Winter is just around the corner but don’t despair – you’re about to learn the art of juicing for colds. And this is such a necessary tool to have in your immune boosting arsenal ’cause as we all know, the common cold is not so bad but it is awfully irritating.
It’s basically just a minor infection of the upper respiratory system and we all know the symptoms: sneezing, an itchy throat, coughing, runny nose, headache, sore muscles and loss of appetite. So familiar, so unwanted.
None of this is too serious, but want to know something creepy? The common cold is actually caused by approximately 200 different types of viruses. Very gross. And also the main reason why our bodies can’t seem to build up a strong resistance to it.
In case you’re curious, the viruses that are usually linked to the common cold include the respiratory syncytial virus, coronavirus, rhinovirus, parainfluenza virus as well as the adenovirus to name a few. They can either strike one by one or all at once, making it a challenge for the immune system to get rid of all of them quickly and completely.
Lucky for you – and the people who live and work with you – consuming a diet rich in the nutrients your immune system needs to stay healthy is a smart and simple way of protecting your body from getting sick.
The easiest way to do so? Juice it, of course! Here’s what you’ll want to stock up when juicing for colds!
Bonus: Find some tips for juicing on a budget.
Juicing for Colds: 10 Essential Fruits and Veggies
The very first thing I do when I feel a cold coming on is hit up the produce aisle for my go-to cold-fighting fruits and veggies. This stuff works. And fresh immunity juice (and tea) is so much tastier than that Robitussin stuff 🙂
The below fruits and veggies are my first line of defense against the common cold:
You knew this was coming, yea? Oranges are naturally rich in vitamin C, which buffs up your immune system to help it deal with viruses that set off the common cold better. It is also naturally loaded with plant-based antihistamine that speeds up the healing of the cells damaged and helps lower the possibility of an allergy attack while at it.
Feel free to stock up on other citrus fruits while you’re at it – limes, lemons, and grapefruit will all do their part to kick that common cold’s a**.
Apart from giving your salads a zesty kick, fennel also contains phytonutrients that help relieve nasal congestion and draw out phlegm from the lungs and airway. Plus, it has antioxidants that ease the itchiness and irritation caused by persistent coughing as well.
You can juice fennel or just get a bunch of fennel seeds to boil into tea. Both options are great.
It’s cold, dark and dreary out. You feel under the weather. You just want to be on a tropical beach somewhere.
Well, we can’t help you out with the beach part but we’ve got something close: pineapples! Not only do they automatically transport your tastebuds to a happier place, they’re also packed with an enzyme called bromelain which has significant antibacterial benefits and boosts the elimination of unwanted substances in the body.
A 2014 study on Philippine children found that those who consumed pineapple juice daily had significantly less incidence of infection and those who did have infection recovered more quickly than infected children who did not consume pineapple juice.
And you definitely want to sip on pineapple juice if you’re having sinus problems, since bromelain has been shown to be particularly helpful for reducing the swelling and inflammation of sinusitis, allowing it to heal properly.
One ingredient that goes into pretty much everything I drink when I’m sick – and I drink a LOT when I’m ill – is ginger. Just ginger juice alone makes for a great immunity juice. This stuff is amazing for colds, sore throats, and even mucus congestion as it has both antihistamine and decongestant properties. The zing-iness of ginger also feels amazing on your throat when it’s feeling itchy or sore.
Juice it or boil it into a tea – just make sure you get some.
This is one seriously under-rated cold-fighting superfood that most of us aren’t taking advantage of. Whereas the carrot is the poster child for Vitamin A, the poor sweet potato often goes unnoticed and many are unaware that just one medium-sized sweet potato provides almost 400% of your daily requirement of vitamin A!
And vitamin A is one antioxidant that you want on your team when you’re trying to ward off illness. Why? Vitamin A actually helps increase T cell activity in the body, which is great news since T cells are fight infection.
It even plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of your mucosal surfaces like the insides of your nose, your gastrointestinal tract as well as your skin. This helps further boost your body’s defenses simply by keeping infections from entering your body through these pathways.
Now while it may not be a traditional juicing ingredient, a single chili pepper is packing more vitamin C in it than one orange or lemon. Plus, you get a bunch more benefits for juicing chili peppers – it contains a compound called capsaicin that’s been shown to increase metabolism so you burn more energy and put on less fat.
It even increases blood flow in your body, which gives you a boost in energy and brain power as well as helps better, deeper sleep.
Just keep in mind to get rid of the extremely spicy seeds when you do use it in your next juice recipe. Oh, and wear gloves when you remove the seeds – otherwise, that spiciness will stay on your hands and the next time you rub your eyes…oh man, you don’t want to go there. Just use gloves.
Dark, Leafy Greens
Bitter-tasting leafy greens are usually not on the top of anyone’s favorite foods list. But they’re a must have when it comes to juicing for colds. Why? These greens are rich in cold-fighting vitamin C and antioxidants that raise white blood cell levels and can even ease up coughing, clogged nose and chest pains, which are common during a cold.
Plus, there are a whole lot of them to choose from: arugula (check yummy recipes here), kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens, dandelion greens. Just remember: the darker the greens, the richer they are in nutritional content.
You may have noticed turmeric popping in a lot of juice recipes lately. It’s all for good reason – turmeric is full of benefits, from boosting metabolism to fighting cancer, as well as warding off the common cold.
That’s because the potent antioxidants in turmeric help boost the body’s resilience against illnesses as well as have antibacterial properties that keep inflammation and infection at bay. You see, turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, an anti-inflammatory agent that’s been shown to be comparable in potency to ibuprofen and hydrocortisone.
So when you’re getting a beatdown from the cold or flu, give it a punch right back…with a shot of turmeric juice.
Last but certainly not least – there is the onion. My grandma used to try to get me to snack on raw onions whenever I came down with something and whereas I frequently declined growing up, I now juice raw onions (not by themselves!) whenever I start feeling under the weather. And it’s not just my grandma promoting the cheap and effective onion as a cold remedy – the onion has been used for centuries for its healing properties. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the onion for its multiple disease-fighting capabilities.
There are studies showing that onion juice is an incredibly effective disease combatant – it’s been shown to inhibit the growth of salmonella and E. coli as well as a variety of fungi, so it’s no wonder it works so well to fight the common cold. The potent sulfuric compounds in onions are even linked to lowering blood pressure, preventing heart disease, and of course, onions are super high in antioxidants which raises your body’s overall immune response.
Bottom line: onions are a must-juice when you know you’re coming down with something. Sure, onion juice does come off a little strong but the bright side is that you’ll probably be in bed all day anyway so you won’t be inflicting your dragon breath on too many people 🙂
Oh, much of onion’s cold-fighting prowess is linked to allicin, which is also found in garlic. So feel free to juice garlic in lieu of onions.
Extra: Apple Cider Vinegar
Okay, okay, apple cider vinegar isn’t exactly a fruit or vegetable that you can juice, but it is a very useful thing to splash into your juice recipes. Why? Because it contains probiotics which are crucial in the replenishment of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. And this good bacteria can help prevent respiratory infections like the common cold as well as keep your overall body in tiptop health.
The thing is, though, it’s not all apple cider vinegar that has the health perks – you really want to choose raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar that has the “mother,” which is the gunk-y, cobwebby sediment you’ll see floating around in Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Sure, it looks gross but it’s good stuff for your body.
What’s the Best Juice for Cold and Flu?
Okay, now that you know the all star list of fruits and veggies when juicing for colds, here’s a bunch of immunity juice recipes for colds! Sip them when you feel a cold coming on. Or even better – as preventative tonics all throughout cold season.
Simple Immune Boosting Juice Recipe
When you’re feeling groggy, stuffy-nosed, brain-fogged and feverish, the last thing you want to do is wash and chop a million fruits and veggies. And that’s when a simple immune boosting juice recipe is called for:
- 1 orange
- 3 carrots
- 1/2 a small sweet potato
It’s so easy to make and gives you a whopping load of cold-combatting vitamins A and C. We’ll drink to that!
Flu Busting Turmeric Juice Recipe
What do you do when it’s flu season and you just don’t do shots?
For those who aren’t fond of needles – rest assured that a shot of turmeric goes a long way toward protecting you from colds and flus. This spicy, intense herb is a super strong antioxidant and has a long, honorable history of use in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It’s well-known as a detox herb – perfect for a thorough cleansing since it promotes a gentle detox of the whole body – but it’s also effective in treating fever, infections, and inflammations.
That’s probably all thanks to the curcumin found in turmeric, which has been proved to have similar effects as anti-inflammatory medicine. Add to that the medley of antioxidant-laden fruits and veggies found in this juice recipe and this should be the go-to thing to drink when you feel the sniffles coming on. It is probably the best juice for cold and flu. It tastes a helluva lot better than cold medicine, too.
* Add an extra inch of ginger to the mix for a super boost, if you can handle it. Ginger’s also infamously good for inflammation and infections. Want to take it up another notch? Garnish this recipe with a dash of black pepper – it helps to enhance the bioavailability of the curcumin found in turmeric by something like a thousand times.
Orange Immunity Juice
Here’s a super simple turmeric juice recipe, adapted from The Green Creator:
- 2 lemons (peeled)
- 2 carrots
- 1 cup fresh pineapple (include the core!)
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 1 inch fresh turmeric
Simply delicious juice recipe that’s chock full of vitamins A and C as well as tons of bromelain from the pineapple, gingerol from the ginger and curcumin from the turmeric. That’s a whole lot of antioxidants to have batting for you!
Drink whenever in need of a pick me up!
Fun Facts About Colds
- Unlike what most people mistakenly believe, a person can’t catch a cold if he or she is exposed to chilly temperatures. It can only weaken an individual’s immune system, which can make him or her more prone to getting a cold.
- Women tend to catch colds more often than men, but women’s colds tend to last shorter and are less severe.
- Oh, and just to set things straight, the viruses that cause the common cold are entirely different from the ones that trigger influenza. Random factoid for you.