into bite-sized pieces 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger pinch red pepper flakes Method 1. Start by toasting the sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat. Watch carefully and remove from the heat when fragrant, being careful not to burn them. Set aside. 2. Turn a wok to medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp peanut oil to the wok and let heat up. Add in broccoli and stir fry for two minutes turning continually. Add in ginger and garlic with a drizzle more of peanut oil, still stirring continuously so not to burn either the garlic or the ginger. 3. At the same time, combine the stock, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Add into the wok and turn down the heat. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Cook 1 more minute. Top with sesame seeds and serve immediately. Serves 4. 3. Winter Squash Winter squash is only a few dollars a pound and when compared to the summer squash variety, it's much better for you. They're a good source of vitamin B6, which is important for the nervous and immune system, as well as folate for heart and pregnancy health. Butternut Squash Orzo 1 tbsp olive oil 1 shallot, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and deseeded, chopped into 1-inch cubes 1 cup orzo 3 cups water or vegetable broth 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated Method 1. Add olive oil to a large skillet and saute garlic and shallot until fragrant. 2. Add in butternut squash and saute until cooked through. 3. At the same time, bring 3 cups of water or broth to boil in a large pot. Cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. 4. Drain orzo and add into the skillet with the butternut squash. Top with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 4 4. Sweet Potatoes Photo: Sara Novak Sweet, savory, and downright delicious, nothing beats this winter staple. Sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber, protein, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Sweet Potato Pancakes ¾ cup organic all purpose flour 1 cup sweet potato puree 1 ½ tbsp sugar ¾ tbsp baking powder ½ tsp salt 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1/8 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp cinnamon Combine in another bowl: ¾ cup soy milk 1 ½ tbsp local butter 1 local egg ¼ tsp real vanilla extract Top with maple syrup Method 1. Mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients together. 2. Heat up the skillet to medium and add 1 tbsp butter to the skillet . 3. Let it melt and add ¼ cup batter to the skillet. Be careful so that it doesn't burn because it will burn easier with sweet potato in the recipe. Sweet Potato Mash Ingredients: 3 large sweet potatoes, diced 2 cups coconut milk 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground allspice 1 tablespoon ground cumin Salt and freshly ground pepper Method: In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, add the sweet potato, coconut milk, spices and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and mash the potatoes until they reach a slightly lumpy consistency. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 side servings 5. Cabbage Roger Doiron says, "what cabbage lacks in sex appeal and trendiness it makes up for in dependability and productivity." He's right. Cabbage is cheap and just like broccoli, it's a cruciferous super veggie. Braised Purple Cabbage with Goat Cheese 2 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil 1 head red cabbage, shredded 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup water 2 1/2 tbsp raw sugar 1/4 cup high quality organic goat cheese Method 1. Heat a Dutch oven or a large pot to medium. Once it's warmed up a bit, add the oil and the cabbage. Cover the pot. 2. Add the vinegar, water, and sugar and combine. 3. Cover and braise in the oven at 325 degrees for 2 hours. Stir every half hour or so. If the liquid completely evaporates, just add a little extra water. 4. Remove from the oven. Uncover and using your hands, break off small chunks of goat cheese and evenly dot the cabbage with it. 6. Apples Apples are our best foodie friends. Sweet, tangy, crunchy, and low in calories, apples have fiber and tons of phytochemicals or antioxidants that serve to fight free radicals in the body that cause disease and aging. Raw Brussels Sprout Salad (Chopped Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts, Green Apple, and Pecorino) 1 bunch Brussels sprouts, chopped ¼ large purple onion, thinly sliced ½ cup rice wine vinegar 1 medium green apple, sliced thinly and then cut in half ½ cup walnuts, chopped 1 cup grated pecorino ½ lemon, juiced ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil Sea salt to taste. Method 1. Add the Brussels sprouts to a large bowl. 2. Add onions to a small bowl and top with vinegar. Let stand for 15 minutes. 3. Remove onions from the vinegar and add them along with the apples, walnuts, pecorino, lemon juice, and olive oil to a large bowl and combine with your hands. Top with sea salt and let set in the fridge for 1 hour before serving just to meld the flavors. Photo: Sara Novak 7. Quinoa At $1 a pound quinoa is cheap and nutrient dense. Quinoa is a complete protein and can substitute for less sustainable proteins. Compared to other grains, quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc. Emeril's Quinoa With Butternut Squash Ingredients: 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed into small dice 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 cup uncooked quinoa 1teaspoon ground cinnamon 1teaspoon ground ginger 1 1/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper Method: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butternut squash and oil. Sauté until the squash begins to slightly soften and add the quinoa and spices. Lightly toast quinoa until golden and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add chicken stock and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes or until the squash is soft and the quinoa is fluffy. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 side servings 8. Brown Basmati Rice Talk about cheap, rice is one of the least expensive foods in the world. At just a few dollars a pound, a little goes a long way. I also love brown basmati rice, It's an excellent source of manganese and a good source of the minerals selenium and magnesium. Sweet Potato Red Curry with Baby Bok Choy and Tofu 1 cup organic brown basmati rice 2 cups plus ½ cup water 1 tsp salt 1 pound sweet potatoes, sliced in ¾ inch wedges, skins still on 6 large shallots, chopped 1 tbsp peanut oil plus more for frying 1 can organic coconut milk 2 tsp red curry paste 1 ½ tbsp brown sugar 2 tsp soy sauce 1 tbsp corn starch ½ cup chopped cilantro 4 baby bok choy, cut lengthwise into fourths 7 oz firm tofu, moisture removed and cut into 2-inch pieces Sea salt to taste 1 lime quartered Cilantro for garnish Method 1. Rinse rice a few times while bringing 2 cups water to boil with 1 tsp salt. Add in rice and turn down to a simmer cooking for 35 to 40 minutes and stirring periodically. 2. Add sweet potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Boil sweet potatoes for about 15 minutes, until a fork easily punctures the skin. 3. At the same time, add shallots and peanut oil into a wide skillet and cook on medium high until softened a bit. Add in coconut milk, ½ cup water, red curry paste, brown sugar, soy sauce, and corn starch and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add in cilantro and baby bok choy and cook 3 more minutes. Season with sea salt. 4. Get the tofu going as well by adding 1 to 2 inches of peanut oil to a deep skillet or pot and frying it over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Use a fork to turn the tofu to brown on all sides. This will take a few batches so be careful not to crowd the pot. When each batch is done, drain the grease over paper towels. 5. Add sweet potatoes and tofu to the coconut milk mixture and cook for three more minutes. Serve atop rice garnished with limes and cilantro. 9. Barley Barley is one of my favorite grains. The little bubbles burst in your mouth, full of flavor. Barley is rich in manganese, selenium, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium. Ayurvedic Kitchari 1 cup organic barley ½ cup whole organic mung beans 4 cups water 3 tbsp ghee 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp turmeric ½ tsp dried ginger 1 stick kombu 2 cubes vegetable bouillion ½ tsp sea salt 1 tsp cinnamon 4 cloves 1 zucchini, chopped 1 carrot, chopped 1 burdock root, chopped Garnish with Braggs amino acids, cilantro, and avocodo Method 1. Rinse barley and mung beans and soak for three hours or over night. 2. In a large pot add ghee and cumin seeds. Saute for two minutes. 3. Add turmeric, ginger, kombu, vegetable boullion, sea salt, cinnamon, cloves, mung beans, and barley. Make sure everything is coated with the ghee mixture. 4. Add water and cook on low for 40 minutes. Add in chopped vegetables and simmer until cooked through. 5. Garnish with Braggs, cilantro, and chopped avocado. Kitchari is a traditional Ayurvedic dish that's known for its ability to detox the body and balance all three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. For yogis that want to cleanse the body and soul in a gentle manner, kitchari provides ample nutrients while pushing the junk out of your body. It's made with mung beans, basmati rice (or barley in this case), seasonal vegetables, ghee, and spices. The mung beans are known for their ability to remove toxins, specifically pesticides and insecticides, from the body. Mung beans are also a source of protein and the barley provides ample carbohydrates and fiber. Photo: Sara Novak 10. Adzuki Beans Beans are one of the least expensive protein sources. In fact, these little guys contain some of the highest levels of protein and the lowest levels of fat of any variety of beans. They also contain high levels of potassium, fiber, B vitamins, iron, zinc, and manganese. Upscale Veggie Nachos 4 homemade tortillas 1 cup peanut oil 1 cup organic adzuki beans Sea Salt to taste ¼ tsp chili powder ¼ tsp cumin 1 cup local butter cheese, grated ½ cup scallions, chopped Hot sauce of your choice to taste ½ cup homemade crème fraiche (optional) or sour cream Method 1. Cut each tortilla like you would a pie, into four slices. 2. In a deep pot, heat up 3 inches of peanut oil to 350 degrees. 3. Set aside a paper towel to place the tortillas on when they are fried. 4. Add tortilla chips to the pot but be careful not to crowd the pot. Watch them carefully and flip after about a minute. When they are golden brown remove them from the heat with tongs. Place on paper towels. 5. Season the beans with salt, chili powder, and cumin. Top the chips with beans. 6. Top with cheese and melt under the broiler. 7. Top each chip with a few scallions and hot sauce. Serve immediately. Serves 2 11. Black Beans This is an obvious one, but no less important. Black beans are a good source of folate, dietary fiber, manganese, protein, magnesium, vitamin B1 (thiamin), phosphorus, and iron. Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili 2 tbsp olive oil 2 1/2 cups chopped onions 3 garlic cloves, chopped 2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch pieces, peeled butternut squash 2 tbsp chili powder 2 tsp ground cumin 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth 3 cups (packed) coarsely chopped Swiss chard leaves, stems removed Sea salt and pepper to taste Method 1. Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add in oil. Add in onions and garlic and sauté until fragrant and golden brown. 2. Add squash and sauté for 4 minutes. Stir in chili powder and cumin. Stir in beans and broth bring to a boil. 3.Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Add in Swiss chard and cook about 4 more minutesuntil tender but still bright green. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with chopped fresh cilantro, red onions, and grated cheddar cheese, if you like. Black Beans with Cilantro 1/4 lb dried black beans (2/3 cup), picked over and rinsed 1 small onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup) 2 fresh cilantro sprigs 1/2 tablespoon olive oil 6 cups cold water 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste Method Bring beans, onion, cilantro sprigs, oil, and water to a boil in a 2-quart heavy pot. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until beans are just tender, about 1 1/4 hours. Add salt and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is evaporated to just below level of beans. Season with salt and discard cilantro sprigs. Kemp's Black Beans 1 lb dried black beans (about 2 1/3 cups), picked over and rinsed (but not soaked) 1 medium onion, finely chopped 3 tablespoons olive oil 8 cups water 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/4 cup Sherry (cream or medium-dry) 1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar Method Bring black beans, onion, oil, water (8 cups), and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until beans are tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours (depending on age of beans). Thin to desired consistency with additional water. Stir in Sherry and remaining teaspoon salt, then soy sauce and vinegar to taste (start with 1 tablespoon each), and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Squash and Black Bean Stew With Tomatoes and Green Beans 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice 2 pounds Kabocha or butternut squash, halved, seeded, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces 4 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 15- to 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained 1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño chili 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro Method Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender and golden, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder and cumin and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juices; bring to boil. Stir in squash and green beans. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until vegetables are almost tender, about 12 minutes. Stir in black beans and jalapeño. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Black Bean Soup 1 1/2 cups dried black beans (10 oz), picked over and rinsed 8 bacon slices (7 oz), chopped (1 cup) 1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (3/4 cup) 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice (3/4 cup) 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped seeded fresh jalape&241;o chile 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled 3 qt reduced-sodium chicken broth (96 fl oz) 3/4 teaspoon white pepper 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro Method Cover beans with cold water by 3 inches in a bowl and soak at room temperature at least 8 hours, or quick-soak (see cooks' note, below). Drain well in a colander. Cook bacon in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a small bowl and pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot. Reserve 2 tablespoons chopped bacon for topping, then return remaining bacon to pot and heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, chile, oregano, bay leaf, and thyme and sauté, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add beans, chicken broth, and white pepper and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until beans are very tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Discard bay leaf and stir in cilantro. Serve soup topped with sour cream, chopped cilantro, and reserved bacon. Soup can be made 3 days ahead and cooled completely, then chilled, covered. Thin with water if desired when reheating. Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 cups chopped white onions 1 cup chopped red bell pepper 1 cup quinoa,* rinsed, drained 2 teaspoons chili powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon salt 11/2 cups water 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided Crumbled Cotija cheese or feta cheese (optional) Method Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and red pepper; sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in next 4 ingredients. Add water; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until quinoa is almost tender, about 14 minutes. Add beans and 1/4 cup cilantro; cook uncovered until heated through and liquid is fully absorbed, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cilantro and cheese, if desired. Black Bean and Rice Salad 1 cup long grain brown rice 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 Cubanelle chile or Italian frying pepper, trimmed and cut in 1/3-inch dice 1 medium red onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and minced 2 cups freshly cut white corn kernels (from 2 ears) or 1 box (10 ounces) frozen corn, thawed 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed well and drained 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar Freshly ground black pepper Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, just until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water until cool. Transfer to a large bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the same saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add the chile, onion and garlic and stir until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the corn and salt and cook, stirring, just until heated through, about 1 minute. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the rice and toss to mix. Add the beans, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the vinegar and toss well. Season with plenty of pepper and toss again. Caribbean Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained 1 14-ounce can light unsweetened coconut milk 1 cup canned vegetable broth 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice 3/4 teaspoon grated lime peel Method Stir cumin in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat 30 seconds. Add pumpkin, beans, coconut milk, broth and 3 tablespoons cilantro. Bring soup to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 3 minutes to blend flavors. Mix in lime juice and lime peel. Season soup with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro. Black-Bean and Tomato Quinoa 2 teaspoons grated lime zest 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 teaspoon sugar 1 cup quinoa 1 (14- to 15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained 2 medium tomatoes, diced 4 scallions, chopped 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro Method Whisk together lime zest and juice, butter, oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Wash quinoa in 3 changes of cold water in a bowl, draining in a sieve each time. Cook quinoa in a medium pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt for 2 quarts water), uncovered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in sieve, then set sieve in same pot with 1 inch of simmering water (water should not touch bottom of sieve). Cover quinoa with a folded kitchen towel, then cover sieve with a lid (don't worry if lid doesn't fit tightly) and steam over medium heat until tender, fluffy, and dry, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and remove lid. Let stand, still covered with towel, 5 minutes. Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 5 teaspoons olive oil, divided 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 2 cups coleslaw mix 2 green onions, chopped 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro 4 white or yellow corn tortillas 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese Bottled chipotle hot sauce or other hot sauce Method Place beans and cumin in small bowl; partially mash. Mix 2 teaspoons olive oil and lime juice in medium bowl; add coleslaw, green onions, and cilantro and toss to coat. Season slaw to taste with salt and pepper. Heat 3 teaspoons olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tortillas in single layer. Spoon 1/4 of bean mixture onto half of each tortilla; cook 1 minute. Fold tacos in half. Cook until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Fill tacos with feta and slaw. Pass hot sauce alongside. 12. Flaxseed Omega 3 fatty acids are an ever important building block nutrient that like B12, the body cannot produce on its own. Don’t worry because you can get the nutrient without fatty fish. Instead, get it from flaxseed. Emeril's Whole Wheat and Buckwheat Chicago Style Pizza with FlaxSeeds (Video) 13. Sunflower Seeds Photo: Creatas Images Sunflower seeds are one of the least expensive seeds that you can buy in bulk and if you buy the raw variety, they're quite good for you as well. Sunflower seeds have 76 percent of the RDA for vitamin E. A Healthy Alternative: Sunflower Seed Falafels 14. Sesame Seeds Great for sprinkling on all your favorite Asian dishes, who knew that they were so good for you? Again, a little goes a long way with this one. You don't need a whole lot to absorb the benefits. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium and magnesium. Who knew? Napa Cabbage and Sesame Slaw 3 tbsp rice vinegar 2 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp brown sugar 1/4 tsp red chili flakes 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 tbsp sesame oil 1 lb Napa cabbage, trimmed, cored, cut crosswise into very thin shreds 2 carrots, peeled, shredded 2 green onions, trimmed, sliced 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds 1. In a blender, pulse vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and chili flakes to dissolve sugar. With machine running, slowly pour in vegetable and sesame oils. To make ahead, refrigerate until ready to use; whisk before using. 2. In large bowl, toss cabbage, carrots and onions. Add dressing; toss well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Toss again. Serve immediately. (It wilts if it stands too long). 15. Almonds Photo: Sara Novak I saved the best for last. If you're not eating almonds, it's time to start. Almonds are good for heart health and loaded with vitamin E, an antioxidant that keeps you from aging. Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup with Almond Milk Unpasteurized grass-fed milk -- Raw organic milk from grass-fed cows contains both beneficial fats and bacteria that boost your immune system. An outstanding source of vitamin A, zinc, and enzymes, raw organic milk is not associated with any of the health problems of pasteurized milk such as rheumatoid arthritis, skin rashes, diarrhea and cramps. Although raw milk availability is limited in the US, depending on where you live, you can locate the source closest to you at RealMilk.com. Whey protein -- Even if you don't have access to raw milk, you can use a high-quality whey protein derived from the milk of grass-fed cows to receive much of the same health benefits. Whey protein contains beta-glucans and immunoglobulins, which protect your immune system and support your body's natural detoxification processes. Fermented foods -- If you are serious about boosting your immunity, then adding traditionally fermented food is essential. One of the most healthful fermented foods is kefir -- an ancient cultured, enzyme-rich food full of friendly microorganisms that balance your "inner ecosystem" and strengthen immunity. Besides kefir, other good fermented foods include natto, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, and olives. Raw organic eggs from free-range chickens – Raw, free-range eggs made it to my 2008 list of the 10 Healthiest Foods Under $1, and they're still an inexpensive and amazing source of high-quality nutrients that many people are deficient in, especially high-quality protein and fat. A single egg contains: • Nine essential amino acids. • Six grams of the highest quality protein you can put in your body. Proteins are nutrients that are essential to the building, maintenance and repair of your body tissues such as your skin, internal organs and muscles. They are also the major components of your immune system and hormones. • Lutein and zeaxanthin (for your eyes). • Choline for your brain, nervous- and cardiovascular systems. • Naturally occurring B12 And as long as you have a good source for fresh, organic eggs, you need not worry about salmonella if you choose to eat them raw. To find free-range pasture farms, try your local health food store, or go to http://www.eatwild.com orhttp://www.localharvest.org. Grass-fed beef or organ meats -- Grass-fed beef is very high in vitamins A, B12 and E, omega-3 fats, beta carotene, zinc and the potent immune system enhancer CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid). But don't confuse "organic" with grass-fed, since many organically raised cows are still fed organic corn, which you don't want. However, most grass-fed cows are raised organically. Coconut oil -- Besides being excellent for your thyroid and your metabolism, coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which converts in your body to monolaurin – a compound also found in breast milk that strengthens a baby's immunity. Its medium chain fatty acids, or triglycerides (MCT's) also impart a number of health benefits, including raising your body's metabolism and fighting off pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and fungi. Additionally, a very exciting and recent discovery is that coconut oil may serve as a natural treatment for Alzheimer's disease, as MCT's are also a primary source of ketone bodies, which act as an alternate source of brain fuel that can help prevent the brain atrophy associated with dementia. Make sure you choose an organic coconut oil that is unrefined, unbleached, made without heat processing or chemicals, and does not contain GM ingredients. Berries -- Blueberries and raspberries rate very high in antioxidant capacity compared to other fruits and vegetables. They are also lower in sugar than many other fruits. Other good ones include natural cranberries, which have five times the antioxidant content of broccoli, and have been found to decrease total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in animal studies. Unsweetened cranberry juice has also been traditionally used to successfully treat urinary tract infections. Broccoli – Broccoli is also on Green Planet's list, and for good reason. This humble vegetable is indeed a superfood with near miraculous powers of healing and disease prevention. It contains the highest amount of isothiocyanates, a cancer-fighting compound, of all the crunchy vegetables. Isothiocynates work by turning on cancer-fighting genes and turning off others that feed the disease. Other vegetables containing isothiocyanate include: • Brussel sprouts • cauliflower • cabbage • arugula • watercress • horseradish Research has shown that eating cruciferous vegetables can significantly reduce your risk of breast, bladder, lung and prostate cancer. Best of all, you don't need to eat massive amounts of these veggies to take advantage of their health benefits. Studies have shown that just 10 spears a week (5 servings) can make a difference in your health. Chlorella – A superfood if there ever was one, chlorella is a single-cell freshwater algae that acts as an efficient detoxification agent by binding to toxins (most of which promote chronic inflammation), such as mercury, and carrying them out of your system. The chlorophyll in the chlorella helps you process more oxygen, cleanses your blood and promotes the growth and repair of your tissues. (For more information, please see my interview with expert, Ginny Banks.) Tea – As for beverages, clean pure water is a must for optimal health, but if you want another beverage, a good choice with added health benefits is high quality herbal teas. Matcha tea is the most nutrient-rich green tea and comes in the form of a stone-ground powder, completely unfermented. The best Matcha comes from Japan and has up to 17 times the antioxidants of wild blueberries, and seven times more than dark chocolate. Tulsi is another tea loaded with antioxidants and other micronutrients that support immune function and heart health.