The flu season is upon us, and – like it or not – it will last up till the end of spring (at least where I’m now, which is Northern Hemisphere).
So it’s time for to make some Anti-Flu, Immune-Boosting Super Smoothie!
(Although we typically associate viral illness with winter, statistical data shows that the rate of infection from the common cold remains elevated in most of the northern hemisphere until April.)
Kids average 6-8 colds per season and adults typically catch 2-4 colds per year. So, if you haven’t done it yet, NOW it’s definitely the time to get really serious about guarding the immune system.
Instead of stocking up on tissues, cold medication and cough syrup, I recommend that you that you rather STOCK UP on fruits, vegetables and greens.
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Here’s what you need to know about using green smoothies to avoid flu and cold this winter season.
The Cold-Busting Benefits of Green Smoothies
I may have said it before 😉 but if you want to prevent colds, or increase your immunity to disease in general — you need to add more the fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens to your diet DAILY.
Less processed (preferably raw) is better – especially when it comes to vitamin C, since it begins to degrade with heating (above 70-75˚), so what better way to eat it than in a green smoothie?
Green smoothies may help prevent and suppress the effects of the common cold because they:
- Flood your body with nutrients, especially lots of vitamin C
- Boost the body’s energy levels (so you have more energy to exercise – which helps immune system even more)
- Increase levels of fluid intake
- Do not put a strain on the adrenal system
Much research has been done to demonstrate the effects of Vitamin C on cold frequency and duration. Although there is lots of debate over how much vitamin C should be consumed, no one is arguing that the vitamin actually works in combating colds — so go ahead, don’t delay taking action until you start feeling under the weather, be proactive and begin taking good care of yourself NOW!.
Some of the best fruits with a reputation for being high in Vitamin C include:
- and pineapples.
From the vegetable realm, there are:
- Brussels sprouts
- bell peppers
- and tomatoes.
I’ve read somewhere that blending cruciferous greens and vegetables in a blender breaks the cell walls and make the nutrients easier to absorb. One of the nutrients that becomes more available is a substance called isothiocyanates which have been proven to have powerful disease-fighting, anti-cancer, immune boosting properties. They even fight viruses and bacteria, helping prevent variety of viral and bacterial infections.
The vitamin boost of a green smoothie is an obvious benefit. A less obvious benefit for cold-busting is the energy increase most people feel. Higher energy means a greater ability to exercise. And that means fewer colds! (And you don’t have to even do much exercise – in one study reported in the American Journal of Medicine, women who walked for a half-hour every day for one year had half the number of colds as women who did not exercise – everyone can do that, right?)
Even though you may not be feeling like eating raw foods when it’s cold, preferring cooked “comfort foods” – this can really put a strain on your adrenal system. Eating lightly cooked plant foods is fine, but heavy, fatty, cooked meals will stimulate the adrenals so that the body feels warmer for 10-15 minutes; however after that short period of feeling warm, they will leave you feel tired, sleepy and maybe even colder than before.
Other ingredients to include in smoothies or snack on:
- Nuts and seeds, such as flax or chia. Flax seeds of course have amazing benefits with the omega 3 fatty acids alone, but they also contain a powerful immune booster, lignans, which bind to estrogen receptors and interfere with cancer and have strong anti-oxidant effects.
- Ginger root. Add about an inch of peeled root to your smoothie.
Are these immune-boosting strategies just theory, or do they really work?
My evidence is anecdotal rather than statistical. I have been drinking green smoothies for over five years now, and I have never been sick with a cold or flu since I started. All I had was maybe a sore throat or runny nose once or twice. Prior to that I used to have 3-4 seriously debilitating colds per season, each lasting at least 2-3 weeks, as I had difficulty recovering quickly. (The same goes for my son, now 11 year-old, and my husband — so there are three of us, by the way.)
So, with all that being said, here are two green smoothie immune-boosting recipes for you:
Green Smoothie Immune-Boosting Cold-Kicker
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 cup blueberries or strawberries, fresh or frozen
- 2 – 3 kale leaves, with stalks
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- Water as needed to blend (to desired consistency)
Green Smoothie Flu Fighter
- 2 oranges, peeled
- 1/2 lime, peeled
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 inch of ginger root, peeled
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 1 cup of your favorite leafy green
- 1/2 of a ripe bell pepper
- Water for blending
Here you’ll find more green smoothie recipes for beginners.
“Certain plant foods contain significant amounts of substances that enhance human immune function and defenses against acute illness and chronic disease.” There are a food plant foods that more than any others have the MOST of these substances! These include cruciferous veggies, mushrooms, garlic and onions, pomegranates, berries, and seeds. (Source: Super Immunity By Joel Fuhrman).
The other super foods that we did NOT include in our smoothie (for obvious reasons) is the mushrooms, garlic, and onion. So, make sure to get these foods into your lunch and dinner to fully benefit from the whole array of immune fighting super foods!
- Do you have a natural remedy for cold-busting?
- Do you regularly drink green smoothies?
- Have you noticed a difference in your immunity?
- What are your favorite immune-boosting foods?
For all my blending recipes – including smoothies, soups, nut butters and milks, I use Vitamix. If you don’t already own a VitaMix, I strongly encourage you to check out what this machine is capable of! For more information about VitaMix you can go directly to the VitaMix website. You may also want to read my post about the Best Blender.
I LOVE my VitaMix and highly recommend investing in one if you are ready to make serious changes to your diet. I have had mine for almost 5 years and use it daily!
If you decide to purchase Vitamix – be sure to use Promotional Code 06-004554 to get free shipping.
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