Support your immune system with some healthy smoothies!
Good nutrition is essential to a strong immune system. For us to protect our immune
systems through diet, it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet that includes a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds. This way, you can be sure that you’re getting the essential nutrients that support our overall health and normal immune function such as protein, zinc and vitamins A, C and D. Smoothies can be a tasty and convenient way to boost your intake if you struggle to get enough of these food groups into your diet.
Nutrients to consider when putting together an immune-friendly smoothie
Protein – This plays a key role in the immune system, especially for recovery and healing. We are encouraged to distribute protein sources throughout the day. Protein-rich foods that you could add to your smoothie include milk, whey, cottage cheese, quark, fromage frais, Greek yoghurt or soy yoghurt.
Vitamin C – This key nutrient has long been known to strengthen the immune system as well as recover the body from infection. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells; these are key to fighting infections. Great sources of vitamin C include strawberries, raspberries, oranges, grapefruits and kiwi.
Zinc – Zinc is well known for reducing the duration of the common cold. This key
micronutrient helps the immune system work properly and may help wounds heal. Nuts & seeds are a great way of adding a source of zinc to your smoothie.
Vitamin D – The evidence showing the protective effects of vitamin D on the immune system is growing. It is particularly important for the bug fighters in our body. Dairy products like yoghurt and milk not only contain calcium but are often fortified with vitamin D and are a great addition to your smoothie. If you are vegan or vegetarian, fortified soy milk is also a great option for increasing protein & vitamin D intake.
Here are some smoothie ideas for you to try*.
2 dessert spoons Greek yoghurt, a handful of spinach, 1 kiwi, tbsp. flaxseed, 1 handful berries, 1 tbsp almond/peanut butter
1 carrot peeled and chopped, 1 orange peeled, 1-inch fresh ginger, 1 tbsp oats, 150ml milk/soya milk
200mls milk/soya milk, a handful of fresh/frozen berries, cinnamon, low-fat Greek yoghurt
200mls milk/soya milk, 1-inch fresh ginger, a handful of spinach, ½ avocado, ½ banana and a squeeze of lime
200mls milk/soya milk, ½ Avocado, 1 small banana, dates, and handful of spinach
Fresh/frozen pineapple, a handful of spinach, 150ml coconut water, 1-inch fresh ginger, tbsp. chia seeds and 1 small banana
150ml milk/soya milk, a handful of fresh/frozen berries, 1 small banana, 1 tbsp almond butter
*Serving x 2