What Can You Do To Boost Your Immune System
The idea of boosting your immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. The immune system is precisely that a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function.
But that doesn’t mean the effects of lifestyle on the immune system aren’t intriguing and shouldn’t be studied. Researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans. In the meantime, general healthy-living strategies make sense since they likely help immune function and they come with other proven health benefits.
Immunity in action. A healthy immune system can defeat invading pathogens as shown above, where two bacteria that cause gonorrhea are no match for the large phagocyte, called a neutrophil, that engulfs and kills them .
Fruit Fusion For Immunity
A recipe that is exactly what the body needs to boost its defence with plenty of sweet fruits, almond milk and cinnamon. Here is our fruity immunity smoothie recipe:
- 1 frozen or fresh banana
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
- Fresh ginger, grated
- A pinch of ground turmeric
- A pinch of ground cinnamon
Feel free to add other fruits to the blender, such as fresh or frozen mango.
You can also add more almond milk if you wish, to taste.
More Smoothies to Support Immunity
Vitamin Supplements Arent Beneficial To Your Immune System Unless You Are Deficient
However, there is little evidence to support vitamin Cs mighty reputation for helping us to fight off colds and other respiratory infections. A 2013 review by Cochrane an organisation renowned for its unbiased research found that in adults trials of high doses of vitamin C administered therapeutically, starting after the onset of symptoms, showed no consistent effect on the duration or severity of common cold symptoms.
In fact, many experts consider the vitamin C market to be a bit of a racket, as most people in the developed world get enough from their diets already. Though scurvy is thought to have killed two million sailors and pirates between the 15th and 18th Centuries, the numbers now are far lower. For example, just 128 people in England were hospitalised with the disease between 2016 and 2017. On the other hand, high doses of this vitamin can lead to kidney stones.
Vitamin supplements arent beneficial to your immune system unless you are deficient, says Iwasaki.
Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables tend to contain the most antioxidants, because the compounds are often pigmented
In the developed world, most people get enough vitamins from their diets . However, there is one exception vitamin D. Iwasaki explains that taking this supplement wouldnt be a bad idea.
In fact, many immune cells can actively recognise vitamin D, and its thought to play an important role in both the innate and acquired immune response though exactly how remains a mystery.
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What Vitamin Is Best For Your Immune System
There are 3 main vitamins when it comes to giving your immune system a boost. The Cleveland Clinic suggests getting adequate amounts of Vitamin C, B6 and E to help support a healthy immune system.
Vitamin C This is the best immune-boosting vitamin. Being low in Vitamin C can actually make you more susceptible to getting sick! Your body does not store Vitamin C, so it is essential to make sure you get your daily dose to help keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
Vitamin B6 This is a vitamin that is essential to biochemical reactions in the immune system. Your body cannot produce it, so you need to get it from food or supplements. Luckily this vitamin is found in many different foods!
Vitamin E This vitamin is full of antioxidants, which help your body to fight off infections. This is also easily consumed in many different types of foods.
Green Smoothies To Boost Immune System + 4 Immunity Smoothie Toppers
Adding one of these immune boosting smoothie recipes to your daily routine is a simple way to strengthen your immune system naturally! Ive got 4 green smoothies to boost immune system health, each with an immunity smoothie topper to pack in even more nutrients.
Of course, you dont have to make these as double-layered smoothies if youd rather keep things simple. You can enjoy just the green smoothie recipe base on its own, or just the immunity smoothie topper as its own smoothie. Whatever youd prefer, youve got 8 immune boosting smoothie recipes to choose from here!
Each recipe is packed with immune supporting nutrients from real, whole foods. And, for an added immunity boost, I like to add a scoop of my new, favorite, all-star supplement: Athletic Greens! Its like a buffet of immune boosting nutrients that comes in a convenient, all-in-one packageand I love how easy it is to incorporate into any green smoothie recipe I want.
As with any ingredient youll see in my immune boosting smoothie recipes, you dont need Athletic Greens in order to make any particular smoothie. But, it is an amazing addition if youre trying to figure out how to boost your immune system naturally and easily!
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Actually Delicious Green Smoothie
Im happy to share that Im partnering with Blue Diamond Almond Breeze to share healthful recipes made with almond milk, like this immune booster solution thatll keep everyone in tip top form.
Because every year, like clockwork, its the same dang thing. The weather warms up. The trees send out their leafy starts and flowering buds. We shed our coats too quickly because, hey! Its sunny out. Summer is practically here .
And every year, as the seasons change, thats when the whole family comes down with one ailment or another. Whhhhhyyy now? We made it through the whole winter with nary a chill.
Now we have sneezing. Aches. And pains. And heads that just might explode if one were to lift their gaze just a little too quickly. Just let me lay in bed and bring me another blanket please?
This year Im sick and tired of everyone else being sick and tired. So this sheriff is enforcing some new rules in this here neck of the woods.
It starts with nourishing and protecting from the inside out. It starts with this immune boosting green smoothie made with shelf-stable almond milk for some good old fashioned preventive medicine.
Green smoothies are far from anything new, but just like my beloved chocolate chip cookie, they are definitely one classic you need in your recipe rolodex.
Your grandma said it. Your mom said it. And if youre at all aware of todays culinary landscape, youre saying it too. Eat your greens.
Tips For Making The Perfect Smoothie
There is nothing worse than a watery smoothie. Nor an icy one. As an avid smoothie maker, I have some tips that ensure your smoothie has the perfect texture and flavor!
- Ice will water down your smoothie, so its much better to use frozen fruit.
- Freeze cubes of milk or juice instead of ice to blend in.
- Frozen bananas give you a really creamy consistency.
- You can put grapes right into the freezer to use instead of ice.
- Pineapple and mange makes a great frozen ice cube too.
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Immune Boosting Smoothie Nutrients
Again, the first and best thing ANY of us can do to boost the immune system naturally is focus on our overall healthy lifestyle! And as part of that healthy routine, it can help to incorporate supplements and/or immunity smoothie recipes like these. Heres a breakdown of some of the most powerful immune supporting nutrients in the recipes that follow:
- A powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals, which can damage the immune system.
- May increase white blood cell production, which fight off foreign pathogens.
- Some evidence that it may be particularly helpful in boosting the immune systems of people under major stress.
- Since the body cant produce or store vitamin C, we need it in daily doses from fruits and veggies .
- Another powerful, free-radical fighting antioxidant.
- Boosts immune cell activity, supporting the bodys ability to defend itself from foreign invaders.
- Sufficient vitamin E intake is crucial for a healthy immune system, particularly in older people.
- Carotenoids are a type of antioxidant that are found in yellow, orange and red pigments in plant-based foods.
- When consumed, carotenoids convert into vitamin Awhich helps regulate the immune system and produce white blood cells.
- Vitamin A also helps to form the protective mucous membranes that line the respiratory tract, keeping germs out.
Immune Boosting Smoothie Ingredients
The key ingredients in these immune boosting smoothies include:
- Fresh ginger: ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. It’s also an effective remedy for indigestion, making it a fantastic ingredient to add to your daily smoothie.
- Turmeric: curcumin, the active compound found in turmeric, has several impressive benefits and has been used as a natural remedy for centuries.
- Citrus: each of these smoothies contains at least one form of citrus, including lemon, grapefruit, orange and clementine.
- Yogurt: look for a nondairy yogurt that has little added sugar and specifically notes live probiotics on the label. Probiotics are essential for a healthy gut and a healthy immune system!
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Diet And Your Immune System
Like any fighting force, the immune system army marches on its stomach. Healthy immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment. Scientists have long recognized that people who live in poverty and are malnourished are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. For example, researchers don’t know whether any particular dietary factors, such as processed foods or high simple sugar intake, will have adversely affect immune function. There are still relatively few studies of the effects of nutrition on the immune system of humans.
There is some evidence that various micronutrient deficiencies for example, deficiencies of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E alter immune responses in animals, as measured in the test tube. However, the impact of these immune system changes on the health of animals is less clear, and the effect of similar deficiencies on the human immune response has yet to be assessed.
So, what can you do? If you suspect your diet is not providing you with all your micronutrient needs maybe, for instance, you don’t like vegetables taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement may bring other health benefits, beyond any possibly beneficial effects on the immune system. Taking megadoses of a single vitamin does not. More is not necessarily better.
Paleo Yogurt And Granola Smoothie
When it comes to plant-based yogurt, we tend to prefer coconut yogurt for smoothies because of its super creamy texture and mild tang that blends well with the other ingredients. However, unlike cow’s milk yogurt, plant-based yogurts tends to be lower in protein, so if you’re looking for this smoothie to fill you up and power you through the morning until lunchtime, we recommend adding a spoonful of paleo protein powder to the blender.
Get our recipe for Paleo Yogurt and Granola Smoothies.
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Healthy Ways To Strengthen Your Immune System
Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system working properly. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:
- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
- Try to minimize stress.
- Keep current with all recommended vaccines. Vaccines prime your immune system to fight off infections before they take hold in your body.
Chocolate Tofu Smoothie With Reishi Mushroom
Don’t miss an opportunity to boost your tofu smoothie with some adaptogens. We’ve used reishi here for added immune support and sleep cycle regulation, but you can swap it out for an adaptogen of your choicelike a lion’s mane mushroom supplement for cognitive function or a cordyceps supplement for physical stamina .
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Other Ways To Help Your Immune System
Eating a balanced, healthy diet is a very important way to keep your immune system in good shape, and adding immune boosters to your smoothies helps even more. You can also do some other things as part of a healthy lifestyle to keep your immune system strong and to keep illness at bay.
- Get plenty of exercise. Raising your heart rate by doing aerobic exercise for at least 20 minutes, three times each week has been shown in research to increase your immune systems function. It does not have to be terribly rigorous either. Try a brisk walk five days a week.
- Laugh and relax more often. The act of laughing actually decreases the amount of stress hormones your body produces. At the same time, it increases the amount of certain white blood cells, a crucial part of your immune system for fighting infections. Relaxing has a similar effect because it helps to decrease stress hormones. Spend more time laughing with friends and watching funny movies. For relaxation, try practicing meditation.
- Get more sleep. Most Americans do not get nearly enough sleep each night. Adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep. When you are deprived of adequate sleep, you are more likely to get sick. This may be related to stress hormones, but researchers do not fully understand the connection.
Are there any other ingredients you feel I should have included? Do you have a specific immune boosting smoothie recipe or go to immune boosting ingredient? Please share in the comments below.
Immunity Boosting Smoothie Ingredients
In addition to maintaining a balanced daily diet, you can include some immune system boosters in your smoothies. While nothing is guaranteed, you can include these ingredients in your smoothies and expect to see positive results. Many of these have research to back up their benefits, but in some cases, experts would like to see more rigorous study for absolute proof that they help your immune system function better.
Probiotics:Probiotic is the term used for bacteria that are good for you. These are the little critters that live in your gastrointestinal tract and help you digest food. It is a symbiotic relationship. Research is just beginning to show that these helpful bacteria also work to improve your immune system. More specifically, taking a probiotic supplement has been shown to boost the immune system of participants in research and to reduce symptoms associated with autoimmune diseases and allergies. You can find probiotic supplements in any health food store and you can also eat yogurt or kefir with live and active cultures to get probiotics. See my kefir, yogurt, and fermented beverage smoothie category for recipes.
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How To Make Healthy Smoothies To Boost Immune System
First and foremost, NO supplement or smoothie can substitute for an overall healthy diet and lifestyle. If youre eating well, making time for movement, getting enough sleep, and managing stress, youre already doing some of the BEST things you can for your immune system! But, these immune boosting smoothie recipes can certainly provide some powerful support.
Part of why I like Athletic Greens is its not trying to be a replacement. It truly supplements an already-healthy lifestyle. It eliminates the need for taking a multivitamin or tons of capsules, and I can add it into a smoothie as part of a healthy meal or snack. Plus, Athletic Greens also supports healthy energy levels, hormone balance, gut healthmuch more than just immunity!
Also important to note: making healthy smoothies to boost immune system health isnt about using a particular supplement. The true secret lies in using nutritious, colorful whole foods that are rich in essential nutrients. Our immune systems are complex, and we need a variety of quality nutrients to keep things in tip-top condition!
Tips For Making The Best Green Smoothie
I used the unsweetened original Almond Breeze almondmilk flavor in this immune boosting smoothie recipe, but you could easily swap it with the coconut or vanilla flavor too.
The key to a well blended green smoothie is blending the liquid with the greens really well before adding the rest of the ingredients. Its the best way to avoid green chunks in your slurping straw and later in your toothy smile.
A lot of smoothies add banana for creaminess, but here simply freezing the fruit before blending does the job. If youre making this smoothie with fresh instead of frozen fruit, simply add 3-4 ice cubes when blending the liquid and greens and blend well.
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Get Ready To Boost Your Immune System
Lets start with the basics: Wash your hands for 20 seconds, dont touch your face and take social distancing seriously, says Dr. Darling. If you only do these three things, youll be well on your way to staying healthy.
But theres more you can do. Dr. Darling prescribes four stay-healthy strategies.