Mahatma Gandhi once said, “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold or silver”. Without health, you simply can’t live your life to the fullest and be the best version of yourself. Health does and always will come first. In times of uncertainty such as the global situation we find ourselves in now, it’s paramount, now more than ever to focus on both our mental and physical health and ultimately our immune systems. It’s our immune system that’s responsible for fighting viruses, infections and anything else the natural environment decides to throw at our bodies. Now more than ever, with COVID-19 spreading quickly around the world, it’s important to do everything we can to boost our immune systems. Luckily, eating healthily with your immune system in mind doesn’t have to be difficult but I’ll admit that cooking and preparing daily meals can take a bit of time- something not all of us have, even in quarantine. That’s why I’ve decided to share with you my top drinks to boost your immune system. These take little to no time to prepare and can be consumed multiple times a day meaning you’re constantly flooding your body with vitamins and immune-boosting nutrients that will keep your body strong and able to fight viruses and infections.
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Green smoothies are a great way to get your daily greens in, especially if you’re not too keen on them. Green smoothie ingredient combinations are endless quite frankly but as a rule, I tend to stick with one variety of greens, either kale or spinach, then either cucumber or celery and two fruits of my choice. Then I add ginger, turmeric or lemon depending on what I have to hand. This tends to be the best trick for achieving the desired consistency and flavour profiles. As green smoothies are packed full of such a large variety of fruit and veg they deliver a huge punch of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that immediately boost your immune system.
Here is my favourite, go-to smoothie recipe; Ultimate Immunity Green Smoothie.
WILD BERRY SMOOTHIE
Berries are full of antioxidants (molecules that boost the immune system) while being low in sugar. They are great for your skin, bone health and they are even thought to lower blood pressure. Berries, especially strawberries are one of the best sources of Vitamin C around, which increases cellular functions in the immune system.
To make the perfect plant-based berry smoothie blend 1.5 cups of fresh or frozen berries, 1 banana, half a cup of coconut yoghurt and 1.5 cups of milk of choice (almond, coconut, soya) or even water. (You can omit the yoghurt if you don’t have it)
This powerhouse of a natural drink contains many benefits that will no doubt support your immune system at this critical time. Coconut water is extremely hydrating, mainly due to its high content of potassium, manganese, Vitamin C and natural electrolytes. It’s also known to be high in fibre which contributes to a healthy digestive system reducing the number of toxins in your body. Staying hydrated is also extremely important not only for your immune system but also for your energy levels and mood.
WARM WATER WITH LEMON, HONEY AND APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Starting your day with a large glass of warm filtered water with lemon, honey and apple cider vinegar is said to have many benefits for the body and especially your gut health. This simple yet effective drink contains a plethora of prebiotics and probiotics from the apple cider vinegar and Vitamin C in the lemon that helps to boost energy and gut flora making it the perfect drink to start your day with.
PINEAPPLE, GINGER AND MINT JUICE
One of my ultimate favourite drinks to boost the immune system. Pineapple really should be known as a superfood. Just one cup provides you with 130% of the RDI of Vitamin C as well as lots of manganese which has antioxidant properties and helps to support the metabolism. All these nutrients contribute to supporting healthy cells which sustain and strengthen the immune system.
To reap the benefits you can essentially just eat a serving of pineapple, however, one of my favourite things to do is make juice. To make pineapple juice simply blend one cup of pineapple with a quarter cup of filtered water and a handful of fresh mint or basil and ginger. These fruit-herb combos simply taste amazing.
GINGER AND TURMERIC SHOT
In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, ginger and turmeric are widely used to treat a number of bodily ailments and are considered the ‘kings’ of natural medicine. These two roots have powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties that help to fight free radicals, infections and viruses. Turmeric also contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrient which helps to prevent a number of conditions from heart disease to arthritis. It’s also been directly proven to boost the immune system and both ginger and turmeric are recommended during the flu season by naturopaths worldwide.
How to make a ginger and turmeric shot
If you have a juicer simply put 2 inches of both fresh ginger and fresh turmeric and 1 peeled lemon through the juicer. Once you have enough to fill a shot glass add a pinch of black pepper which helps with the absorption of curcumin, and if you like, honey to taste.
If you don’t have a juicer don’t worry, simply blend the above ingredients with a quarter cup of water and filter the mixture through a sieve before drinking. Add a pinch of black pepper and honey to taste.
Yup, just water. Drinking plenty of water throughout the daily is essential to maintain a healthy and hydrated body and mind. While water doesn’t directly have an effect on your immune system it is still super important. Water helps to remove toxins from the body, preventing them from building up and later having a negative effect on the immune system. Water also helps to carry oxygen around the body so it ensures your cells are functioning properly, keeping your body and mind alert and feeling great.
What are your favourite drinks to boost the immune system? Let me know below, I’d love to know!
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