Immune Boosting Drinks

As we head into winter have you caught a cold or are you feeling a bit under the weather. The following drinks are packed with essential nutrients for everyday health or for fighting off viruses such as the cold or flu. Your immune system needs a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals to keep its energy up and going.

1. Green apple, carrot and orange

Carrots, apples, and oranges are a winning combination for helping your body protect itself and fight off infections. The apples and oranges give you your vitamin C. Vitamin A, which is also critical to a healthy immune system, is present in carrots in the form of the antioxidant beta carotene. The carrots also contain vitamin B-6, which plays an important role in immune cell proliferation and antibody production.

2 large carrots
2-3 Granny Smith apples
2 oranges
Optional: You can also add a thumb of ginger and/or lemon

Cut all your fruit and veg into sizable chunks to fit in a juicer. Remove the skin of the orange, the core and seeds of the apple and the tops of the carrots. Start adding your carrots, then apple, then oranges to the juicer. Once done mix all the juices together with a spoon and enjoy.

2. Beetroot, carrot, ginger and apple

This juice features three root vegetables that’ll help your immune system and decrease inflammatory symptoms. Inflammation is often an immune response to infections originating from viruses or bacteria. Cold or flu symptoms include a runny nose, coughs, and body aches. People who have rheumatoid arthritis may find this juice especially beneficial, as ginger has anti-inflammatory effects.

1 medium beetroot (rinsed, lightly peeled and quartered)
1 medium apple (peeled, cored and quartered)
1 Tbsp size piece of fresh ginger (skin removed)
3 whole carrots (rinsed and peeled)
Unfiltered apple juice (optional)

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, adding a splash of apple juice if needed to get it moving. Then, strain the juice over a large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes so you get most of the juice. Discard pulp and pour your juice into a serving glass.

3. Tomato

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin B-9 which helps lower your risk of infections. Tomatoes also provide modest amounts of magnesium, an anti-inflammatory.

3 pounds very ripe garden tomatoes, cored, roughly chopped
1 1/4 cups chopped celery with leaves
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp sugar (to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper
A couple shakes of Tabasco sauce, about 6-8 drops (to taste)

Put all ingredients into a large pot, bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until mixture is completely soupy, about 25 minutes. Blend mixture. Cool completely. Store covered and chilled. Will last for about 1 week in the fridge.

5. Kale, tomato and celery

Kale is a staple in many green juices, but instead of cutting the taste of kale with sweet fruits, this recipe uses tomato juice, adding more than enough vitamin A.
Adding some spicy horseradish to this recipe may also provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Blend it up for a drink that’ll awaken your senses.

2 celery stalks, chopped plus some to serve
25g kale leaves
500ml tomato juice
squeeze lemon juice (optional)
Tabasco, to taste

Place the celery stalks and kale leaves into a food processor. Add the tomato juice, then whiz together until smooth. Stir through the lemon juice and Tabasco to taste. Garnish with a celery stalk to serve.

5. Strawberry and Kiwi

Strawberries and kiwis are other healthy options to include in a vitamin C-packed drink. This recipe includes skimmed milk which is a good source of protein and vitamin D which helps reduce your risk of respiratory infections like pneumonia or the flu.

2 small ripe kiwis peeled and quartered
1/2  cup fresh or frozen strawberry halves
1/2 medium orange or 1 clementine, peel and pith removed
1/2 banana sliced and frozen
1/2 cup skimmed milk
2 tablespoons rolled oats
Small handful ice optional
1-2 teaspoons honey optional

Place all of the ingredients in your blender, blend until smooth. Taste and add 1-2 teaspoons of honey if you desire additional sweetness. Enjoy.
6. Pumpkin Seed
The benefits of this juice are hard to ignore, not only will it boost your immune system, but it may also help your: bone health, menopause symptoms or effects such as worsening cholesterol levels, urinary health, hair and skin, mental health and prostate health.

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, which is already a common ingredient in many cold remedies, due to its positive effect on both inflammation and the immune system.

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds,  soaked for 8 hours
3 cups filtered water
Pinch of sea salt

To soak the pumpkin seeds, place them in a bowl, and cover with filtered water. Add 1 teaspoon sea salt and splash of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, cover the container with a breathable kitchen towel, and allow to soak at room temperature for 8 hours.
Drain, and discard the soaking liquid. Rinse the pumpkin seeds several times.
Put the rinsed pumpkin seeds, water, and salt in your blender, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until the nuts are completely pulverized. Strain for a smoother milk for use in recipes.
Rinse your blender container, and pour the strained milk back in. Add the vanilla, sweetener, and any flavourings, and blend again, until smooth and creamy.
Store the milk in a sealed container in the fridge. It will keep for a few days.