Can a juice a day keep the doctor away?
If you’re looking for an easy way to help your family ward off the sniffles this cold and flu season, a daily juice or smoothie is perfect for you.
I love juicing and smoothies because they make it easy for any family - no matter how busy you are - to get your daily dose of fresh fruits and vegetables. You can always fill your dinner plate with a rainbow of fresh produce, but it’s hard for most modern families to eat the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables needed in a day. Juices and smoothies make getting all these nutrients simple and delicious.
Another benefit of making juices and smoothies is that kids love them! You might struggle to get your little one to eat a bowl of spinach or an avocado. But when they’re hidden in a fun and flavorful smoothie, kids never know they’re eating their greens and enjoying them too!
Use this article as a guide to finding the best immune-boosting ingredients to add to your favorite smoothies. I’ll also share 3 of my favorite smoothie recipes at the end to get you started!
Immune-Boosting Ingredients for Your Daily Juice or Smoothie
The beauty of making juice and smoothies is that you have the freedom to change up the recipes and make them uniquely yours. Before we share a few recipes, let’s review some of the best immune-boosting ingredients you can add to your juices or smoothies to tailor them to your family’s tastes and needs.
Foods to Boost the Immune System
Every juice or smoothie starts with some nutrient-packed foods. Here are some of the best foods to pack a powerful antioxidant punch:
Citrus fruits (orange, tangerine, lime, grapefruit)
Citrus fruits contain vitamins (like vitamin C) and antioxidants that support our immune systems and help fight disease.
Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens blend seamlessly into smoothies with little to no flavor. Plus, they’re packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory properties that improve the immune response.
Fresh ginger adds a zing to your juices or smoothies while giving your immune system a fighting edge. It contains powerful antioxidants and has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is a particularly beneficial ingredient to add if you struggle with tummy troubles or nasal congestion.
Pomegranate seeds and pomegranate juice contain punicalagin, a potent antioxidant that improves the function of the immune system. Plus, it adds a fruity flavor and beautiful red hue to your drinks.
Pineapple (especially pineapple core) contains an enzyme called bromelain that has been shown to significantly reduce inflammation and produce molecules that help white blood cells work more effectively. It gives a tropical kick to any juice or smoothie!
Supplements & Herbs to Boost the Immune System
Herbs and supplements can make the average juice or smoothie a potent immunity tonic.
Turmeric contains an antioxidant compound called curcumin that moderates and enhances the immune system’s function. Turmeric also improves overall blood circulation and reduces joint pain.
Black elderberry has potent antimicrobial effects that can help you recover from a cold faster - and may even help prevent seasonal illnesses in the first place. If you can’t find elderberry juice, Dr. Danielle’s Elderberry Immune Assist is the perfect companion to your immunity smoothies. You can even open up the capsules and blend them right into your delicious blend.
Licorice root is an anti-inflammatory and antiviral herb that fights free radical damage and supports immune processes.
Arabinogalactan (Gut Assist powder)
Arabinogalactan is a polysaccharide and fiber that stimulates the immune system. It also helps support a healthy and robust gut microbiome. You can find it in Dr. Danielle’s Gut Assist - just add a scoop to your smoothies to boost their gut and immune system benefits!
Teas to Boost the Immune System
Why use plain water in your smoothies if you can use immune-boosting tea instead? Here are the best teas for the immune system:
Both regular green tea and matcha contain EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). Studies show that EGCG moderates the immune system to help defend the body and prevent autoimmune disorders.
Hibiscus tea is a beautiful ruby tea that benefits your liver, heart, skin, and immune system. It contains many antioxidants and vitamin C. But watch out, it’s tart! Use a small amount of raw honey for balance when you add it to your smoothies or juices.
Both vitamin A and vitamin C are found in chrysanthemum tea. These two vitamins are essential for proper immune function. Chrysanthemum tea is a great choice if you suffer from allergies, itchy eyes, dry throat, or cough.
Essential Oils to Boost the Immune System
Add a drop of essential oil to your smoothies and juice for an added boost of healing power. Be sure to use essential oils that are safe to ingest.
Both lemon and orange oil are antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Along with supporting the immune system, they also improve your mood and concentration!
Peppermint oil is great for those who get sinus congestion, stuffy noses, or headaches. It is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.
Ginger oil adds a spicy kick to your smoothies, improves digestion, and helps you recover from colds faster.
3 Juice & Smoothie Recipes to Boost Your Family’s Immune System
Try these three simple immunity juice and smoothie recipes. Simply juice or blend all ingredients and enjoy! All smoothies are single serving, so adjust the amount of ingredients to make enough for your family.
Tropical Green Smoothie
- 2 cups spinach (or power greens)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
- 1-inch knob of ginger, peeled (if you don’t have a high-power blender, I recommend grating the ginger first to help with the texture.
- 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
- 1/2 ripe avocado
Sunrise Immunity Smoothie
- 1 carrot, washed, peeled, and chopped into about 5 pieces
- 1 banana, peeled and chopped
- 1 whole clementine, peeled, segmented
- 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 6 to 8 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ⅓ cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 cup ice
Ruby Red Winter Juice
- 1 cup frozen mango chunks
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
- 1 small raw red beet, chopped
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented
- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/2 cup hibiscus tea, brewed and chilled
- honey to taste (optional)
Support Your Immune System with Healing Juices, Smoothies, and Supplements
I hope you’re inspired to start juicing or blending up some mighty immune-boosting treats for your family! Juices and smoothies make it easy to get a wide range of healthy ingredients all in one easy-to-drink treat, whether you’re relaxing at home or on the go.
To protect your immunity even further, take Dr. Danielle’s Elderberry Immune Assist along with your daily juice or smoothie. This supplement was formulated to give your immune system well-rounded support from the best immunity herbs available.
And for more tips on juicing, read my article Juicing 101 with Dr. Danielle!