It’s easy to get sick in the cold. Lower temperatures weaken the immune system and allow viruses to spread more easily.
To keep from getting sick, it’s important to have a healthy lifestyle. Everything from your diet to regular exercise can impact your body’s ability to resist infection.
So why not start your day with a smoothie that’s not only tasty but full of ingredients that can prevent and fight sickness?
Here are the top 7 ingredients you can add to your smoothie to enhance its immune-boosting qualities:
Ginger is a root that’s widely used as both a spice and a medicine. You can find fresh ginger at almost any grocery store.
Because it has so many nutrients and health benefits, it’s considered a superfood. It’s loaded with antioxidants and bioactive compounds that help slow any damage to your cells.
Ginger helps with various pains like indigestion and nausea, especially morning sickness. It’s also an anti-inflammatory that’s very effective against oral bacterias that cause gum diseases. And it’s a potent expectorant capable of treating coughs.
Grind a little ginger into your smoothie and you’ll get all these health benefits and more. But don’t overdo it. Ginger has a very powerful taste. If you put in too much, it will mask the other smoothie flavors.
Garlic is a vegetable that comes from a flowering plant and is related to the onion. It’s been used as a spice and a medicine for a long time as well.
As an antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal agent, garlic helps fight off all kinds of microorganisms. It’s also a preventative treatment. It boosts your white blood cells’ defense against viruses like the cold and flu. And if you do get sick, garlic can soften your symptoms.
Use a garlic press to crush a clove or two of garlic into your smoothie. That way, you make sure it gets blended in well. And as with ginger, you don’t want to add too much or it might overpower the smoothie’s taste.
Turmeric is an old spice and natural remedy that comes from a root. You can buy it fresh or already ground at the grocery store.
As a potent anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant, turmeric helps fight against viral replication and reduce inflammation. It also improves your digestion and cleanses your respiratory tract.
Add just a pinch of turmeric to your smoothie to do the job.
Lemon is a sour citrus fruit that has a lot of vitamin C—a natural antioxidant that helps produce white blood cells that fight off infection.
The fruit also contains a lot of the mineral zinc, which helps boost your immune system by improving your gut health and balancing your hormones and brain function.
In addition, lemon contains a lot of potassium, which helps normalize your blood pressure and regulate your body’s water balance.
Instead of pouring bottled lemon juice into your smoothie, we recommend squeezing in fresh lemon juice. Fresh lemon contains less preservatives and significantly more vitamin C.
Honey is a sweet viscous liquid produced by bees. You can find it at any grocery store, and if you’re lucky, you might even find some made by local bees.
Honey is an excellent smoothie ingredient because it has phytochemicals with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-cancer, and antioxidant properties. The many phytonutrients include flavonoids and polyphenols that act as antioxidants to protect the structural integrity of your cells and tissues.
Among other important vitamins and minerals, honey also contains calcium, copper, iron, and magnesium.
When shopping, get local honey if you can because it’s a natural antiseptic that can help fight against allergies from local pollen and prevent the growth of dangerous microorganisms.
Kale is a leafy, green plant that originates in the eastern Mediterranean and Asia. On its own, raw kale has a very strong taste. But if you mix it in a smoothie, other ingredients will soften the taste.
Kale is great for smoothies because it contains a lot of vitamin C and helps regenerate other antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin A as well.
Kale also contains important nutrients like zeaxanthin, lutein, folate, magnesium, and fiber, which help fortify your immune system.
Last but not least, spinach is another leafy green that originates in Persia. It also contains a lot of antioxidants, including high levels of vitamin C and beta carotene.
It’s great for smoothies because it retains all its nutrients when it’s not cooked. Spinach also supports a healthy heart and protects enzymes that repair DNA damage.
Well, now you’re ready to concoct the perfect smoothie for cold and flu season. Add a few or all of the above ingredients to your blend, and then top it with some healthy nuts and seeds. Then enjoy drinking and know that you’re better off for it!