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.


(C) 2013 123Vita LLC

Beat Lethargy with Energy Smoothies November 26 2013

To energize your body and mind, you need protein, fat, and sugar. Does that sound like a healthy combination? Actually, consider that the proper ingredients in the right amounts will be beneficial to your health and give you the energy you need to be alert and physically active throughout the day.


Smoothies that are packed with energy-promoting nutrients will wake you up and keep you focused. You can add magnesium and potassium rich fruits for an energy boost that will fight mid-afternoon lethargy.  Protein can also be added into your smoothie in the form of a whey powder or you could use milk, soy milk, or almond milk. Plain or Greek yogurt adds needed protein and gives your smoothies a creamy consistency. You can sweeten your smoothies with honey, which also packs a protein-rich punch. The natural sugar-rich fruits such as mangoes and apricots also give you energy. Yogurt and soy milk are good sources of the right type of fat: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Check the food labels and steer clear of saturated and trans fats.  


Here are some energy-boosting smoothie recipes to consider:


#1 Go-A-Mango

Banana, Mango, Soy Milk, Greek Yogurt


#2 Apricot Vanilla Smoothie

Vanilla, Almond Milk, Apricot, Plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey


#3 Berriful

½ cup sliced strawberries

½ cup raspberries

Soy Milk

½ cup Greek Yogurt

1 tablespoon honey


#4 Chocolate Dipped Strawberry

½ cup almond milk

1 cup sliced strawberries,

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

½ cup plain yogurt


#5 Chocolate Dipped Banana

1 Banana sliced

½ cup almond milk

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

½ cup plain yogurt


When you begin to find the right measurements of these nutrients, and find smoothies that utilize them well, you will feel a difference in your energy level.  Smoothies that promote energy in the morning will have an impact on your energy all day. They will make you healthier and help you feel better about yourself as the good mornings begin to outnumber the slow mornings.  

The body converts all sugars and starches regardless of source into glucose. While sugar is not something to over use, when it comes naturally from fruits your body derives energy from the carbohydrate as well as other nutrients. If you are at a risk for diabetes, you may want to avoid mangoes and apricots. However, it is always best to consult with your doctor before making any dietary changes.


If you want to control both natural and processed sugar in your diet and still need the energy boost, focus on protein-heavy smoothies sweetened naturally. Be certain to utilize whey powder and similar additives and reduce fat and sugar-heavy milks. You may want to consider adding fruit that is high in magnesium and even some vegetables to your smoothies.


Here are some alternative raw smoothie recipes for those who want to avoid high sucrose fruits:


#1 Classic Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

½ cup strawberry,

frozen or fresh 1 banana

whey protein powder

½ cup dairy,

almond or soy milk

½ cup plain or Greek yogurt


#2 Almond Coffee Smoothie

½ cup plain or Greek yogurt

1 medium banana

½ cup coffee,regular or decaffeinated

½ cup almond milk, soy milk or dairy milk

½ cup ice


#3 Peach-Spinach Smoothie 

6 medium peaches

2 generous handfuls of spinach leaves

2 cups water


#4 Strawberry-Spinach Smoothie

6 to 8 cups baby spinach

3 to 4 cups frozen strawberries

1 cup plain or Greek yogurt

1/2 cup apple juice (you can substitute milk or water)


#5 Raspberry Spinach Smoothie

2 cups spinach leaves

1 banana

½ cup raspberries, frozen 3/4 cup water, dairy milk or soy milk


#6 Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie

2 kiwis

3 cups baby spinach

2/3 cup strawberries, frozen

3/4 cups of water, dairy milk or soy milk


Smoothies can be your go-to morning drink as well as your afternoon pick-me-up when you need a jolt of energy.  Depending upon your diet goals or health needs, there is an energy-lifting smoothie that can become a favorite supplement to your existing menu. More importantly, you can experiment with the ingredients in these recipes to discover taste combinations that you like.  Smoothies are simple and versatile, and you can tailor them to your taste, energy and health requirements.  


(C) 2013 Thomas Fox