Smoothies can Bolster Your Immunity November 28 2013
Smoothies made with the right nutrients can help keep your immune system strong.
According to health and nutrition experts, you need to make sure you get appropriate amounts of vitamins A, C and E to ward off infections and other conditions that may compromise your immune system. Additional components that contribute to healthy immunity are zinc, probiotics, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega3 Fatty acids can be added to a raw smoothie via flaxseed. This grain is particularly high in omega-3 fatty acids and, being grain, is vegetarian and vegan friendly. There are also vitamin supplements that should be included in the regular diet if your meat consumption is particularly limited, or non-existent.
Probiotics are contained in yogurt, which is a particularly delicious smoothie base. Probiotics are healthy bacteria. Often, we think of all bacteria as harmful and we forget that certain strains of bacteria can actually help your body produce white blood cells that fight off viruses.
Yogurt and dairy products contain zinc, the element that helps you to build up immunity. Even milk can be an important addition to a smoothie. If you are a vegan, you will, of course, need to focus on alternative ways of obtaining probiotics.
Citrus is a particularly good source of vitamin C. However many fruits contain A, C and E. Using fruits in your smoothies will help you get you your daily allowances of these vitamins and help you improve your immunity.
If you are looking for a dairy-free base, use vitamin-fortified orange juice in the place of milk, or use soy or almond milk. If you use orange juice, make certain you add ice to give the smoothie some texture.
Spinach contains vitamins A, C and E. When you combine spinach with juicy-sweet fruits, the sweetness hides the vegetable’s bitter taste. The result is an amazing immunity-increasing and tasty smoothie.
#1 Blueberry Flaxseed Smoothie 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 cups fruit juice, unsweetened
1 banana, fresh or frozen
½ cup plain yogurt (or substitute 1 cup soy milk or low-fat organic milk)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
#2 The Pear-Kiwi-Berry and Flaxseed Smoothie
1 pear, quartered
½ cup yogurt
1 kiwi fruit
2 tablespoons flaxseed
1 teaspoon honey
½ cup berries, frozen
#3 Berry and Flaxseed Smoothie
1/2 cup vitamin-fortified orange juice
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, preferably nonfat
2 tablespoons whole flaxseed
1 cup frozen berries
1 small sliced banana
#4 The Spinach Apple Berry Smoothie
1/2 cup juice (cherry)
1 medium apple
1 cup berries, frozen
3 cups spinach, fresh
#5 Mixed Fruit and Spinach Smoothie
1 cup blueberries, frozen
½ medium apple
3 large strawberries
½ medium orange
¼ cup seedless grapes
1 cup spinach, frozen- better fresh
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
½ cup skim milk (or substitute ½ cup almond or soy milk)
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
While we may strive to strengthen immunity, there are times that the immune system reacts too quickly and easily as in the case of allergies. Honey can be added to nearly all smoothies and can serve to calm an over-active immune system. Because it contains pollen from plants in your local area, local honey can help you to be less allergic over time. Many people have found that they can desensitize themselves to pollens by taking 1 tablespoon of local honey a day for two weeks.
There are as many smoothie combinations as there are fruits and other ingredients to utilize. Smoothies are a delicious way to guard against viruses and increase white blood cell counts to fight infection. Allow yourself to try different combinations, even if you are leery at first. While they might sound odd on paper (or your computer screen) remember that versions of these smoothies have been tried, reviewed, and perfected by many others. Take a chance and explore. You will reap the health benefits of smoothies that taste better than expected and promote your ability to fight the common cold.
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