With snow on the ground, an icy-cold beverage might be the last thing you’re craving. But it’s amazing what a little dose of fresh fruits and vegetables can do for your mood and your health. At this point in the winter, you’re tired, you’re sluggy, and your immune system could probably use some help.
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to help your body protect against illnesses all year long is to regularly consume foods and drinks that have certain immune boosting qualities. Look for fruits and vegetables that have high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
You’ve heard it all before. “Eat your fruits and veggies”—but, really, do it! You’ll feel better. You’ll have energy, and if you make juice and smoothies part of your life, you’ll come across unique flavor combinations that will add excitement to your every day diet.
Fiber is good for you, so eating these natural foods raw or cooked also has benefits, but if you’re on a time crunch, or just want to be sure you’ve received your daily dose before leaving the house, try mixing up a smoothie, juice or tea that include one or more of these immune boosting ingredients.
Beets boosts your immune system but it also benefits your health in a number of other ways. The essential nutrients present in beet juice include beta carotene, vitamin C, carotenoids, sulphur, calcium, iron, potassium choline and manganese. That means, beet juice can cleanse your blood, help strengthen gallbladder and liver function and improve bran function. It doesn’t make a great juice on its own, so try this one carrots and oranges for a super burst of antioxidants.
Cranberry juice is delicious on its own. No health reasons necessary. But isn’t it nice when healthy foods taste great too? Real cranberry juice (not juice blend) is a good source of antioxidants and vitamin C. It can also help prevent heart disease and improve the urinary track.
- Green tea is the perfect drink anytime you get sick. It introduces epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, into the body. EGCG is known to fight bacteria and prevent viruses from multiplying. Add lemon and double up on immune fighting power.
- Kiwi is another incredible immunity boosting fruit. It’s very tart so you might enjoy it more mixed with banana or strawberries and a healthy dose of mixed greens. Kiwi juice contains vitamins A, C and E which are all essential for fighting diseases. The fiber and potassium in kiwi also makes it good for your heart.
- Carrot juice is sweet and delicious all on its own, but it has endless juice and smoothie mixing potential. Carrot and orange or apple juice with some ginger makes a nice blend. Carrot juice benefits the immune system by bringing vitamin B complex, vitamin C, potassium, iron, sodium, phosphorus which prevents illness, and helps the nervous system and liver and intestinal function.
Broccoli brings beta-carotene, vitamin B1 and C, calcium, protein, potassium and sulphur. It’s best to mix broccoli or broccoli juice with other lighter juices to help dilute the strong flavor. Apples are always a safe bet.
- Lemon juice helps cut the flavors of other stronger flavors like beet or broccoli, but it’s also a great addition to tea. The inexpensive fruit packs lots of antioxidants and vitamin C to improved immunity. It also balances levels of alkali and aides in the body.
Apple cider vinegar may be the most surprising to some, but the main ingredient in this vinegar is basic apple juice which has a wide range of necessary vitamins and minerals, and the vinegar helps the efficiency of the immune system. Put a tablespoon in your water, tea or smoothie to get the benefits.