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Blend Your Way to Good Health: Boost Your Immune System with Smoothies

A popular quote by Hippocrates states, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Science today has proven that a healthy diet can, in fact, act like medicine by keeping our immune systems strong and our bodies operating optimally. By eating the right foods—an abundance of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, among other things—our bodies are kept nourished and strong against illness, infection, and disease.

But at times, especially as the cold season approaches, our bodies can still become ill. It is during this time of year that the numbers of colds, flu, and other infectious illness rise. One of the best ways to avoid or get rid of illness is to naturally strengthen the immune system through nutrition. And, one of the best ways to do this is through smoothies.

A smoothie can be a great immune-boosting food because they are loaded with nutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants and they are liquid, which means they are easy for the body to digest and assimilate. There are many different ways of making smoothies, most of which are helpful for strengthening the body's defenses against illness, but it is important to know exactly what to put in a smoothie to strengthen the immune system.

  1. Make sure to only use fresh, natural ingredients. Don't use processed products in your smoothies.
  2. Avoid high sugar smoothies. Even when healthy sugars from fruits are used, it is still a lot of sugar to put into your body at one time, and too much sugar in any form can weaken immunity. It’s best to make a balanced smoothie that's low in sugar and contains some protein, essential fats, and fiber.
  3. Include nutrient-dense and low sugar ingredients such as vegetables and supergreens: kale, spinach, spirulina, chlorella, or collard greens.
  4. Additions like ginger make great additions to smoothies to help in aiding digestion and immunity.
  5. Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit are great additions to immune smoothies because they are high in vitamin c—a vitamin known to help boost immunity.
  6. Berries are also great in immune smoothies because they contain a high level of antioxidants and nutrients.

But, for those who would rather follow a recipe than create their own concoction, you can follow one of these great immune-boosting smoothie recipes:

Ginger Cran Super C Juice

Includes grapefruit, oranges, lime, cranberries, and ginger.

KALE SUPER-SMOOTHIE

Includes kale, grapefruit, spirulina powder, a banana, and water.

Immune Boosting Smoothie

Includes mint leaves, grapefruit, strawberries, ginger, and ice.

Turmeric Milk: For Immune System Support

Includes turmeric root powder, coconut oil, vegan milk of choice, sweetener to taste, cinnamon, ginger, and ashwagandha powder.

Photo credit: TanyaS

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