Smoothies for Healthy Immune Systems

Smoothies for Healthy Immune Systems
AS COVID-19 CONTINUES TO DISRUPT LIFE as we know it, health is at the forefront of all of our minds. And while medical experts have confirmed that the elderly, infirm, and people with underlying health issues are most at risk of getting seriously ill from this virus, anyone and everyone is susceptible to catching the novel flu-like illness.

Given that, it seems like a good time to do everything we can to stay as healthy as possible. Of course, you should keep washing your hands—thoroughly and regularly—and practicing good hygiene, but why not take a look at your diet, too?

The best and most natural way to fight infections and to avoid getting sick during cold and flu season is to let your immune system do the work. Your body’s natural defenses are equipped to recognize, attack, and eliminate a number of foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses.

Although your immune system is elegantly designed to fight off sickness, it is not perfect. You can keep it in top fighting form and boost its effectiveness by eating certain foods. When you add those foods to your smoothies, you can make a potent recipe for staying healthy.

What Your Immune System Does

Your body is the perfect place for many microbes to live in. In fact, your body is home to trillions of bacterial cells. Most of them are not harmful and many are even necessary. However, there are bacteria that can make you sick. There are also parasites, fungi, and viruses that love to take up residence inside the human body and the result for you is not usually good.

When your body is infected by something that should not be there, your immune system has a few different ways of preventing sickness. The first is to keep the microbes out in the first place. Your immune system provides a barrier. When that fails, the cells of your immune system detect and destroy invading microbes before they can reproduce and spread. If the microbes manage to reproduce, the immune system keeps working away trying to kill and eliminate the invading cells.

This description is extremely oversimplified. Your immune system is complex, and as yet still not completely understood. For instance, no one yet knows exactly why the immune system turns against the body in some people. When this happens, we say that the person has an autoimmune disorder. Somehow the cells of the immune system see your healthy body cells as foreign invaders and attack them. Such diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and Chrohn’s disease.

Smoothies for Healthy Immune Systems

When you build a smoothie out of a variety of healthful ingredients, you are on the right track to having an immune system that functions well. Many of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are found in your smoothie ingredients are needed by your immune system. When you get a complete balance of nutrients every day, your whole body functions better.

Some of the nutrients that are particularly important for immunity include vitamins A, B2, B6, C, D, and E, and the minerals selenium and zinc. Make sure you vary your smoothies every day to get all kinds of good foods and a wide variety of nutrients in your daily diet.

If you're looking for ways to beat cold and flu season, give your immune system a much-needed nutrient boost with one of these delicious, antioxidant-packed smoothies.

  • Vegan Triple Berry Protein Smoothie: Immune boosting ingredients: raspberries & blueberries!
  • Best Detox Green Smoothie: Immune boosting ingredients: lemon, spinach, kale, spinach & ginger!
  • Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie: Immune boosting ingredients: chocolate (lots of antioxidants)!
  • Hidden Veggie Pineapple Green Smoothie: Immune boosting ingredients: pineapple & greens!
  • Mixed Berry Smoothie: Immune boosting ingredients: lots and lots of berries!
  • Spirulina Green Smoothie Bowl: Immune boosting ingredients: spirulina & greens!
  • Green Apple Smoothie: Immune boosting ingredients: greens & apples!
  • Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie: Immune boosting ingredients: strawberries & chocolate!
  • Refreshing Raspberry Smoothie: Immune boosting ingredients: raspberries!
  • Grapefruit Margarita Green Smoothie: Immune boosting ingredients: grapefruit & greens!
  • Mango Matcha Green Smoothie: Immune boosting ingredients: mango, matcha & greens!
  • Pumpkin Spinach Smoothie: Immune boosting ingredients: pumpkin & spinach!

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 system’s 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.
Your immune system is a vital part of your body and your health. Keeping it functioning well helps keep you from getting sick with the common cold and can even help reduce your risk of getting cancer. Your immune system is complicated, but researchers have been able to determine many foods and nutrients that affect it. With a healthy, well-rounded diet, some special immune-boosting foods, exercise, and good sleep, you will be doing your best to stay in good shape.

Let’s give our bodies the best fighting chance.

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